Bees 1 Bury 0
The gap at the top widens.
Brentford showed the rest of the Division that they are serious title contenders with an excellent hard fought win over a well organised and tough Bury team. Although there was a nervous last five minutes as well as 4 long minutes of injury time Brentford rarely looked like giving up the lead given them by Marcus Bean's eighth goal of the season after 38 minutes.
Brentford started the game full of confidence but created little in the first 20 minutes beyond an O'Connor free kick narrowly over and a Rhodes shot high and wide. Bury then had a good spell and could well have scored but for Hamer's two excellent and instinctive saves from Bennett and Jones.
Brentford kept plugging away against a defence well marshalled by the evergreen Sodje and the hulking Cresswell and their efforts were rewarded when Wood's curling free kick from midfield was only half cleared by one of the hulks and fell to Bean whose carefully placed shot eluded Tyler's dive and gently crossed the line.
Bury respnded well and almost levelled on halftime when Hamer just managed to drop on an inswinging corner on the line.
The second half was full of blood and thunder, Williams put MacDonald through at an angle and his instant volley was well saved before O'Connor suffered a deep cut in an aerial clash with Dawson which saw the midfielder booked even though no free kick was awarded. Dawson exhibited the brains of a rocking horse when ten minutes later he stupidly booted the ball away into orbit after a free kick was given to the Bees for handball and was summarily dismissed by the excellent Mr Crossley who refereed the game calmly and unobtrusively. Brentford seized the man advantage but the second goal would not come despite further efforts from O'Connor whose fiulminating free kick was wonderfully saved, MacDonald and Bennett whose header from right in front of goal failed to go in.
Bury rarely threatened in the second half despite using the ball well and Bennett was tricky on their right wing. In fact it was hard to tell they were a man short. A lovely reverse ball saw Morrell in space but he shot wastefully high. It was panic stations near the end with Brentford defending deeper and deeper with the odd dangerous breakaway, one of which saw Charlie shoot inches wide. Hearts were in mouthes in injury time when a contentious free kick was awarded on the edge of the area but Murphy's effort was blocked and the Bees hung on for a famous victory. In truth the win was fully deserved. Bennett and Phillips were rocks on whom Morrell and Bishop foundered and Halls and Dickson also played their part. Wood was a pocket dynamo and O'Connor, his head swathed in bandages from his clash with Dawson was heroic in midfield.
Nathan Elder replaced Rhodes on the hour and his power and hold up play enabled Brentford to retain the ball better and for longer. Brentford dug in today, played football when they could and showed one of their nearest rivals that they were not going to give an inch. The result was all important and the Bees are now three more points nearer promotion.The final whistle was greeted with a massive roar by a season's best crowd of over 6,500 who celebrated another fantastic day for a Brentford team that just does not know when it is beaten.The dream continues and the prize is getting nearer with every game.
Brentford: Hamer; Halls, Phillips, Bennett, Dickson; Williams (sub Hunt 89 mins), O'Connor, Bean, Wood; MacDonald, Rhodes (sub Elder 65 mins)
Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Newton, Osborne
Thanks to BIAS for the match report
March 2, 2009