Brentford 1-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Saturday, 7th Apr 2018 17:19
Neal Maupay’s 72nd minute penalty saw Brentford to a 1-0 victory over the Blues at Griffin Park, Jonas Knudsen having been harshly adjudged to have fouled Bees sub Sergi Canos. The Blues, who lost skipper Luke Chambers to what appears likely to be a season-ending injury in the first half, rarely looked like getting back on terms, although Grant Ward’s powerful shot was stopped by home keeper Daniel Bentley, then Chris Mepham blocked Martyn Waghorn’s effort from the rebound.
Tristan Nydam, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luke Hyam, Callum Connolly and Freddie Sears all returned to a Town line-up featuring five changes from Monday’s 2-2 draw with Millwall.
The Blues started with the three-man backline of Carter-Vickers, skipper Luke Chambers and Adam Webster, with Jonas Knudsen at left wing-back and Jordan Spence on the right.
With Cole Skuse missing out with a head injury, Hyam, Nydam and Callum Connolly were in midfield with Sears joining Waghorn up front.
Young Australian striker Ben Folami was on the bench, having made his Championship debut as a sub against Millwall, alongside Stephen Gleeson, Mustapha Carayol, Myles Kenlock and Bersant Celina who all started against the Lions.
For Brentford, Maupay replaced the injured Florian Jozefzoon in an otherwise unchanged side, while Alan Judge made his first home start since suffering a broken leg at Portman Road in April 2016.
Hyam, the man whose tackle led to that injury, was booed every time he touched the ball in opening exchanges in which nether side was able to get on top.
Brentford carved out the game’s first chance in the 10th minute and only a very sharp reaction stop from Bartosz Bialkowski prevented them from going in front.
Following a swift break, Yoann Barbet hit a shot which was going well wide to the left of the keeper until Maupay diverted it to his right and the Polish international keeper somehow managed to get his foot across to force it past the post.
Judge blazed over in the corner’s aftermath before the Blues’ first real attack was ended by a linesman’s flag as Waghorn attempted an overhead kick on the edge of the six-yard box.
On 17 Carter-Vickers was shown the first yellow card of the afternoon, rather harshly, for a foul on Judge. Soon after Barbet was fortunate not to join him for hauling back Sears midway inside the Bees half. Waghorn’s freekick eventually came to nothing.
Four minutes later, Blues captain Chambers collided heavily with keeper Bialkowski and after treatment was forced off with an injury which could well see him miss the rest of the season.
The Blues defender had chased a ball over the top and didn’t appear to see Bialkowski as he ran off his line towards him.
The Town skipper immediately called for assistance for what looked to be a collarbone problem and after treatment was gingerly walked to the tunnel by the Town doctor with a brace already on his arm.
Kenlock took over at left wing-back with Knudsen, who took the captain’s armband, moving to the left of the back three and Webster into the centre.
Chances had continued to be rarities in a not overly enthralling match. On 32 Romaine Sawyers latched on to a ball over the top but scraped his shot well wide of Bialkowski’s left post.
Town struck their first effort of the game in the 37th minute, Kenlock shooting behind from the left of the area after good work from Nydam, Waghorn having initially sent Sears away with a fine ball into space down the right.
In the penultimate minute of scheduled time, Bialkowski batted away a Judge shot from the edge of the box and Maupay was crowded out after the rebound landed at his feet.
The Blues had the ball in the net a minute later, Connolly having been found by a Hyam chip over the top into the area. The on-loan Everton man eventually back-heeled the ball through the keeper’s legs and into the net but after referee Robert Jones had blown his whistle for handball, a decision the midfielder contested vehemently.
Connolly headed straight at Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley from a deep Waghorn corner from the right, then at the other end Bialkowski saved low from Ollie Watkins during four minutes of otherwise uneventful added-on time.
As manager Mick McCarthy made his way across the pitch from the dugout to the tunnel, a section of Town fans sang ‘Cheerio’ in his direction among other more abusive chants which the Blues boss sarcastically applauded.
It was a half memorable for very little aside from the rare sight of Chambers being forced off by an injury.
Brentford had played most of the football but had only threatened on a couple of occasions when they found Bialkowski at his best.
As ever, there was no lack of effort from the Blues but aside from Waghorn no one else had shown much quality on the ball and Kenlock’s effort wide was the only shot.
Six minutes after the restart Connolly was booked for a foul on Josh McEachran, who in turn joined him in the book for hauling the Blues midfielder to the ground in the aftermath.
On the hour, with the early part of the half having continued where the first left off, Maupay almost caught Bialkowski in possession as he dallied before clearing.
Brentford swapped Kamohelo Mokotjo and Judge for Nico Yennaris and Sergi Canos in the 66th minute.
The home side were continuing to have most of the game’s few chances. On 69 Watkins hit a shot which deflected over.
However, Town, and particularly Waghorn, were starting to look a threat on the counter-attack and a minute later Bentley did well to claim the former Rangers man’s cross-shot from the right after he had burst away on the break with Sears unmarked in the middle looking for his first goal in 37 games.
But in the 71st minute the Blues had a soft penalty awarded against them for the second Saturday in succession. A long ball was played into left of the box and Canos went to ground under the attention of Knudsen. There looked little in it but inexperienced Championship referee Jones pointed to the spot.
It appeared a very harsh decision, Town having been on the end of a similarly tough call at Birmingham last week, and Knudsen was shown a yellow card in the protests which followed. Maupay took the kick and hit it low to Biakowski’s left to open the scoring.
The Blues switched Nydam for Grant Ward after the goal and Brentford brought on Emiliano Marcondes for McEachran, then a few minutes later Celina replaced Kenlock, who received a hug from manager McCarthy having been a sub himself in the first half as Town moved to a four-man backline.
Chants of ‘Mick McCarthy get out of our club’ followed the goal with Brentford dominating possession as the game moved into its final 10 minutes having grown in confidence after going ahead.
But in the 87th minute the Blues twice went close. After good work from Celina on the left, Ward smashed a powerful shot which was straight at Bentley who knew little about it as he saved. The loose ball ran to Waghorn who cut in from the right and hit another powerful strike which hit Chris Mepham in the face and rebounded out of the danger zone.
In the final scheduled minute, Canos hit a low shot which deflected off a Town player and rolled just wide with Bialkowski scampering across his goal.
Moments later, as the match moved into four additional minutes, the Spaniard was booked for a cynical foul as Connolly broke.
Town kept looking for the equaliser in the remaining minutes but never seriously looked like grabbing a goal which would have grabbed them a point.
As at the end of the first half chants were aimed in the direction of departing manager McCarthy as he left the field, the Blues boss this time not reacting.
As at Birmingham, a game of few chances were turned on a debatable penalty, although it was Brentford who had played most of the game’s football and had created more of the match’s relatively few chances.
Town huffed and puffed and frustrated the opposition as they always do but lacked quality and provided little threat in a display typical of many this season.
The defeat sees the Blues drop to 14th in the table, two points behind Norwich, with five games of the season - and the McCarthy era - left to play, starting with Barnsley at home on Tuesday.
Brentford: Bentley, Maupay, McEachran (Marcondes 74), Watkins, Mokotjo (Yannaris 66), Egan, Judge (Canos 66), Sawyers, Dalsgaard, Barbet, Mepham. Unused: Daniels, Macleod, Bjelland, Clarke.
Town: Bialkowski, Carter-Vickers, Chambers (c) (Kenlock 24 (Celina 73)), Webster, Spence, Hyam, Nydam (Ward 73), Connolly, Knudsen, Sears, Waghorn. Unused: M Crowe, Gleeson, Carayol, Folami. Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside). Att: 10,939 (Town: 1,644)
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 270 bloggers
Euro Glory for Town by clivebleedingthomas
This was the season in which we had a realistic chance of winning the Treble - it sounds like complete fantasy now, but it happened. Our hopes of FA Cup glory had been finished, along with Kevin Beattie’s career as a Town player, at Villa Park.
Happy Highbury as Town Head to Wembley by clivebleedingthomas
As if going to an FA Cup semi-final was not stressful enough, I had added stress. I travelled on a Supporters Club coach, on board many families, including my father and my wife
Woods Wonder Strike Ends Deadlock by clivebleedingthomas
A sixth round FA Cup tie of greater length than most season's cup runs had begun almost three weeks earlier in front of the Portman Road record crowd of 38,010, a record that still stands.
Five Go To Town by clivebleedingthomas
A fixture that started as a mid-table game but ended as one that would be marked by having special T-shirts printed to commemorate it - this was the Demolition Derby.
Marcus on the Spot in Moscow by clivebleedingthomas
The first leg had been played in the three-sided Portman Road, with no North Stand. Circumstances that many fans thought contributed to our relegation that season.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]