Bees buzzing after Odoi red rush
HAVING put to bed their capitulation in one West London derby earlier in the week, Brentford came from behind in another against tenman Fulham.
“We showed people today what we are about,” said Brentford manager Dean Smith.
“I know they went down to ten men but we kept the ball very well and when we lost it we went and pressed and won it back.”
Dennis Odoi saw red in the 53rd minute after taking down Ollie Watkins as the Brentford winger nipped past him, having been warned by referee Bobby Madley that he was treading on thin ice only moments before.
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic was disappointed with the dismissal and Odoi’s lack of discipline.
“He should have taken more care in this situation,” said Jokanovic. “One moment we are trying to change the game and make a movement for the bench, but I could not change the players after that.
“This situation was one of the most crucial during the game.”
Fulham took the lead in the first half as Ryan Fredericks made a good break down the right and pulled the ball back for Neeskens Kebano, who was waiting at the back post to poke it home.
Brentford responded five minutes later as Watkins surged powerfully through the middle and laid the ball off to Sergi Canos, who cut inside from the left and slotted the ball under David Button’s legs to equalise.
Smith said: “The second half gave them a little more belief in what we were doing – go and press them high and they’ll make mistakes.”
The Bees did exactly that and took the lead as Romaine Sawyers smashed home a rebounded shot off the post from Barbet after waves of pressure from the home side.
Jokanovic admitted his side did not begin the second half in the way he would have liked.
“We started sloppy,” he said. “The second yellow card made it really complicated for us as well.”
Asked if he was surprised at how Brentford changed the tempo of the game after halftime, Jokanovic said: “No, not surprised at all. We know Brentford and Brentford know us.”
Tom Cairney hit the bar against the run of play just after Brentford took the lead, which could have changed the dynamic of the game completely.
Jokanovic said: “We tried to show some kind of direction, we pushed, we hit the bar, but we didn’t show enough energy to change our situation.”
Brentford managed to see out the game and Watkins secured the win after 85 minutes, much to the delight of the home fans after seeing their team concede twice in the last two minutes of Monday’s match against QPR.
Watkins, the outstanding player on the day, reaped the rewards of his hard work by tapping in a neat cross from Sawyers to seal the victory.
Have lost more points from winning positions in the Championship this season than any other team, Smith said: “It was good just to show we can hold on to a two-goal lead.
“We’ve got a great belief in what we do. There’s a great togetherness at the whole football club.”
The home side leapfrogged their neighbours up to 11th in the Championship with the win and now sit only six points from the play-off positions.
BLOND AMBITION: Sergi Canos, second left, gets a hug after scoring Brentford’s equaliser only eight minutes after Fulham had taken the lead