Beardsley strike stings Bees

Brentford 0-1 Stevenage

Brentford 0

Stevenage 1

npower League 1

IT WAS the perfect away performance. Frustrate the opponents for the 70-odd minutes before going up the other end and snatching a late winner.


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It really was that simple for Graham Westley’s team who defended resolutely against the Bees, who, as the second half minutes ticked away, slowly began to run out of ideas – with the frustrated Griffin Park faithful adding to their woes.

Chris Beardsley was the match winner 18 minutes from time with a superb finish, and thereafter the result never really looked in doubt.

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Westley spoke before the game about wanting his strikers to be more clinical in front of goal. And tonight, despite a lack of clear-cut chances, Beardsley made sure he made no mistake when the killer opportunity fell his way.

Boro had the first real chance to break the deadlock after 10 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick in the perfect position 20 yards from goal. However Joel Byrom’s effort from the edge of the D went high and wide when he should have produced better.

Brentford began taking control of the game as Boro seemed content to sit back and challenge the hosts to break them down. But they were nearly undone when Clayton Donaldson caught Boro on the counter-attack and his surging run into the area needed a superb last-ditch tackle from Ronnie Henry to prevent an almost certain goal for the former Crewe star.

Chances were few and far between for the defence-minded Boro, but it needed an equally impressive last-ditch tackle from defender Karleigh Osborne to prevent Craig Reid from scoring with the goal at his mercy 12 yards out after he had been played in by strike partner Chris Beardsley.

Brentford continued to look the more likely goalscorers with Donaldson, in particular, causing the back-line plenty to think about, but they never managed to overly exert Chris Day.

The Bees had strong appeals for a penalty turned down 10 minutes before the break when Donaldson appeared to be hauled down by Jon Ashton following Myles Weston’s cross. However, their protests to fell on deaf ears as the referee displayed his disinterest.

The second half began similarly to the first, with Boro making it hard for Brentford to get anywhere near the box. But Niall McGinn came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on 52 minutes when he cut in from the left and fired narrowly over the crossbar from 25 yards with Day beaten.

John Mousinho had Boro’s next chance just past the hour-mark when he fended off Marcel Eger’s before seeing his low shot from 25 yards saved at the second attempt by Richard Lee.

Boro went ahead on 72 minutes just after the introduction Byron Harrison. Stevenage were enjoying a decent spell of possession around the Bees’ penalty area and when they failed to clear Scott Laird’s ball into the box, the ball fell for Beardsley who shifted the ball out of his feet before firing a fierce reverse shot past Lee into the far corner from 15 yards.

Westley moved quick to in a bid to shore up their advantage by bringing on Phil Edwards in place of Byrom in the centre of midfield. And with the advantage they began to look more in control of the game and continued to limit Brentford to very few sights at goal. The Bees did have a number of set-pieces but were unable to make them count.

Brentford, in the end, simply ran out of ideas against a Stevenage side whose game-plan had worked to perfection. Once they went ahead they very rarely looked like relinquishing their advantage.

An excellent away win for Westley’s men who travel to Bury on Saturday.

Brentford (4-3-3): Lee, Logan, Llera, Osborne (Eger 27), Woodman (Adams 60), Douglas, Diagouraga, Bean, Weston (Grella 75), Donaldson, McGinn.

Subs not used: Moore, Eger, Saunders.

Stevenage (4-4-2): Day; Henry, Roberts (c), Ashton, Laird, Long (Wilson 45), Mousinho, Byrom (Edwards 77), Shroot, Beardsley, Reid (Harrison 70).

Subs not used: Julian, Madjo.

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