Brentford 1 Barnet 0
9 points clear of the playoffs
You could write the script at Griffin Park tonight. Brentford scored first, were then pushed back, survived chance after chance from their North London neighbours and - despite all the pressure and being distinctly second best after the interval - went on to beat Barnet for the fourth time in the past two seasons.
In truth all that matters now is the result and the Real Bees are to be congratulated after their 4th consecutive clean sheet saw off the Fake Bees and cemented a seven point gap over their nearest rivals Wycombe at the top of the League.
Marcus Bean struck early with a beautifully guided near post header from a well placed O'Connor corner and Brentford just shaded the first half, with Bean missing when well placed and Wood forcing a fine save from Cole.
Barnet went closest when the evergreen Paul Furlong, still a real handful at the age of 40, turned beautifully and curled a 20 yarder past Hamer onto the post before the keeper saved the rebound.
Barnet forced a corner right after the restart and that signalled their all-attack policy with four lively strikers stretching the Bees's defence.
Bennet was an inspiration and marshalled his colleagues well and Halls too finally subdued the lively Bolasie. Adomah too was well controlled by Dickson but Brentford lived dangerously - with two clearances of the line and several near misses.
Hamer was hampered by the injury sustained in colliding with Broughton at the weekend and was not as mobile as normal, but the Bees clung on.
That is not to say that there were no chances for the home team too. Rhodes forced a fine save from Cole with a looping header, Macdonald forced the ball out of the keeper's hands and hit the post and criminally, substiute Sam Williams, who looked a real handful when he replaced Rhodes, was put clean through in the last couple of minutes but shot over an empty goal.
Gary Smith started his first game of the season and lasted over 70 minutes and Bean, Wood and O'Connor were generally in control in midfield.
Not a vintage performance and in truth the Bees looked a little jaded after their busy schedule but they held on through guts, professionalism and great organisation. The finishing line is now in sight.
Brentford: Hamer; Halls, Phillips, Bennett, Dickson; Smith (sub M. Williams 73 mins), O'Connor (sub Hunt 89 mins), Bean, Wood; MacDonald, Rhodes (sub S. Williams 70 mins)
Subs (not used): Simon Brown, Osborne
Thanks to Greville Waterman and BIAS for the match report
March 12, 2009