TOWN 2 BRENTFORD 1
Brentford’s five game winning streak came to an end at the John Smith’s Stadium this afternoon as Huddersfield Town recorded a first win in five in a highly entertaining game.
A goal from Sean Scannell and a second half own goal from Brentford defender Jake Bidwell was enough to halt The Bees’ recent impressive form.
Both sides started brightly and created numerous attempts on goal during a great opening 45 minutes.
On a number of occasions Brentford’s on loan Spurs midfielder Alex Pritchard managed to jink inside off the flank before striking from range, only to see the majority of his efforts sail inches wide of Alex Smithies’ post.
At the other end Scannell, making his 100th appearance for the Terriers, managed to break the deadlock after 18 minutes; the wide man latched on to Nahki Wells’ low cross following a fluent move which began with Jacob Butterfield releasing Jack Robinson down the left flank.
From then on both sides had chances to score, yet Brentford’s efforts passed with little reward.
Alex Smithies denied left-back Jake Bidwell’s driven effort following a solid block from Captain Mark Hudson. The Town ‘keeper was again on hand to deny the fullback later, with a firm hand which sent the ball behind for a Brentford corner.
Following Scannell’s opening goal, Town’s chances late in the first-period fell mainly to Butterfield. The 24-year old twice managed to work a yard of space on the edge of the visitors’ area before shooting at ‘keeper David Button.
The restart from referee Eddie Ilderton sparked an early influx of chances for Town as they looked to extend their 1-0 lead – and did so early into the second-half.
A lofted ball from Grant Holt allowed Robinson to swing an early cross into a dangerous area – the ball was then met by Bidwell, who bundled the ball passed his own ‘keeper with Scannell in close attendance.
Nevertheless, despite falling two goals behind, the visitors fought back as the second period progressed. Toumani Diagouraga and Pritchard were at the helm for the majority of Brentford’s offensive efforts, but Town’s defence stood firm despite the absence of the injured Joel Lynch.
Brentford boss Mark Warburton made changes as the half progressed, as Stuart Dallas replaced Jon Toral. Former Hull City striker Nick Proschwitz and midfielder Tommy Smith were also introduced shortly after the visitors’ first change as Andre Gray and Diagouraga’s frustrating afternoons came to an end.
The introduction of Brentford’s substitution proved worthwhile as the travelling Brentford fans watched Jonathan Douglas drive a low strike passed Alex Smithies to reduce the deficit with 20 minutes left to play.
From then on Warburton’s side looked like they could clinch an equaliser, but in their efforts to convert a number of chances a lapse in defensive concentration let in Wells at the other end. Luckily for Brentford, Button denied the Bermudian striker with a point-blank save.
This would be Wells’ last contribution, as he was replaced by returning striker James Vaughan. The frontman, who has not featured for Town for 13 games through injury, took to the pitch in the 77th minute in search of his first goal since November 2013.
Referee Eddie Ilderton was kept busy as the 90-minute mark approached. Brentford’s Harlee Dean received a yellow card for dissent moments before substitute Vaughan and goal-scorer Douglas were also booked for a tussle in the Town area.
The games last action saw Holt make way for Paul Dixon, after the striker’s industrious performance was rewarded with a standing ovation from the Town fans in stoppage time.
Despite Brentford’s best efforts, the Terriers extended their unbeaten home run to six games, lifting Chris Powell’s side the 15th in the league – Mark Warburton’s men dropping to 5th.
Town travel to Norwich City in their next league fixture in search of their first away win in three games.
Town’s team (3-5-2)
Alex Smithies; Murray Wallace, Mark Hudson, Tommy Smith; Jack Robinson, Jacob Butterfield, Conor Coady, Jonathan Hogg, Sean Scannell; Nahki Wells (James Vaughan, 77), Grant Holt (Paul Dixon, 90).
Lloyd Allinson, Anthony Gerrard, Danny Ward, Adam Hammill, Lee Peltier