Brentford 2 - 1 Chesterfield
Uwe Rösler rung the changes and switched to a 4-4-2 set up with Logan and Adams at full back, new loanee Dale Bennett partnering Llera at centre back, Douglas and Dave in the middle flanked by Saunders and McGinn, and Grella joining Donaldson upfront.
Unfortunately it all looked too much like Tuesday night's performance with a lively start fading badly and the opposition realising we were there for the taking.
McGinn slammed one into the side netting within the first minute. Then Donaldson found himself in the box ready to strike the ball and was hacked. The referee gave nothing. Agreed it was at the other end of the pitch but it looked stonewall and the Bees players couldn't believe it wasn't given.
The Bees seemed to settle into playing the ball around without and real zip or vigour. At least it was moving around the pitch and not just amongst the back four. Then McGinn got hold of the ball and ran diagonally across the midfield and headed for the box before being unceremoniously upended. Up steps Saunders with one of his classic free kicks into the top corner. One-nil.
Within two minutes Chesterfield had levelled after Llera (again!) failed to clear the ball from his box and it fell to Clarke who slammed the ball passed Lee. Chesterfield then had the better chances and the bees looked like they did on Tuesday, just going through the motions. McGinn's energy, Grella's industriousness, Bennett's calmness and Saunders' goal were the only high points of the first half. The crowd was practically silent when half time came.
In the second half Brentford again started a little brightly but it wasn't until Adams decided to take the bull by the horns and started running the length of the pitch with the ball that the home crowd sensed the Bees were trying to win this game.
It was then pretty much end to end with the Bees getting three chances to every one of Chesterfield's on the break. Anyone could have won the game at this point. With 20 minutes to go Gary Alexander replaced Grella (who got a good ovation for his efforts) and then we saw a step up from the Bees. Glaring, spitting, shouting, cajoling, closing players down, Alexander was what we've been missing and his energy and leadership was what we needed at recent home performances.
The Bees had a goalbound shot cleared off the line. Alexander had a difficult shot just whizz passed the angle.
With less than ten minutes to go Saunders sends a free kick to the far post where the impressive Bennett lashes a header into the net for the eventual winner.
We continued to make chances but Donaldson had a hat full all go astray.
The last half hour saw the kind of Bees performance we had seen earlier in the season and hopefully now the hoo-doo is over we'll see a lot more of again.
Lee; Logan, Bennett, Llera, Adams; McGinn (sub Weston 83 mins), Douglas, Dave, Saunders (sub Eger 88 mins); Grella (sub Alexander 72 mins), Donaldson
Subs (not used): Woodman, Reeves
With thanks to beesotted for their match report
November 11, 2011