JUDGE ABLE TO RULE AS BEES BUZZ
IF ANYONE at Brentford is feeling the pressure of closing in on automatic promotion, they are certainly not showing it.
Two goals from Alan Judge against his former club followed Adam Forshaw’s penalty to ensure the Bees earned a fourth straight home win, despite Jimmy Spencer’s late consolation for Notts County.
Manager Mark Warburton is confident his side will not choke for the second year running after they managed to throw a Championship place away on the final day of last season.
He said:“I thought we played really well and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m not feeling the pressure.
“We’ve got a good group of players and they have learned from last year. The balance is better and if you look around the team there are a lot of players that came through that experience. They were young last year and now they are stronger and more focused.
“A lot of teams after that kind of disappointment would have a disappointing start, just look at Watford and Northampton.The boys have coped really well all season.”
It was one-way traffic throughout the first half and Brentford dominated in possession, but struggled to create any clear cut chances.
But that all changed after half an hour when Clayton Donaldson was hauled down in the box by Haydn Hollis when clean through on goal.
Hollis was shown a straight red card and Forshaw stepped up to send Bartosz Bialkowski the wrong way and stroke home from the spot for his eighth goal of the season. From then on the home side remained well in control and should have doubled their lead on 37 minutes when Judge fired wide from close range.
However, the on-loan Blackburn man made up for it two minutes before the break when he latched on to Alan McCormack’s through ball to slot in the second.
And the Bees did not have to wait long after the interval to put the result beyond any doubt as Judge rebounded home from close range after Toumani Diagouraga saw two shots saved by Bialkowski.
The visitors pulled one back late on when Spencer neatly lobbed over Bees keeper David Button, but it did little to lift manager Shaun Derry’s mood as his side were dragged back into the relegation zone.
He said:“It’s a setback but we would have had to have played exceptionally well to get anything out of this game. For me, Brentford are the best team in the league.
“It’s disappointing but it’s the home games that will determine how we fare this season. The red card was the turning point but even before then I wasn’t entirely happy with the way we were playing. At times we couldn’t get to grips with them. “With the greatest respect to Brentford I don’t feel that our players should be coming to these
places and being overawed.”
KEY MOMENT: Notts County’s Haydn Hollis fouls Clayton Donaldson of Brentford for the penalty, Hollis was sent off for the challenge
DOUBLE: Alan Judge celebrates his two goals
STAR MAN ALAN JUDGE Brentfo