Saunders on target as Brentford send Crawley packing
21:42 09 October 2012
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy: Brentford 1 Crawley 0
Sam Saunders, on as a half-time substitute for Harry Forrester, opened the scoring midway through the second half when he fired home from eight yards after a delicious pass from Scott Barron.
The Bees, by and large, dominated proceedings and if it wasn’t for Crawley goalkeeper Paul Jones the gap could have been greater.
Brentford went straight through the gears from the off and caused the Crawley defence problems that they had to foul to escape from.
Red Devils goalkeeper Paul Jones was called into action in the second minute to palm away Harlee Dean’s header.
Just two minutes later Harry Forrester fired a free-kick over the bar and Paul Hayes stung the hands of Jones again.
Clayton Donaldson beat the offside trap from a pass by Hayes and was one on one with the Red Devils stopper but his shot was tipped around the post.
The Bees kept pushing forward and Jones was forced into another save from Hayes after a pin-point first-time cross from Barron.
Had Brentford taken their chances they would have been out of sight inside the first 15 minutes.
Crawley had their first chance of the game when Kevin O’Connor was dispossessed by Jonathan Forte but his shot went harmlessly wide.
Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee, in his first start of the season, made a good save from Mike Jones as the tricky winger evaded Dean and Tony Craig.
The visitors thought they had a penalty when Forte went down under pressure from Leon Legge but the referee pointed for a goal kick.
The Bees went down the other end and Hayes burst through after a header from Tom Adeyemi but the striker fired his shot over the bar.
Barron looked dangerous down the left flank and produced another pin-point cross but Donaldson’s header was straight at the keeper.
Norwich loanee Tom Adeyemi want close straight after half-time and Jones dived to his right and tipped it wide with his fingertips.
Crawley woke up and Mark Connolly fired a shot that flashed across Lee’s goal and wide.
Donaldson dispossessed Kyle McFadzean by the byline and his cross was turned onto the post by Barron as the Bees continued to press.
That proved to be the striker’s last major contribution as he was withdrawn on 58 minutes for Antonio German.
The Red Devils pressed forward and Jones had another effort that flew wide of Lee’s goal and they went close after 68 minutes when Forte’s shot from a narrow angle clattered into the post.
But Brentford had the lead five minutes later and it came when Barron fizzed a low cross into the far post and Saunders fired home from close range to give the Bees the lead.
Crawley should have levelled minutes when Joe Walsh deflected the ball over from less than six yards away.
The Bees had a chance to seal the win when German was put through on goal but he fired wide when well placed.
A David Hunt long throw found its way to Walsh but his header landed in the grateful hands of Lee.
The Brentford stopper had his heart in his mouth where his attempted clearance landed in the scrum and Legge was on hand to clear it off the line.
Brentford: Lee, O’Connor, Barron (Dallas 74), Craig, Dean, Donaldson (German 58), Adeyemi, Forrester (Saunders ht), Diagouraga, Hayes, Legge.
Substitutes: Fredericks, Reeves.
Crawley Town: Jones, Connolly, McFadzean, Clarke, Torres, Forte (Alexander 74), Walsh, Hunt, Bulman (Ajose 77), Byrne, Jones (Akpan 77).
Substitutes: Kuipers, Sadler.
Referee: Iain Williamson.
Follow me on Twitter @TomMoore_Lon24.