Brentford 2-0 Port Vale


Marcello Trotta's eighth goal of the season and a late strike from Will Grigg kept the Bees at the summit in League One.

It took a while for Vale to finally be put to bed, as Brentford failed to build on the 30 minute opener from their Italian striker.

But with three minutes remaining, Grigg buried a low cross from Jake Bidwell, with the away defence stretched in pursuit of a late equaliser.

It was hardly their most distinguished performance of this astonishing run, but no-one was quibbling at the end after an eighth straight win in the league. The unbeaten run now stands at 14.

The Bees had to absorb the pre-match disappointment of new Arsenal loanee Chuba Akpom crying off through illness and injury ruling out Jonathan Douglas, Harlee Dean and Adam Forshaw.

But Alan Judge made a lively debut and Mark Warburton's side always carried the greater threat, even if a game Vale never threw in the towel.

The Bees were given a couple of scares early on with a careless backpass almost offering an opening and Gavin Tomlin toe-poking just wide after a counter-attack, while Tom Pope's stooping header flashed narrowly past David Button's right hand post.

But soon the action was at the other end.

Clayton Donaldson headed a Bidwell cross onto the roof of the net and a powerful run through the centre from Judge against a retreating defence ended with a rasping low drive that tested keeper Chris Neal from outside the box.

Sam Saunders and Judge then combined to create panic in the Vale defence and Trotta was only denied by the onrushing Neal.

The tide was clearly turning and after Donaldson and Alan McCormack had exchanged passes down the right, Trotta let fly from 25 yards with a dipping shot that deceived Neal to find the bottom corner. It was the Italian's eighth goal of the season.

Judge almost made it two before the break with a swerving shot from outside the area that had Neal in some discomfort and Shaleum Logan's cut in from the right was met by the parting of the Red Sea. He might have done better with a low shot straight at the overworked Vale keeper.

Donaldson had the ball in the net early in the second half with a far post header which ref Phillip Gibbs decided required a bit too much leverage on Neal.

But a second goal looked just a matter of time.

Trotta from just outside the area had a shot turned aside, but Neal had to make an even better stop to deny Donaldson five minutes from time, his finger tips touching a left footer onto the crossbar.

Just as it looked as if one goal would have to do,  Grigg, on for Saunders, gave the scoreline a more appropriate sheen.


Line-up: Button; Logan, O'Connor, Craig, Bidwell; McCormack, Saunders (Grigg72), Saville; Judge (Reeves 67), Donaldson, Trotta. Subs not used: Lee, Barron, Dallas, Fillo, Diagouraga.

Attendance: 8,237