Brentford 1 vs Middlesbrough 2 Match Report
In the first game since the tragic death of Robert Rowan, Middlesbrough claimed a win over Brentford which moved them into second place.
Jordan Hugill scored the opener as he collected a pass from Jonny Howson, in the six-yard box and slotted the ball into the empty net.
They then doubled their lead in six minutes later as Marcus Tavrernier rose highest in the box and sent a looping header over Daniel Bentley.
Brentford though did breach the Middlesbrough defence with 15 minutes to go. Brentford played a short corner and Alan Judge lashed a shot from the corner of the box through a number of bodies and it nestled in the bottom corner.
The leagues tightest defence who had only conceded eight all season until Judge’s goal held on despite pressure from Brentford.
Before the game kicked off Griffin Park paid tribute to the late Robert Rowan with a minute’s applause celebrating his life. The former Technical Director who sadly passed away last week at the age of 28.
The opener for Boro came on the hour mark as Mo Besic drifted a long ball into the box which found Jonny Howson, he took a couple of touches before squaring to Hugill who couldn’t miss from four yards out.
Their advantage was soon doubled as Dael Fry from the right swung a sublime cross into the box and Tavernier got up above his man and headed into the far corner, beyond Daniel Bentley
Alan Judge though pulled one back for Brentford as he collected the ball from a short corner and lashed a shot past Randolph to give the Bees hope.
Brentford had made two changes from the defeat to QPR with Judge and Macleod replacing Sawyers and Benrahama.
Middlesbrough made one change from their last game vs Wigan with Tavernier replacing Braithwaite.
The first half had ended goalless with Middlesbrough edging the game.
They started the brighter and in the third minute had a chance to take the lead, as David Bentley flapped at a corner and Aden Flint at the back post put the ball over the bar from six yards
Brentford finally came to life two minutes later as Chris Mepham skipped past a few men on the left before back heeling the ball to Judge but his cross was headed away by the giant that is Flint.
Jordan Hugill though really should have opened the scoring for Boro as he was played in by Adam Clayton and with only the keeper to beat hit a tame effort straight at Bentley.
Neal Maupay thought he had given Brentford the lead moments later as his rasping strike from 25 yards was destined for the top corner but Darren Randolph turned the ball over the bar.
The second half started the same as the first with Flint missing another chance this time heading over a Downing free kick.
Flint was then lucky to stay on the field as he elbowed Maupay, when they were both competing for a ball in the air, but the ref decided it was only worthy of a booking.
Middlesbrough then scored their quickfire goals, but Sergi Canos who had a quiet evening up till that point forced Randolph into a save at his near post.
Thomas Frank responded by bringing Emiliano Marcondes for Josh McEachran and he brought some much-needed energy into the Bee’s side and he forced Randolph into action, before Flint headed away a Nico Yennaris drive as Brentford pressed for a way back into the game.
Judge then scored his goal and Canos should have equalised for Brentford as he was played through on goal by Maupay ,after a slip by Adam Clayton but with only Randolph to beat he hit a weak effort straight at the keeper.
Joshua Dasilva forced a fine save from Randolph as he drove through the Boro midfield and smashed a shot towards goal, but Randolph got down to his left and turned it behind for a corner.
Boro thought they had sealed the win with two minutes to go as George Saville out-muscled Judge on the right and laid the ball off to Lewis Wing but from just inside the box he fired his shot narrowly wide of the top corner.
Brentford applied some late pressure but Boro held on and move into the automatic promotion places whilst Brentford stay stuck in mid-table.
Brentford Manager: Thomas Frank
“Middlesbrough were very good and happy to sit in which meant that we had to be sharp and move the ball quickly, we need to learn however to defend key moments of the game better as Middlesbrough did not have a lot of chances, but still scored two goals.”
“We created opportunities which on a good day would have got us an equaliser and complete a fantastic comeback.”
On the tribute to Rob Rowan, Frank said: “It was a very beautiful and emotional moment and i m so happy that he got that honour, he deserved that. The only thing i am really sorry about is that we could not deliver a top performance and a win.”
Middlesbrough Manager: Tony Pulis
“All credit to Brentford they got men forward and though they have nothing to lose they made it difficult for us, so i am really pleased for the group and the three points, we had some good performances today.
Daniel Bentley, Moses Odubajo, (Henry 85) Lewis Macleod, (Dasilva 74) Chris Mepham, Sergi Canos, Nico Yennaris, Neal Maupay Josh McEachran, (Marcondes 64) Alan Judge, Henrik Dalsgaard Ezri Konsa
Subs: Luke Daniels, Rico Henry, Josh Dasilva, Emiliano Marcondes, Josh Clarke, Yoann Barbet, Jaakko Oksanen
Darren Randolph, George Friend, Danny Batth, Aden Flint, Dael Fry, Adam Clayton, Jonny Howson, Mo Besic,(Saville 79) Marcus Tavernier, (Ayala 89) Stewart Downing, (Wing 85) Jordan Hugill
Subs: Dimi Konstantopoulos, Daniel Ayala, Britt Assombalonga, Paddy McNair, George Saville, Lewis Wing, Rudy Gestede