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Brentford ground out a much needed win against an average and badly-dressed Notts County side on Good Friday – goals from Diagouraga and Wright-Phillips clinching the vital three-point haul – which keeps the reds on track in their quest for promotion. In the end, the Bees made hard work of it as they were coasting until they gave away a penalty late in the second half and the final 15 minutes was heart-in-mouth time as County upped their game – in truth they could have even stolen a point if they had taken their chances.

The Bees started brightly, the week’s rest had obviously done them the world of good, they seemed pent up and ready to press as from the off. A reshuffled defence saw Diagouraga starting in midfield alongside Douglas, Adeyemi and Saunders – the Saunders-led diamond that successfully saw us out back end of last season was back. Bidwell regained the left-back position, with Craig shuffling into the middle and Leon Moore (rumoured to be recalled by Leicester City) dropping to the bench. Starting up front with Clayton Donaldson was Bradley Wright-Phillips, watched by his Charlton manager Chris Powell, and he hit the post with only four minutes on the clock after some great passing movement from the Bees. Donaldson also went close for Brentford after impressive work from an industrious Adeyemi – his shot just fizzing past the post. Wright-Phillips, Diagouraga and Douglas all had other good chances as the Bees pressed hard.

The breakthrough finally came on 20 minutes, in somewhat strange and fortunate circumstances – Sam Saunders’ corner was laid back for Diagouraga lurking 20-yards out and his not-particularly-powerful shot somehow squirmed past comical County keeper Bialkowski. After that blunder the keeper, who ironically has been one of their most consistent players this season, was visibly shaken and, confidence knocked, was substituted at half time. The disappointment among the Ealing Road fans, who were looking forward to ‘welcoming’ him in the second half, was tangible. The vertically-challenged Jamal Campbell-Rice did show fleeting moments of skill for County, but overall, Brentford dominated and went into half-time deservedly one-up.

The second saw normal service resumed – the Bees were fully in command – with both Douglas and Wright-Phillips going close, while Donaldson had a fantastic chance saved when he was clean through on goal – some think he really should have buried the one-on-one. The large Bank Holiday crowd were desperate for a second goal to ease their nerves, so when Tom Adeyemi, who had an excellent game, threaded a lovely ball through to Wright-Phillips on 70- minutes, allowing the Charlton loanee to stride in and bury the ball in the back of the net from inside the area, there was a mixture of joy and relief all round.

Unfortunately it took only two minutes for County to get back into the match – Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Judge and referee D’Urso gave a penalty after consultation with his linesman. Uwe Rosler was incensed after the match, saying: “Alan Judge is a player I admire very much, but he didn’t make it easy for them [the officials] by diving”. Campbell-Rice’s penalty was saved by Moore, but Judge netted the rebound, with several County players having encroached into the area before the kick was taken.

From that moment on the wheels almost came off for Brentford as the Bees lost all shape. County upped their game and set us up for a nail-biting final 15 minutes in which time Simon Moore came to the rescue a couple of times and Brentford defended resolutely to keep County at bay. As the board went up for five minutes of added time added on, there were mutterings of “Referee Bigger … Notts County .. Easter weekend 1993 … seven minutes added on … Late goal … Relegation!” Thankfully there was to be no repeat of history, and when the referee blew the final whistle, an almighty roar erupted around Griffin Park as everyone realised we were yet three more points closer to our promotion dream.

One slight downer was Douglas’ 90th minute yellow card. One more booking for him between now and Sunday 14th April and we understand he will get a two game ban (unless the rules have changed). Will Uwe risk him for Coventry? or Portsmouth? or both? We think he will probably sit out one game. Saying that, Uwe managed to work around it for his suspension against Sheffield Utd with no problems – the squad is deep enough to cope.

As you can see from the fans video footage above – it was a massive win for the Reds – one that sets Monday’s trip to MK Dons up very nicely indeed!

Brentford: S. Moore; Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Adeyemi (sub L. Moore 76 mins) Douglas, Diagouraga; Saunders (sub Forshaw 69 mins); Wright-Phillips (sub Forrester 84 mins), Donaldson
Subs (not used): Gounet, Reeves, Trotta, German

Bookings: Douglas (90 mins) (ninth of season), Logan (90 mins) (seventh of season)

Notts County: Bialkowski (sub Pilkington h/t); Kelly, Liddle, Leacock, Sheehan; Boucaud; Campbell-Ryce (sub Zoko 75 mins), Bishop, Hughes (sub Showunmi 61 mins), Judge; Arquin
Subs (not used): Smith, Thompson, Tempest, Hollis

Bookings: Arquin (25 mins), Sheehan (71 mins)

Attendance: 7,412 (with 427 away fans)



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