Brentford 2 Charlton 1 – Late Bees goals are a sickener for Bowyer’s boys

Charlton Athletic put in a spirited shift at Griffin Park but goals in the final 15 minutes by Said Benrahma and former Dulwich Hamlet defender Ethan Pinnock ensured Brentford marched on in the Championship.

Macauley Bonne had given the Addicks an early lead in west London but the pressure was ramped up to uncomfortable levels by the hosts after the restart.

It still took Benrahma until the 75th minute to bring Brentford level from the penalty spot.

And Pinnock glanced home 10 minutes later to make it six straight victories for Thomas Frank’s side.

Lee Bowyer made five changes to his side for the trip to Griffin Park and it saw a formation switch to a 5-2-2-1 formation.

And it was Bonne – the striker chosen to spearhead the visitors’ attack – who put them ahead on eight minutes.

The pace of Jonny Williams and Alfie Doughty combined down the left and the latter’s cross was headed goalwards by Jake Forster-Caskey, Bonne got a vital touch to divert it past David Raya for his 10th goal of the campaign and first since Boxing Day.

Brentford had kept five clean sheets going into the derby but could have been further behind when Jason Pearce struck the crossbar.

Dillon Phillips’ excellent pass from the back sparked Doughty into another foray forward and he won a corner. Josh Cullen’s inswinging delivery came off the bar and the Charlton’s skipper’s full-blooded shot clipped off the woodwork for the second time in a matter of seconds.

Brentford’s best opportunities during that first period came through Benrahma. Twice he tried his luck with his right foot but neither tested Phillips, who had tipped over Mathias Jensen’s header.

In truth, Charlton would have preferred to just carry straight on rather than the chance of a half-time reset by Bees head coach Thomas Frank.

It’s rare for Championship games to play out the same way in each period. And Brentford turned up the heat.

Josh Dasilva was just over the bar with a curling left-footed attempt.

Referee John Brooks ruled that Cullen had brought down Benrahma inside the penalty area and the Algerian stepped up to send Phillips the wrong way.

Charlton were running on fumes and another Benrahma strike from distance was pushed away by Phillips with Dasilva pinging a perfectly-weighted effort against the left upright.

Just as the finish line came into sight, Pinnock appeared to get the final contact on a Dasilva cross to make it a cruel finale.


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