Brentford got back to winning ways as a superb second half performance saw Clayton Donaldson score his 50th league goal for Brentford and a deflected George Saville strike as Brentford recorded a well deserved 3 points and moved within 1 point of Leyton Orient in second.
After a frustrating first half which saw little action and Brentford had to wait an hour before Donaldson’s left footed shot nestled in the bottom corner and a deflected Saville left footed shot wrong footed Bradford keeper McLaughlan to make the three points safe.
Will Grigg started over Marcello Trotta and his link up play was good but the heavily populated Bradford defence kept the Brentford attack quiet all first half with neither keeper having to make a save.
The fans were frustrated as Brentford were dominating possession but time and again the final through ball was not good enough.
However the second half was like watching a completely different team. The players were closing down more, passing the ball with more authority and finally looked like they would break the Bradford defence.
Grigg had the best chance of the match when Alan Judge’s cross found Grigg but he couldn’t get good contact on the finish and it went wide when a firmer finish would have been a goal.
Brentford had another chance soon after when Donaldson glanced a header just wide from a Adam Forshaw free-kick. Tony Craig came close from a corner but his effort was blocked by the army of Bradford defenders.
Bradford couldn’t keep out the Bees much longer and Brentford took the lead when Donaldson had too much space on the right and he fired a low left footed shot past the helpless McLaughlan to give Brentford their first goal in over 240 minutes and Donaldson’s 50th goal for Brentford.
A few minutes later Brentford should have been 2-0 up but Donaldson missed a sitter. Trotta who came on for Grigg, fed the ball to Donaldson in the box and when it looked likely he would get a second he instead ballooned the ball over the bar.
Now Brentford were in full control and could smell a second goal. Jonathan Douglas came within a inch of doubling the lead when his header looped onto the bar from a Alan McCormack cross and McLaughlan saved the rebound from Jake Bidwell.
Button was having a quiet afternoon, rarely having to do anything but he had to make a smart save from Mchugh’s header.
Trotta came on and was everywhere. Linking up play well with the front three and he set up Saville for the second after the two of them exchanged passes and Saville shot and it took a few deflections and wrong footed the Bradford keeper to put the match beyond doubt.
With the match won Brentford were still looking for more, with the exciting Dallas adding pace down the wings with Reeves and Judge both having shots saved. The match finished 2-0 and gave Brentford the deserved three points but in truth Bradford offered no real offensive threat.
Standout performances were James Tarkowski who’s distribution was first class and his confident performance at the back made people forget Dean was missing. Saville was also top class, pulling the strings in midfield and his goal was deserved.
It was a confident display overall ahead of vitally important next few weeks.
Report by Alex Callow