Brentford 3-1 MK Dons: Winning run comes to an end

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Dons’ four match winning streak came to an end at Griffin Park on Sunday losing 3-1 to Brentford.

An unusually nervy looking defence allowed Clayton Donaldson to fire the Bees ahead after just two minutes, before gifting the home side a host of first half chances. Marcello Trotta doubled Brentford’s lead six minutes into the second half, before Sam Saunders’ strike six minutes later put the game to rest.

Lee Hodson scored his first goal for Dons to pull one back with 18 minutes to go, but it was too little too late as Dons slipped back to 11th in the table, while Brentford took over top spot.

Karl Robinson was forced to make one change from the side which won three in a row against Wolves, Port Vale, and Crawley - suspended Stephen Gleeson replaced by Alan Smith, making his first league start since the opening day of the season.

The attempt to make it four League 1 wins in a row was made even more difficult after just two minutes when a long ball over the top was misjudged by Shaun Williams, but Dean Lewington simply let Clayton Donaldson brush past him before rifling the ball into the bottom corner.

Conceding their first goal in five matching seemed to rattle Dons immediately afterwards - Alan McCormack stung the palms of David Martin before a comedy of errors nearly gifted Brentford their second. Martin rolled the ball out to Jordan Spence, but he slipped under pressure from Marcello Trotta. The Bees striker picked up the loose ball and was through on goal. Martin closed the angle but he too slipped over, allowing Trotta to stare down the open goal. Incredibly though, he too fell to the ground, allowing Lewington to scoop clear and avert danger.

Just as it was looking all one-way traffic, Patrick Bamford beat the Brentford offside trap down the left flank and spotting David Button off his line, lobbed the keeper and had the beating of him, but not the crossbar as it bounced off the woodwork.

From cursing the crossbar, Dons were thankful for it when, with Lewington caught upfield, Donaldson was given the freedom to attack down the flank, and his ball into the middle was perfect for Trotta to toe goalwards. Thankfully for the visitors though, his rising effort clipped the bar and went over the top.

For a side coming in to the game with four clean sheets in a row, Dons’ defence looked shaky and nervous under pressure from Brentford’s two big frontmen. But equally, they themselves looked capable of scoring an equaliser, with plenty of possession in midfield, out-passing and muscling the home side.

But their task was made even harder six minutes into the second half when Brentford doubled their advantage. After missing a host of first half chances, Trotta made amends by ghosting in over Lee Hodson’s shoulder, reaching Sam Saunders’ deep pass and poking the ball into the bottom corner past Martin.

It was curtains for the home side six minutes later when Saunders got himself on the scoresheet, bending a beauty into the opposite corner to make it 3-0.

The killer double didn’t seem to alter the way the visitors played though. Dons continued to play on the front foot but couldn’t make keeper David Button work.

But there was nothing he could’ve done to keep out Hodson’s fierce right-footed strike with 18 minutes to go. Substitute George Baldock did well to hold the ball up in the middle of the area as they pushed forwards, allowing the full-back to over lap and once slid in, he made no mistakes.

The arrears should have been reduced to one a minute later when Bamford was put through on goal, but incredibly shot wide of the mark.

The game then hit a flashpoint. Bamford was put through again, but the striker was caught by the challenge of Harlee Dean, getting nowhere near the ball. Referee Andy D’Urso waved play on though, prompting incensed Dons players to surround him in protest. Seconds later, a foul by Baldock saw the referee dish out a yellow card to Darren Potter for his part in the appeal, and to Baldock for the offence.

Dons continued to look dangerous going forward, but they weren’t able to get shots in on goal as Brentford defended stoutly in the closing stages.

Referee: Andy D’Urso

Attendance: 8,010 (498)

Brentford: Button, Forshaw (Dallas 60), Craig, Dean, Saunders, Douglas, Donaldson, McCormack (Logan 67), Saville, Bidwell, Trotta (El Alagui 81)

Subs not used: Lee, O’Connor, El Agagui, Fillo, Diagouraga

MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Hodson, Williams, Spence, Potter, Smith (Alli 55), Reeves, Carruthers, Jennings (Baldock 61), Bamford

Subs not used: McLoughlin, Flanagan, Galloway, Banton, Kay

Booked: Smith, Carruthers, Saville, Donaldson, Potter, Baldock