Young Brentford side fall short as former Man City and Norwich striker stars
16:58 10 March 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
League One: Brentford 0 Sheffield United 2
A young Brentford side, whose average age was 23 years and 300 days old, were masters of their own downfall as two defensive lapses allowed Sheffield United to take the victory.
Blades striker Ched Evans, who was on the books of Manchester City and on loan at Norwich in his early career, scored a fantastic opener inside the first six minutes, making Southampton loanee Harlee Dean look foolish
Evans got his second with just five minutes of the second half gone capitalising on a horrendous goal kick from Bees goalkeeper Simon Moore to seal the victory for the Yorkshire club.
The result,which was the west Londoner’s first home league defeat since November, leaves them nine points behind sixth placed Notts County, albeit with two games in hand over the Magpies.
Brentford were immediately on the front foot and won a corner inside the first 45 seconds after Sam Saunders and Jake Bidwell combined well.
Despite this promising start it was the visitors that went in front against a young Brentford side inside the first six minutes.
Chris Porter was the architect as he played a high ball for talisman Evans to latch onto.
The 23-year-old, who has scored 23 goals before today this season, controlled the ball superbly and lobbed it over Dean, in a similar way to what Paul Gascoigne did against Scotland in Euro 96 and fired the ball past Moore.
However, the Bees were not to be perturbed and could have equalised when Saunders’ free kick found Leon Legge inside the six yard box but his touch allowed goalkeeper Steve Simonsen to get a block in.
The west Londoners felt they had a penalty after 14 minutes when Clayton Donaldson’s shot appeared to be blocked by Harry Maguire’s hand, however the referee Christopher Sarginson thought otherwise.
Brentford continued to look the more likely as the half progressed but the final ball betrayed them and Simonsen was not tested.
The Bees made a substitution with 10 minutes before half time, with Saunders being replaced by Celtic loanee Niall McGinn.
However, Brentford could have fallen further behind moments later when Moore, Legge and Dean all went for the same ball, leaving Evans unmarked with the goalkeeper behind him.
However, with only Legge to beat, he inexplicably fired wide.
A couple of minutes later, the Bees goalkeeper redeemed himself with a stunning save after Will Hoskins’ cross found Porter.
The former Oldham striker’s header seemed destined for the net but Moore stuck his left hand up and tipped the ball over the bar but there were to be no further goals before half time.
The Blades doubled their lead after 50 minutes and goalkeeper Moore will not be happy with how it transpired.
His goal kick, after Evans fired high and wide, went straight to the Sheffield United front-man and he ran through and rounded the goalkeeper to make it four goals in three games.
Moore did redeem himself, slightly, when he was out quickly to deflect Porter’s shot wide, diving low to his left.
Jonathan Douglas came close on the hour mark when his free kick, from 35 yards after Maguire fouled Donaldson, went just over the bar.
Saido Berahino then had a good shot 10 minutes later from the edge of the penalty area, with Simonson diving well to his left to gather the ball
As the match reached its conclusion Brentford pressed forward looking for a way back into the game and Donaldson had an extra motive to find the net, having gone nine hours without scoring.
However, the Sheffield United defence held firm and Evans even had a chance to grab his hat trick but Moore saved with his foot, but it did not matter as the Blades took all three points from Griffin Park.
Brentford: Moore, Logan, Dean (Osborne 76), Legge, Bidwell, Diagouraga, Saunders (McGinn 35), Forshaw (Weston 54), Douglas, Berahino, Donaldson.
Substitutes Not Used: Lee, Thompson.
Sheffield Utd: Simonsen, Lowton, Maguire, Hill, Williams, Hoskins (Montgomery 66), Doyle, Williamson, Quinn, Evans, Porter (Cresswell 77).
Substitutes Not Used: Aksalu, Beattie, Egan.
Referee: Christopher Sarginson