REPORT: TOWN 1-5 BRENTFORDTown’s 2015/16 season finished in disappointing fashion at the John Smith’s Stadium, with visitors Brentford recording a comprehensive victory.
Although Jamie Paterson equalised in the 50th minute on the final game of his spell on loan from Nottingham Forest, the Bees were the better side on the day and deserved their win.
It was a shame to end a season of positive change under Head Coach David Wagner on a sour note but combined with last weekend’s game at Bristol City, it looked like two games too far for the ‘full throttle’ style he has embedded.
With top scorer and Player of the Year Nahki Wells missing with a knee injury, Wagner opted to play Rajiv van La Parra in attack, with Karim Matmour playing off the left.
However, any plans were severely dented inside the opening minute as the visitors took the lead. Martin Cranie – playing at left back on the day – made a real mess of things in possession and Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos took full advantage, nicking the ball away and advancing into the area before sliding the ball past Jed Steer from a very narrow angle.
Things got worse three minutes later when Joel Lynch collided with Jed Steer whilst clearing a dangerous through-ball intended for striker Scott Hogan.
First, Brentford almost scored from the resulting corner, with a back post header from Nico Yennaris pushed away by the ‘keeper.
Then the Aston Villa loanee had to cut his final Town appearance short due to the injury, which in turn handed a professional debut to 22 year-old Academy graduate Lloyd Allinson.
Dean Smith’s Brentford were moving the ball impressively – but also carried an aggressive edge. First midfielder Ryan Woods and then centre back Harlee Dean picked up yellow cards in the first quarter of an hour for strong challenges around halfway.
Town eventually got a foothold in the game, using van La Parra’s pace to play balls in behind Brentford’s high defensive line. He broke the defensive line to the left of goal in the 27th minute, but Barbet got across well to block his shot at source.
At the other end, Brentford quickly transitioned the ball to try and isolate Mark Hudson and Scott Hogan. Hogan managed this well just before the half hour, with his excellent first touch putting him clear. However, he placed his shot too close to Allinson and the young ‘keeper kept it out.
Barbet had another chance to score five minutes before the interval when he was left unmarked from a Woods free kick delivered into the area, but like Hogan he placed his effort too close to Town’s custodian.
Town looked to have found a way back in the game in the 50th minute when Jamie Paterson equalised with a smart bit of play. After Lolley had been fouled on the left side, the Terriers caught the away side off guard with a quickly taken free kick that released Pato into the area. He side-stepped the last defender and placed a low shot past David Button for his eighth of a good season.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Town. Barely two minutes later Brentford restored the lead through Scott Hogan, who was sent well clear after some poor play from Town in midfield; he finished comprehensively into the bottom corner.
Hogan scored an almost identical goal 10 minutes later as Hogan broke the offside trap once more; this time he neatly rounded Allinson before placing home on his left side.
Hogan was then replaced by Lasse Vibe, who scored the fourth with a shot that Allinson will have been disappointed not to keep out.
The closest Town came to another was a shot from sub Joe Lolley that arrowed just wide of the left-hand post, but it was Brentford that had the final say as sub John Swift netted again.
Town’s team (4-2-3-1):
Jed Steer (Lloyd Allinson, 15); Martin Cranie, Joel Lynch, Mark Hudson, Tommy Smith; Emyr Huws, Dean Whitehead; Karim Matmour, Jamie Paterson (Harry Bunn, 75), Sean Scannell (Joe Lolley, 46); Rajiv van La Parra
Jason Davidson, Jonathan Hogg, Kyle Dempsey, Philip Billing