Brentford 2-0 Bolton: Bees cruise past Trotters
Last Updated: 13/01/18 7:14pm
Goals in either half from Florian Jozefzoon and substitute Neal Maupay maintained Brentford's impressive Sky Bet Championship home record against Bolton in an entertaining 2-0 win.
Jozefzoon gave the Bees the lead just before the break, smashing a rising drive just inside the angle of post and crossbar after Lasse Vibe's shot was blocked.
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Frenchman Maupay made it two with almost his first touch in added time, a clever backheeled finish from substitute Sergi Canos' low bobbling shot.
It was no more than the Bees deserved for a patient, probing approach which saw a physical Trotters happy to sit and soak up the pressure and hope to hit their hosts on the break.
But Bolton have never kept a clean sheet in 18 league clashes at Griffin Park and have yet to win there since 1989 - and those statistics did not look in danger.
Brentford started brightly and Ollie Watkins should have done much better early on after being set up by a neat Romaine Sawyers header - but he lashed his effort well wide.
He almost made amends midway through the half with a whipped free-kick which found Yoann Barbet at the near post - but the Frenchman got too good a contact on his header and it whistled wide.
Sawyers almost broke the deadlock on the half hour after patient build-up found him clear on the right of the box, although his first-time drive was always rising.
Bolton's Sammy Ameobi and Gary Madine posed a physical threat on the counter, but failed to seriously test Bees goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
The visitors picked up five yellow cards to Brentford's none in a game where tempers always threatened to boil over. However, the hosts should have wrapped up the points long before the end, Jozefzoon missing a golden opportunity to make it two just after half-time after a slick three-man move, only Ben Alnwick denying him with a point-blank stop.
Nico Yennaris thought he had doubled the advantage when his low 20-yard drive took the slightest of deflections, only to bounce back to safety off the foot of the post.
Brentford pressed on looking for the clincher and almost paid for it just after the hour mark when a swift counter saw the ball drop for Madine in the middle - but Bentley was bravely off his line to save.
Bees top scorer Vibe saw a handful of half-chances go begging and Kamohelo Mokotjo's far post shot lacked conviction as Brentford struggled to put the game to bed.
The Griffin Park crowd, infuriated by Bolton's time-wasting and fouling, had to wait until the end to relax as Brentford broke to end the hopes of Phil Parkinson's side.
Dean Smith: "At 1-0 I always felt very comfortable that we'd end with a clean sheet. They put a lot of balls into our box and were a threat at set-pieces so keeping the ball out of the back of our net means a lot.
"We've won four of our last five league games and have worked our socks off today. I'm pleased with that win because at 1-0 we didn't try to force it too much but stayed patient and disciplined against a physical Bolton side."
Phil Parkinson: "We got in a lot of good positions and I thought we deserved something from the game right up to the end when we gambled and put three up top.
"The scoreline flattered Brentford but their goal just before half-time knocked us back a bit and gave them a spring in their step. Despite that, we had spells where we put them under real pressure and I think the fans who stayed and clapped us off at the end could see that."