Saunders brace keeps Brentford in hunt for play-offs
16:58 07 April 2012
PA Archive/Press Association Images
Brentford 3 Bury 0
Sam Saunders’ double kept Brentford’s League One play-off hopes alive as they saw off struggling Bury to secure their fifth win on the bounce.
Saunders whipped in a free-kick to put the Bees in front on the stroke of half-time and added a second on 63 minutes before right-back Shaleum Logan wrapped up victory for Uwe Rosler’s side.
The result leaves buoyant Brentford just three points behind sixth-placed Carlisle, although they have five games still remaining to the Cumbrians’ six.
Brentford made all the early running without creating any clear chances, although Clinton Morrison might have done better when he swung his right boot at Logan’s cross but failed to connect cleanly.
The visitors were no sharper in front of goal – Lenell John-Lewis’ tame punt and an angled effort from David Worrall were little more than catching practice for Richard Lee.
But, in a game punctuated by free-kicks, Bury’s back line closed the Bees down to good effect and a lack of natural width left the home side with limited options.
Brentford did almost gain a fortuitous advantage in the 25th minute when Clayton Donaldson’s cross-cum-shot slammed into his onrushing team-mate Toumani Diagouraga and ruffled the side netting.
With passes beginning to go astray and Harlee Dean scooping the Bees’ best chance over from close range, a set-piece looked the most likely avenue for them to break the deadlock.
That came just a minute before half-time as Donaldson was brought down by Steven Schumacher on the edge of the box and Saunders whipped the free-kick around the wall into the corner of the net.
After a niggly start to the start of the second half, Saunders earned the Bees some breathing space as he collected Marcus Bean’s pass and unleashed a low 25-yard drive that crept inside the near post.
And the contest was all but ended four minutes later when a deft pass from Donaldson released the overlapping Logan, who held off Joe Skarz and fired past Bury goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
Saunders might have completed a hat-trick when he gave Efe Sodje the slip and raced towards goal, but the Bury defender got back in time to foil him.
Substitute Leon Legge powered a header wide from Saunders’ corner late on, while Shaun Harrad should have netted a consolation for the visitors in injury-time, stabbing wide with only Lee to beat.
Brentford: Lee; Logan, Osborne (Legge 81), Dean, Bidwell; Bean, Douglas (Thompson 64), Diagouraga; Saunders; Morrison (McGinn 72), Donaldson.