Brentford 1-0 Millwall: Romaine Sawyers wins it for Bees
By Press Association
Last Updated: 14/10/17 6:30pm
Romaine Sawyers' second-half strike settled a hard-fought 1-0 win over London rivals Millwall that landed Brentford their first three-point haul at Griffin Park this season.
But the Bees had goalkeeper Daniel Bentley to thank, with his two world-class stops and a penalty save to deny Lee Gregory.
Sawyers gave the hosts the lead just after the break with a superb low drilled shot from the edge of the box after good work from Denmark international Henrik Dalsgaard.
But the game descended into controversy 10 minutes from time when Jed Wallace was fouled in the box and Gregory rifled home the loose ball only for referee Lee Probert to stop play and award a spot-kick. Gregory stepped up but his well-placed penalty was tipped wide by Bentley, who capped a superb performance to secure his side three deserved points.
Brentford played all the football, with the visitors content to play long and disrupt with a series of physical challenges that incensed the home crowd. Early on, though, it was Millwall who showed the greater intent. They went close after 10 minutes when Gregory raced away from the halfway line following an Andreas Bjelland error, but his low angled drive bobbled inches wide after a deflection from Bees skipper John Egan.
The unmarked Jake Cooper should have put the Lions ahead from the ensuing corner, with only a point-blank block from Bentley keeping things level. Impressive Brentford youngster Ollie Watkins was at the heart of most of the more direct approach work for Dean Smith's side, and he clipped a clever shot just over the angle minutes later.
Brentford were dominating possession and playing all the football but Millwall hung in and always looked a threat on the break, with a flurry of long balls up to the combative Gregory.
Sawyers forced a full-length save from visiting keeper Jordan Archer with a 20-yard curling drive that was destined to go just under the bar heading towards the half-hour mark.
Millwall almost made the hosts pay for their profligacy in front of goal when Wallace's cute free-kick dipped over the wall, only to find Bentley at full stretch.
After the break, the game exploded into life and Bentley pulled off a sensational save to deny Shane Ferguson before Bees substitute Lasse Vibe forced a reflex stop from Archer. Bentley went one step better on 70 minutes when he hurled himself sideways to tip Gregory's piledriver around the post, just before the penalty incident that will leave Probert red-faced.
Brentford's Vibe gave the hosts another gear late on and his running in behind the Millwall defence caused all sorts of problems. He saw two efforts roll agonisingly wide of the far post. Watkins might have given the scoreline a more realistic gloss at the death but his first-time effort after good build-up from Vibe sizzled over the bar.
Dean Smith: "I'm not even sure it was a foul, let alone inside the box. If it was in the box it was offside anyway, but there were a lot of decisions that raised eyebrows.
"When you play against a side as physical and aggressive as Millwall you need some protection and you expect some degree of consistency."
Neil Harris: "Don't get me wrong, Brentford had a lot of chances in a very open game, but the key decisions went against us. After the break their centre-back punches the ball in the box and then one of their lads stands on Shaun Hutchinson's foot in the area.
"Then, when the penalty comes, he gives it instantly to make up for it. Unless the rules have changed you can play advantage in the box."