A Neal Maupay penalty decided a closely contested FA Cup tie at Griffin Park this afternoon. Sub Maupay's spot kick was enough to send the Bees through despite a gallant effort from the U's who will count the cost not just of their exit but also perhaps of midfielder Shandon Baptiste being stretchered off ten minutes in to his return.
Cameron Brannagan’s second yellow in the FA Cup at Plymouth in the previous round meant a deeper role for Marcus Browne and that allowed Jordan Graham to make his second debut as the left sided attacker in a front three. Graham looked neat and tidy on his return and played with discipline until replaced late on after running himself in to the ground.
With so many attacking players it meant an open game and with the home side extremeley comfortable on the ball, as you would expect a Championship side to be, there was plenty of neat passing and clever interplay.
Again, against a team from a higher division you would expect your keeper to be busy and Simon Eastwood was always going to have to play well. He distinguished himself with three very good saves in the first half alone. First he needed to tip a Josh Dasilva drive round the post after 17 minutes and then made a good save from Moses Odubajo a few minutes later as Brentford found gaps inside the area. Some clever footwork from centre-half Yoann Barbet drew the best save from the keeper though, showing great reactions to kick his shot away after 25 minutes.
They may have hung on a little but a James Henry drive tested home keeper Luke Daniels and a wicked Graham free kick was only just cleared as Josh Ruffels prepared to head home at the back post so the Yellows were certainly still in the game at the break despite Brentford causing them problems.
They continued to defend well and limit the space for the Bees; the home side noticeably less threatening down the fanks after the break as United tightened up and with the pace of Whyte there was always the chance of a break for the U's.
There was terrible luck for Baptiste who made his return and was then stretchered off less than ten minutes later after landing awkwardly. If there is a silver lining it is perhaps that the injury was not the same shoulder problem that he had been recovering from, but still wretched luck for a likeable and very talented young man.
The lengthy delay for that injury just drew the heatt of the game but with ten minutes to go there was one final sting from the Bees. Sub Maupay drifted inside from the left and was felled by Mousinho inside the box. Eastwood went the wrong way from the spot and Brentford were through despite United throwing everything at them for ten minutes.
Henry almost clipped an effort over the keeper, Browne's spectacular bicycle kick went over, a free kick was stopped by the wall, but there was to be no famous cup comeback and it was the Bees who went through to the fourth round.
Report by Chris Williams, pictures Steve Daniels and Darrell Fisher, stats by OPTA
See it all in iFollow