Bees stung by the mighty Bouch

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Gra­ham Ot­way

AN­DREAS Boucha­lakis lit up his Cham­pi­onship de­but with two strikes of such rare qual­ity that even the beaten man­ager tipped his hat to the Greek mid­fielder.

Boucha­lakis, brought in this sum­mer by For­est owner Evan­ge­los Mari­nakis from his other club Olympiakos, scored ei­ther side of half-time as the vis­i­tors ripped con­trol from Brent­ford.

And they with­stood a late come­back to main­tain their un­beaten start to the sea­son and leave Bees man­ager Dean Smith to say: “They scored two won­der goals and a de­flected one which was dis­ap­point­ing, but some­times you do have to take our hat off to the op­po­si­tion and they were just two great strikes.

“He is go­ing to find it very dif­fi­cult to score two goals like that in the same game again.”

For­est did not have to pay a fee for Boucha­lakis, who has signed a three-year deal af­ter im­pres­sof ing on trial this sum­mer. Al­ready it looks a shrewd piece of busi­ness by Mari­nakis and man­ager Mark War­bur­ton af­ter his two al­most iden­ti­cal 20-yard strikes into the cor­ner of the Brent­ford net pun­ished the home side’s poor set-piece clear­ances.

“In prac­tice he has shown us that he can be dy­namic on the pitch,” said War­bur­ton. “And those two goals were just the ic­ing on the cake for us.”

As half-time ap­proached, very much against the odds Brent­ford had taken the lead through de­fender John Egan’s far-post header from a set-piece.

How­ever, that ad­van­tage was quickly can­celled out by the first Boucha­lakis’s spec­tac­u­lars. And the teams still had not gone back to the dressing rooms for the in­ter­val when Daryl Mur­phy put the vis­i­tors ahead.

When Boucha­lakis scored again two min­utes af­ter the break, For­est took to­tal charge.

Most of Brent­ford’s ef­forts were thwarted by the as­sured de­fen­sive qual­i­ties of Mur­phy and Matt Mills, so there was some sur­prise when from a cor­ner An­dreas Bjel­land nar­rowed the gap by squeez­ing home a header off the bot­tom of the cross­bar.

But four min­utes later For­est had the points in the bag when sub­sti­tute Mustapha Carayol placed a low shot past Daniel Bent­ley.

How­ever, a minute into ex­tra time Brent­ford re­sponded again when Neal Mau­pay cracked home a drive from 15 yards.

But there was only four min­utes left and For­est played calm possession foot­ball to seal vic­tory.

Smith felt that while the score­board re­mained blank for the first 38 min­utes and then hav­ing taken the lead, his side should not have been dom­i­nated by For­est.

“For the first 40 min­utes our play­ers moved the ball around the world. We cre­ated some chances but didn’t take them,” said Smith, whose side re­main point­less af­ter two games. “That’s been the sce­nario this sea­son. So it was sur­real in the end that we scored three goals at home and still ended up on the los­ing side.”

War­bur­ton, who be­gan his man­age­ment ca­reer at Brent­ford be­fore he went north of the bor­der to Rangers, said: “When we got 3-1 up we had one or two chances to take it to four or five and put the game out of their reach but we didn’t pro­duce good fin­ish­ing then.

“And Brent­ford have a lot of good qual­ity play­ers and the way they can play they are go­ing to do a lot of dam­age to teams this sea­son.”

PIC­TURES: Dan West­well

VOL­LEY GOOD SHOW: Not­ting­ham For­est’s An­dreas Boucha­lakis is con­grat­u­lated by his new team-mates af­ter his first goal, in­set

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