Nottingham Forest 1 Brentford 3
Brentford produced a sensational showing to dispatch their hosts and the margin could have been even bigger.
In a move that indicates the depth of genuine quality attacking options Jota dropped to the bench for a rejuvenated Alex Pritchard in the only change to the side that started Saturday’s win over Derby.
From the first whistle Warburton’s men looked to take advantage of a Forest side on an abysmal run of form which has seen them drop from top to 11th.
In the initial stages the game was contested mainly in midfield with the sides cancelling each other out. Tom Ince seemed to be the focal point of the home teams attack, however a collective effort thwarted their attempts to pose any real menace to The Bees, a few crosses and a headed effort that was easily dealt with was as close as they came in the opening quarter of an hour.
From then on it was one way traffic. Moses Odubajo picked up a loose ball around the half way line and set off on a diagonal zig-zagging run which ended abruptly with him being felled in the penalty area, however as the ball dropped invitingly the advantage was played and Jon Toral dispatched an angled shot into the top corner to send the away end into hysteria.
Wave after wave of attack brought a series of corners for Brentford but the score remained 1-0.
Forest then became the architects of their own downfall when a newly introduced substitute played a dreadful pass directly into the path of Andre Gray who kept his composure to round the keeper and notch his second goal in as many games.
It was all getting too easy and perhaps parts of the player’s minds thought it was game over and had relaxed maybe too much, the usually faultless but ultimately defensive minded Dougie had a golden chance to add a third but shot wide from seven yards.
A chorus of boos rang out as the half time whistle blew, the home fans unable to hide their dissatisfaction at what they were witnessing, their side, an established Championship team managed by club legend Stuart Pearce were being given a lesson in footballing brilliance by ‘little’ Brentford.
After the break it instantly got worse, Andre Gray burst into the box looking to set up a chance for a team mate only to be needlessly fouled giving the referee no option but to give the spot kick.
A nervous few moments followed in the away end as Forest surrounded the ref to appeal in vain against the decision, Alex Pritchard stood over the ball awaiting permission to take the kick. Clearly not rattled by the delay calmly dispatched the ball with aplomb to incredibly put Brentford 3-0 up with 43 minutes to go.
Encouragingly Warby’s men didn’t look to rest on their laurels choosing instead to go on the hunt for more goals, Andre Gray had the bit between his teeth by now and went past 4 defenders as if they weren’t there only to be denied by a finger-tip save.
To their credit Forest didn’t give up despite the deficit, they managed to fashion half chances and draw free kicks, most notably one such incident lead to a fifth booking for Dougie meaning the influential talisman will be unavailable for the up-coming Millwall game.
With time running out Forest’s Antonio did manage to pull one back from distance but it was too little too late as after 6 minutes of stoppage time putting Forest out of their misery and causing great delight for the 1,000 Bees who had made the trip.
It remains to be seen what effect Dougie’s suspension will have but we have a squad built to cope with any eventuality. Those who doubted the Bees will have to sit up and take notice of such a convincing away win. If we can produce performances like this regularly there’s no limit to the possibilities.
Truly unbelievable, oh what a night, what a team