CLAYTON Donaldson's first goal of the season saw Brentford beat Walsall - but the victory was marred by a nasty injury to Conor McAleny.
The on-loan Everton youngster was carried off on a stretcher with the game less than 10 minutes old before Donaldson headed home what proved to be the winner on the stroke of half-time.
There was no place for Will Grigg in the squad of 18 against his old club as Martin Fillo came into the Brentford attack in his place.
Scott Barron replaced the injured Jake Bidwell at full-back and McAleny was preferred to Toumani Diagouraga in midfield.
McAleny's involvement lasted less than 10 minutes though as he was stretchered off after a full-blooded challenge with Adam Chambers.
Farid El Alagui was given the nod to get warmed up and the Bees striker was brought on in place of the stricken starlet, with an ambulance called to the scene.
George Saville excelled in the Bees midfield in the early stages and sprayed some lovely passes across the pitch before trying his luck from distance and missing the target.
A flowing Walsall counter-attack then saw Craig Westcarr almost open the scoring at the other end after Alan McCormack's hurried clearance fell straight at the feet of the big number 10.
Adam Forshaw went even closer with a spectacular 25-yard piledriver that crashed against the crossbar and the deadlock remained unbroken.
But Donaldson ensured that changed before half-time as the Brentford forward rose like a salmon and found the far corner with a terrific header from Shaleum Logan's pinpoint cross.
The Saddlers came out with renewed purpose after the restart and Westcarr forced a fine save from David Button in the torrential rain at Griffin Park.
Brentford nearly extended their lead when substitute El Alagui rounded Walsall goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell, however the forward failed to apply the finish.
Sensing his side were starting to lose their focus and grip on the match, Bees manager Uwe Rosler brought on Sam Saunders and Jake Reeves to bolster the midfield battle ground.
And the plan worked perfectly as Donaldson was unfortunate not to claim a second and Brentford held out for the three points to maintain their unbeaten start to the new League One campaign.
BEES: Button, Barron, Forshaw, Craig, Dean, Donaldson, McCormack, Logan, Saville, Fillo (Reeves, 74), McAleny (El Alagui, 9) (Saunders, 69).
Subs (not used): Bonham, O'Connor, Venta, Diagouraga.
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