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By Nick Wright at Griffin Park
Saturday, September 8, 2012
League One: Brentford 1-0 Colchester United
Farid El Alagui scored an 88th-minute header to hand Brentford a deserved victory over Colchester United in the glorious sunshine at Griffin Park.
It was the Moroccan striker’s third goal of the season following a summer switch from Scottish side Falkirk and arrived just in time, when the hosts looked set to be punished for missing a host of earlier chances.
The 27-year-old’s header came from a superb cross from substitute Harry Forrester on the right and gave Uwe Rosler’s side only their second victory of the season over winless Colchester.
The hosts should have had the lead inside ten minutes but Touami Diagouraga wasted their first clear chance.
Top scorer Clayton Donaldson charged clear down the right and sent a perfectly weighted pass across the edge of the box to the unmarked Diagouraga, who could only fire past Mark Cousins’ near post after a poor first touch forced him wide.
Donaldson was equally wasteful on 11 minutes, when he blasted wildly over from close range when given a clear sight of goal.
Brentford continued to dominate, with the visitors happy to sit back and wait for the opportunity to counter-attack.
After 24 minutes the Bees again came close to scoring, when a rasping cross-shot from 20-year-old Adam Fordshaw – a summer signing from Everton - whistled just wide of the far post.
Left back Jake Bidwell - on loan at Griffin Park, also from Everton - sent over a deep, teasing cross minutes later but Farid El Alagui headed over when he might have done better.
Colchester hit back with their best chance of the half on 31 minutes, striker Ian Henderson firing straight at Simon Moore when through on goal.
A deflected effort by Bees left back Shaleum Logan kept the visitors under pressure but the hosts had a lucky escape just before the break when United centre-back Tom Eastman headed inches wide after a whipped free kick from Colchester’s right.
The second half began at a frantic pace as Brentford midfielder Jonathan Douglas had a penalty appeal turned down before Colchester launched a rapid counter attack, culminating in another good save from Moore from ex-West Ham man Freddie Sears.
Donaldson, who had four goals in four games prior to the match, was not enjoying his best afternoon and he spurned another chance after 56 minutes, taking too many touches when through on goal and allowing Cousins to charge out and smother the ball at his feet.
Two minutes later a dangerous cross from Brentford’s Logan caused mayhem in the Colchester box, with Cousins pulling off an outstanding save from Douglas, who came charging in form nowhere at the far post. The Bees had another penalty appeal ignored in the ensuing melee.
The misfiring Donaldson and industrious Forshaw were replaced by Paul Hayes and Norwich loanee Tom Adeyami as Uwe Rosler went for the win in the last 20 minutes.
Rosler’s changes paid off when Forrester, another substitute, whipped over his cross in the closing stages for El Alagui to net the winner.
Brentford: Moore, Bidwell, Logan, Craig, Dean, Forshaw (Adeyemi, 69), Saunders (Forrester, 51), Douglas, Diagouraga, Donaldson (Hayes, 63), El Alagui. Subs not used: Lee, O’Connor, Barron, Legge
Referee Stuart Atwell