Spanish supersub Jota sent Brentford fans into delirium on Friday night as Mark Warburton’s brilliant footballing side provided full local bragging rights over neighbours Fulham.
Brentford – who had won their three previous league matches – took the game to the visitors throughout and dominated the early stages of the game, with Toumani Diagouraga again in imperious form.
Alex Pritchard saw a rasping shot deflected over the busy (and rather excellent it has to be said) Bettinelli’s goal, whilst Tony Craig saw a header saved from the resultant corner as Brentford started to convert possession into attempts on goal.
Other chances came and went for The Bees through Toral and Judge, with Douglas volleying out for a throw when well placed. Bettinelli’s best stop came after a driving run from Toumani who, prompted by three quarters of the crowd to shoot, lashed a shot goal wards, which was superbly tipped away.
Diagouraga, who has been a revelation this season, then saw a penalty appeal waved away after another surging foray on goal before Rodallega wasted the Cottager’s best chance of a first half goal with a tame header from close range. It’s possible his hair was in his eyes.
After the break, David Button was first in action with a low stop from a swirling grass-cutter before a great chance for Andre Gray – who’s pace caused Fulham’s cumbersome defence problems throughout – was blocked by Bettinelli.
With Brentford’s tails up it was Fulham who scored first, against the run of play. A sloppy pass from Harlee Dean was punished as McCormack threaded Rodallega through to score. Tarquin and Sebastien looked thoroughly pleased in the away end as Fulham decided to sing for about five minutes. I think some quiche got thrown onto the pitch too. Same old Brentford? Not these days.
Dean looked keen to make up for his error and started causing the visitors problems at the other end of the pitch. Eventually one of his surging runs freed galloping sub Dallas on the left, the resulting cross came back to Harlee who lashed the ball into the top corner… What a finish… 1-1. The Griffin Park faithful bayed for more blood as The Bees continually drove forwards from midfield
And, in the 91st minute, the fairytale ending arrived from Spain when Jota jinked in from the right flank and struck the ball home, aided by a lovely deflection from a hapless Fulham defender. Griffin Park erupted, and didn’t stop the celebrations until long past the final whistle. Bees Up Fulham Down.
Fulham striker Ross McCormack was gracious in defeat after the game admitting that Brentford “thoroughly deserved” the win. Wise words from the £11m man who was awarded man of the match by the watching Sky pundits.
With 12 points from the last 12 available Brentford rose to 4th in the table. I personally see no reason why we can’t continue to push at the top – we’ve rarely been bettered this season and are playing the best football of my lifetime.
Come on you Reds