Left Side: Ealing Road – Brentford 2-1 Burton Albion

As the vultures gathered close to Griffin Park in anticipation of a pre-Christmas feast comprising of some West Midlands flesh in the shape of under pressure boss Dean Smith, the danger was averted by two killer blows from the boot of super Scotty Hogan…

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In a nutshell, he was the difference between the sides. Yes, we should have scored more but games are won and lost on taking chances. I don’t think there was another player, on either side, that could have converted both chances.

In reality, this narrow victory may have masked over some of the defects in the current team but a win is a win and the 3 points were more than welcome.

After the meek surrender in East Anglia last weekend it was vitally important to return to winning ways in front of a GP crowd that had forgotten the last time we won at home.

The 3-5-1-1 formation was back and as such Bjelland returned to the side in a more comfortable Centre three. Colin and Barbet had a lot more time and space in which to operate against a poor Burton team. We haven’t really clicked this season, particularly in midfield and the continued exclusion of Alan McCormack from the match day squad is just baffling…

Up front we are ever so dependent on Mr Hogan’s goals and there doesn’t appear to be a back up striker of note.

Scotty showed his class early on when he latched on to a lovely ball from Sawyers to score with a trademark finish.1-0

As we were closing out the first half, our defence went missing. Firstly Barbet was at fault for letting the winger round him after missing his clearance. The next error was how square our defence was as the ball was cut back to an on running Jamie Ward. The final mistake was down to Dan Bentley, he should have been able to stop the shot that was well placed but lacking in power. He didn’t and the ball squirmed over the line. HT 1-1

Fair play to Brentford, with recent poor results and a general lack of confidence being evident, they could have crumpled like a cheap suit however, they rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in. Given the rub of the green, we could have scored more than the solitary Hogan winner. Never mind. Job done!

A tough week ahead on the road, starting at Ashton Gate tomorrow and culminating in a trip to Leeds on Saturday.

Bentley 6: At fault for the goal but otherwise safe and assured.

Colin 7: I think he plays better in the second half of games, full of energy and running, becoming a permanent fixture in the side now.

Barbet 6: Still a little naive defensively but good use of the ball and sent over some useful crosses.

Bjelland 7: A steady, if slowish player. Makes up for lack of mobility with good reading of game and aerial power.

Dean 7: Skippered the side well, defended manfully and looked comfortable in possession.

Egan 6: A little shaky with his distribution but not really tested by a woeful Burton attack.

McEachran 6: Hustled and bustled to good effect but much more to come from him, I hope.

Woods 7: Industrious and creative albeit too much in deep positions. Needs an enforcer behind him to optimize his attacking prowess.

Yennaris 6: Not one of his best games for sure but did enough to steady the rare threat from Burton.

Sawyers 7: Sometimes he frustrates the average fan, myself included, but he did provide the ammo for Scott to pull the trigger.

Hogan 9: A real swashbuckling performance from our No 9. Could so easily have scored 4. A constant menace and dead eyed finishing.

Subs:

Vibe 5: Replaced McEachran. Scratching my head to know what has happened to him, no fight in the boy and wasteful when put through on goal.

Field 7: Replaced Barbet, defended well and nearly scored near the end. Very promising.

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