Brentford ended the 2015/16 season in a grand manner with a demolition of Huddersfield Town. A goal almost straight from kick-off from Sergi Canós set The Bees on their way to the biggest win of the campaign – a 5-1 win on a sunny Yorkshire afternoon. There was two more for Scott Hogan, who ends the season with seven goals in less than 160 minutes of playing time, and another for Lasse Vibe, who notched with his first touch. John Swift came off the substitute’s bench to make it five late on and seal a memorable afternoon for The Bees.
And it would be hard to argue that Brentford did not deserve a convincing win. They produced a superb, incisive attacking performance and cut Huddersfield to ribbons at times. Huddersfield had a lot of the ball but Brentford’s shape out of possession made it almost impossible for the home side to penetrate them. And when Brentford had the chance to attack they were devastating, creating a hatful of chances and taking more than their fair share of them. The home side had levelled just after half time but Hogan’s first put Brentford back in front and from then on there was only one winner.
The game could not have started better for The Bees, as they took the lead with a little over 20 seconds on the clock. The goal was well finished by Canós but was a defensive disaster for Huddersfield. Ryan Woods played a ball in to the left channel and an attempted pass from Martin Cranie towards his goalkeeper was well short, Canós nipped in and steered a shot under Jed Steer and in to the net. The Spanish attacker took the seventh goal of his loan from Liverpool superbly but would have been surprised to get the chance.
That early strike meant Brentford settled quickly. Any game plan Huddersfield had would have gone out of the window as they had to deal with a Brentford team with something to hold on to and with the confidence of an early lead. It could have been two inside the first five minutes when a Konstantin Kerschbaumer pass released Hogan in behind, he got away from a challenge from Mark Hudson that looked as if it may have been a foul but could not convert as Steer charged out. With Hudson clattering his goalkeeper, Huddersfield had to scramble the ball away as Canós looked set to pounce.
Steer had lengthy treatment after the collision and was clearly struggling. He lasted only until the quarter hour before he had to be replaced by Lloyd Allinson. Steer was, however, in the right place to prevent Yoann Barbet scoring when Harlee Dean nodded Jake Bidwell’s corner on, the goalkeeper saving low. Barbet probably had time to bring the ball down before striking for goal but instead chose to head and the chance disappeared. David Button saved from Sean Scannell but all the action was at the other end and Kerschbaumer fired across the face of goal – with Hogan not able to touch it in – after more good work by the livewire Canós.
As the game moved past the 15 minute mark it started to settle in to a pattern. Huddersfield had a lot of the ball but were largely playing in areas that did not threaten The Bees. Brentford held a solid defensive line and forced the hosts to play in front of them. When Brentford then turned the ball over, they counter attacked at pace and got bodies forward. Hogan should have punished the home side when Nico Yennaris played a ball over the top and the striker’s superb first touch took him clear of Hudson but he was unable to beat substitute goalkeeper Allinson, firing straight at the young stopper.
Barbet made an important block when Rajiv van La Parra had a sight of goal and a long range effort from Cranie was also blocked, this time by Woods. But it was Brentford that were in control of the game. Yennaris and Woods in the centre of midfield were swarming all over their Huddersfield counterparts and the movement of Sam Saunders, Canós and Kerschbaumer in front of them meant there was always an option to attack. Hogan sensed he had the beating of the home defence and would have expected to have scored when he met a Saunders cross with a near post volley but he put it wide.
A chance also came and went for Barbet, the French defender heading straight at Allinson when he met a Saunders free kick unmarked ten yards out. Brentford would have been happy with their first half but would have known the game was not over, albeit they should have been further ahead. Huddersfield withdrew the dangerous Scannell at half time and the hosts looked to focus play down their left after the break.
The early pattern of play did not change and it was a shock when Huddersfield levelled five minutes in to the second half. Maxime Colin was penalised for a foul on Karim Matmour and the free kick was taken quickly, Jamie Paterson weaved his way past Dean and finished low. That goal could have shaken Brentford. The Bees deserved to be ahead but found themselves pegged back and needed to reassert their authority. They did it in superb style.
Huddersfield were only level for a little over two minutes. Saunders was taken out on half way and Kerschbaumer seized on the loose ball as referee Dean Whitestone played advantage, he threaded a ball through to release Hogan and the striker confidently slotted past Allinson to restore Brentford’s advantage. That was his sixth goal since returning from two cruciate knee ligament injuries and the seventh came ten minutes later. Again Kerschbaumer was the architect, picking a pass and allowing Hogan to beat the offside trap, this time he drew Allinson, rounded the young goalkeeper and rolled it home, celebrating with the travelling Brentford fans.
That was Hogan’s last action, withdrawn just past the hour mark, but if Huddersfield thought it was the end of their troubles, they had to think again. Vibe came on and within two minutes Canós had robbed van La Parra and fed a ball in behind, the Danish striker raced clear and smashed a shot past Allinson and in to the net. That made it three for Brentford in 15 minutes after Huddersfield’s equaliser and made the game safe.
Paterson shot wide for the hosts and an Emyr Huws header was blocked before Matmour missed the target for the hosts and Joel Lynch headed wide but Huddersfield did not look as if they could really hurt The Bees with their attacking weaponry. Instead the game became a little fractious, a few challenges were stronger than warranted and it appeared Dean Whitehead stamped on Yennaris inside the final ten minutes. The reaction of the Brentford man saw both players cautioned as Mr Whitestone tried to calm things down.
Brentford sought more goals and the minutes ticked down, looking to treat the Bees fans that had made the trip. Vibe narrowly failed to head a Josh Clarke cross in and Barbet curled a free kick over. The fifth came two minutes from the end and owed much to the tenacious work of Colin and Clarke, who won the ball on the right, Vibe picked it up and once again a through ball set a Brentford player away, this time it was Swift and he finished high past Allinson to put a gloss on the score line.
There was still time for a sixth and Vibe nearly delivered it. Swift and Saunders created space on the edge of the ball and Vibe’s shot flew inches wide with Allinson beaten. But there was no doubt it was Brentford’s day. The win, Brentford’s biggest of the season, made it seven victories in the last nine games for The Bees. It also meant they ended the season ninth in the Sky Bet Championship and as joint top scorers as well as scoring more than anyone else away from home. A good place to build for 2016/17.
Huddersfield Town: Steer (sub Allinson 15 mins); Smith, Hudson, Lynch, Cranie; Whitehead, Huws; Scannell (sub Lolley h/t), Paterson (sub Bunn 76 mins), Matmour; van La Parra
Subs (not used): Davidson, Hogg, Dempsey, Billing
Bookings: Whitehead (82 mins)
Brentford: Button; Colin, Dean, Barbet, Bidwell; Woods, Yennaris, Canós (sub Clarke 69 mins), Kerschbaumer (sub Swift 82 mins), Saunders; Hogan (sub Vibe 64 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, O’Connell, Gogia, Hofmann
Bookings: Woods (7 mins) (ninth of season), Dean (12 mins) (seventh of season), Yennaris (82 mins) (third of season)