Bees Stung By Evans
Saturday 10th March
The Blades returned to winning ways at Griffin Park with Ched Evans scoring both goals to take his tally to 25 for the season.
Lowton and Maguire returned to the back four with Williams replacing Taylor at full back. Hoskins started his first game wide on the right and Porter replaced Cresswell up front partnering Ched Evans.
With the sell out 1800 away Blades in good voice, it was the home side that started well, forcing a corner in the first minute. The young Bees team began playing some neat football and moving the ball wide at every opportunity. United had their hands full with the lively home side for the first seven minutes, then with their first attack, United took the lead.
Simonsen`s kick found Chris Porter who flicked a header inside to Evans who flipped the ball over the defender on the edge of the area, shifted the ball to his right foot, looked up to see where the keeper was then blasted it to his right into the net.
The home side maintained their tempo and pushed forward with enthusiasm. United were coping well at the back where Maguire`s presence was reassuringly solid.
United were guilty of giving too much ball away, set pieces were poor and the home side were winning too many second balls as midfield often sat back too deep.
On 40 minutes Evans missed a great chance to extend the lead. Home keeper Moore came to meet a long ball, tried to head it away at the edge of his area, the ball dropping behind him leaving Evans the simple task of slotting it in, but inexplicably he put it wide. Then a minute later a Hoskins cross was met by Porter in the 6 yard box who headed powerfully back across goal where Moore pulled off a spectacular save to push the ball over the bar.
During the half time break, Bees and Blades legend Bob Booker was introduced to the crowd, the away fans rolling back the years with the "oooh ahhh Bob Booka" chant which clearly delighted him as he came across to applaud the Blades fans.
The second half began much the same as the first, Brentford started at high tempo, United`s midfield sitting deep, but despite some neat approach play, Simonsen`s involvement was mainly to catch crosses and tidy up.
Five minutes into the half, Evans blasted a shot from a tight angle into the upper tier before home keeper Moore scuffed a goal kick, the ball falling to EVANS 30 yards out whose first touch brought the ball under control, outpacing the defender he took it around the keeper on his left side of the 6 yard box and slotted the ball into an empty net in front of the travelling Blades fans.
Steven Quinn was having his best game for some time and was on the receiving end of some rough treatment from the home defenders as his movement continued to give his full back all kinds of problems.
A Williams through ball to Porter then gave United a chance to put the game to bed but Moore was swiftly out at Porters feet to block the shot.
Fussy referee Sarginson then booked Maguire for dangerous play as the defender challenged for a ball 2 feet off the floor as the home player went down to head the ball!
Monty replaced Hoskins on 65 minutes as Brentford tried to up the pace. Simonsen made his first serious save on 70 minutes then Cresswell replaced Porter with 12 to go.
Matt Lowton`s first forage over the half way line in the final minute provided Evans with his hat trick chance but his shot from 12 yards bounced off the keeper`s legs to safety.
Brentford are one of the better sides in this division. Uwe Rosler has a young squad who play pass and move, look to use width and pace, are full of enthusiasm and play at a high tempo. Despite having their fair share of possession and creating openings they lacked any real penetration up front, Simonsen only having to make one real save.
United looked much more assured at the back after the shaky, injury and suspension hit effort at Walsall last Tuesday. Williams took time to get up to pace at full back but Hill looked more settled with Maguire alongside him. Lowton seldom got forward but was solid in defense.
Kevin McDonald`s creativity in midfield is still sorely missed. With another five games still to be played in March, lets hope we see him back sooner than later. Up front Evans stunning form continues. His confidence is sky high and he clearly fancies himself to score from every chance he gets. Hoskins playing wide right didn`t really work, I would like to see him start alongside Evans.
On to the game in hand at Colchester on Tuesday, will we see Collins return?