Promotion chasers condemn Crawley to narrow defeat
Reds suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of promotion chasing Brentford at Griffin Park.
Jonathan Douglas’s 56th minute header proved to the difference between the two sides, in a game that Brentford controlled for long spells.
Reds defended admirably throughout the match but will no doubt be disappointed in the manner of which they conceded the winning goal as Paul Jones allowed Douglas’s effort to squirm through his grasp.
Manager John Gregory made three changes from the side that suffered a 2-1 defeat against Crewe on Saturday.
Matt Tubbs shook off a hamstring injury to return for the first time in three matches and replace Rory Fallon, Dannie Bulman returned from suspension to start in midfield ahead of Sergio Torres whilst Paul Connolly replaced Mark Connolly at right-back.
Brentford started the brighter of the two sides and top scorer Clayton Donaldson nearly found himself on the scoresheet just three minutes in.
The striker ran onto Alan McCormack’s thrown-in to fire just wide of the back post on the half-volley.
It was Donaldson who provided another threat just five minutes later but the striker was unable to get any power behind his header from 12 yards out.
Reds settled and created a half-chance for themselves in the 12th minute, good play by Josh Simpson set up Tubbs on the left but his curling shot was wide of the mark.
Donaldson often found himself with space behind the Crawley defence and should have done better with an attempted lob over Jones after 15 minutes.
Alan Judge, who netted twice for the Bees on Saturday, then came close with a 20-yard effort after cutting in from the right.
Reds soaked up the pressure well in the first half and were restricted to counter attacks as they looked to breach the Brentford defence, Simpson once again running beyond Billy Clarke but his effort was straight at David Button.
Into the second half and it was the home side who were inches away from opening the scoring, Judge’s cross to the back post narrowly missed both post and the onrushing Stuart Dallas.
Once again it was Brentford who were controling possession and they got the breakthrough in the 56th minute through Douglas, just when it looked as if Reds' dogged defensive display was frustrating the hosts.
DOUGLAS met Dallas’s cross from the right hand side with a firm header that Jones looked to have under control only for it squirm away from the keeper and into the net.
It was perhaps no more than the home side deserved but the way in which the goal was scored would have frustrated Jones and his team-mates.
The Bees pushed for a second as Dallas cut inside on his right foot to fire a 25-yard shot just over the bar.
Substitute Jake Reeves had the chance to wrap the game up for the home side five minutes from time but Mat Sadler denied him with a fantastic block at the back post.
The Reds were unable to conjure a chance of their own in the second period and it is now a worrying six straight defeats.