Brentford 0-1 Bristol City: Thomas Frank loses his first game in charge
Bristol City won their first game in six Sky Bet Championship matches
Last Updated: 20/10/18 9:28pm
Thomas Frank’s first game in charge of Brentford ended in a 1-0 defeat to Bristol City following an 89th-minute volley from Niclas Eliasson.
Eliasson popped up at the death at Griffin Park to secure City their first win in six Sky Bet Championship matches. It was also the Robins first success in west London since 2005 and stretched the hosts' winless run to seven games.
Brentford's cause was not helped when Chris Mepham saw red for a second booking just before the hour mark, with the game evenly balanced.
It started brightly for Brentford under Frank, who replaced Dean Smith, and Sergi Canos should have given them the lead after 10 minutes but bundled Henrik Dalsgaard's low cross from the right just wide.
Top-scorer Neal Maupay was next to signal his intent with a low drilled effort that flashed inches wide of the upright. City lost centre-back Nathan Baker to injury with 20 minutes gone after falling awkwardly at a Brentford corner. Teenage goalkeeper Max O'Leary was City's saviour in the first half as Brentford dominated possession but failed to find the killer instinct needed to get their noses in front.
First the debutant denied Maupay's drive low to his right and then pulled off a reflex stop to fist an Ollie Watkins piledriver to safety after good work down the right from Romaine Sawyers. But as the half wore on Lee Johnson's side grew in confidence and, buoyed by the flat Griffin Park crowd, started to carve chances of their own.
Almost on half-time Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley was forced into a reflex stop of his own to deny Andreas Weimann as he tried to steer Jack Hunt's driven cross into the far corner. A minute later Matty Taylor's headed goal was ruled out for offside as he strayed inches beyond Bees left-back Yoann Barbet.
After the break Bristol City grew in confidence and saw a string of efforts fly high and wide from range before Watkins should have given the Londoners the lead after 70 minutes.
The striker smashed an angled drive back off the far post in one of the home side's few clear-cut chances throughout the 90 minutes.
Bentley had to be at his best in the hosts' goal to tip Jamie Paterson's instinctive effort wide and went one better minutes later to go full length to turn Liam Walsh's blistering free-kick to safety.
Maupay forced a great save from O'Leary with 10 minutes remaining as Brentford pressed for a winner their lack of cutting edge and discipline barely deserved.
The decisive moment came when substitute Jay Dasilva whipped in a cross to the far post and the onrushing Eliasson smashed past the exposed Bentley.
Thomas Frank: "Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay both had good chances during our good spells and if we had taken those, then we are talking about a different game. It is difficult to play 46 perfect games but what we have to try to do is look at where we need to improve in certain aspects.
"In recent games, we have seen sides coming here to stop us playing and we need to handle it but yes, we need strong officials to do that. If I am honest Bristol City will know they were lucky because until the sending-off we were dominant and created good chances. But credit to them, they put pressure on us and it paid."
Lee Johnson: "It was a great win, a big club win and with Max O'Leary making his debut in goal a great clean sheet. It was very important given the fact we hadn't won in five.
"We maybe deserved a couple of wins in that five and went about this game very professionally. Once we scored the goal I thought we were very professional in the way we went about things with a very young side out there.We have 11 out so this is a big because it's a very difficult game, but one that will give us great deal of confidence."