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Vibe strike gives Bees narrow victory

An in form Brentford side edged to a 1-0 win thanks to a second half finish from Lasse Vibe

20 January 2018

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Dean Smith's Brentford earned three points through one second half finish from Lasse Vibe in a close contest that saw both teams squander chances in front of goal

  • Mannone saves from Vibe and Watkins in an early chance for the Bees
  • Substitute Blackett clears a Jozefzoon strike off his goalline
  • Kelly strikes the woodwork with a sweetly struck second half set piece
  • Vibe breaks the deadlock after counter attack from a good Royals chance
  • Bentley saves brilliantly from Barrow before Barbet heads off his goalline

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was rewarded for a hat-trick in midweek with a start against Brentford, while Liam Moore returned from a knock to start at the back.

The visitors nearly scored with six minutes played when a cross from the right found its way to Lasse Vibe just outside the six yard box - he chested it down but a flailing arm from Mannone was enough to deny hima shot at goal from close range. The ball fell loose for Ollie Watkins whose shot was charged down by a combination of Mannone and Ilori at the near post.

With a quarter of an hour played, Barrow battled well to win the ball back and he fed a through ball into the feet of Bodvarsson. Taking it to the byline, the Icelander's low cut back had to be pushed to safety by Daniel Bentley.

Five minutes later, Gunter collected a ball wide on the right and crossed into the box where Liam Kelly arrived onto it, but - looking to take a controlling touch - the ball skipped under his feet and the chance went.

Yann Barbet lined up a set piece in a dangerous position but Mannone was across well to help it over the crossbar. And Florian Jozefzoon took an age to line another free kick up after a foul from Joey van den Berg, only to direct it harmlessly wide of the left upright.

A nice exchange of passes down the left saw Aluko feed Kelly who flicked it into Barrow's path as he raced in on goal. But the offside flag was raised against Kelly in the build up as Barrow prepared to pull the trigger.

And the offside flag thwarted another promising Reading attack when Barrown and Aluko combined well in the middle of the pitch to set the latter away into the Brentford half - only for play to be pulled back for a free kick.

With five minutes of the first half remaining, Kelly found a yard to fire a cross into the Bees' box. It dropped behind Bodvarsson but he was able to control with his first touch and arrow a volley on the turn towards goal, which forced Bentley into a tidy save.

Moments later, Brentford came close to breaking the deadlock - Ollie Watkins worked an angle on the right side of the box and fizzed a low cross across the six yard box and just beyond the left upright. And it took a good piece of defending from Ilori to thwart a Brentford counter attack that saw Vibe cut back onto his right boot ready to shoot only to be muscled off the ball inside the Reading box.

Half time | Reading 0-0 Brentford

Reading started the second half well, but the first clear chance fell to the away side. And it was a glaring one. Neat work down the left saw Vibe cut a low cross into the box and it skipped past five or six onrushing bodies and to the feet of Jozefzoon. He sidefooted the ball the open net but Blackett got back well to somehow clear it off his line and around the right post for a corner.

Ten minutes into the second period and Sawyers arrowed a right-footed shot just wide of the bottom right corner. At the other end, Gunter bursts down the right and arrowed an early low cross into the box but Bentley was off his line to smother it before it could reach Liam Kelly in the middle.

And on the hour mark, the Royals nearly made it 1-0. Gunter did well to get to a ball down the right before it crossed the byline and he hooked it back to Bodvarsson who swept a first time effort at goal but inches wide of the left post.

And the woodwork came to Brentford's rescue next - Bodvarsson winning a free kick with a powerful run and Kelly arcing a superbly struck set piece over the wall, past the dive of Bentley and against the crossbar.

Vibe tried a couple of speculative efforts at the other end, dragging one wide of the goalmouth and hooking a first time strike harmlessly over from 25 yards out.

With 16 minutes of the match remaining, the game turned on a chance missed and a chance scored. Reading were given the ball back and Kelly fed Bodvarsson who in turn gave the ball to Barrow - who delayed too long to shoot and saw his effort blocked. 

And a moment later, Brentford broke at pace, Mokotjo initially denied by Moore and Mannone but Vibe lashing into the back of the Reading net with Mannone stranded.

Yann Kermorgant was thrown on in place of Van den Berg, but Mokotjo dinked a cross into the middle for Canos to half-volley high over the bar.

It was so nearly 1-1 soon after though - Beerens pulled the ball to the edge of the box for Kermorgant, whose deflected shot skidded towards the left side of the Brentford goal and Barrow connected on the slide but was denied by a good save from Bentley.

The resulting corner had to be headed over the crossbar by Barbet on the goalline as the Royals pressed for a leveller.

In injury time, a deep Blackett free kick was won by the head of Kermorgant but his knock down was gobbled up by Bentley before Bodvarsson or Moore get a toe to it.

And it Mannone had to pull of saves from Vibe and Mokotjo moments later to keep fading hopes of a point alive. And despite appeals for a handball inside the six yard box in the dying embers of the match, referee Darren Bond pointed for a goal kick after a scramble in front of the Bees six yard box.

Mannone came up for a corner at the very end but a bundle of bodies contested for the aerial ball and it sailed over the bar.

Full time | Reading 0-1 Brentford

Reading: Mannone, Gunter (c), Richards (Blackett HT), Ilori, Moore, Van den Berg (Kermorgant 77), Kelly, Evans, Aluko (Beerens 60), Barrow, Bodvarsson.
Subs: Jaakkola, Edwards, Clement, McCleary.
Yellow: Van den Berg, Gunter

Brentford: Bentley, Bjelland, Jozefzoon (McLeod 87), Yennaris (c), Watkins (Canos 65), Mokotjo, Sawyers, Vibe, Woods, Barbet, Mepham.
Subs: Daniels, Maupay, McEachran, Marcondes, Clarke.
Goals: Vibe 75
Yellow: Watkins, Woods, Bjelland, Canos.

Referee: Mr D Bond
Att: 17,893 (2,866 away)


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