Brentford 1-0 Nottingham Forest: Scott Hogan strike ensures three points for Bees
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 16/08/16 10:40pm
Brentford striker Scott Hogan grabbed the only goal of the game to move his side into sixth place in the Sky Bet Championship and condemn Nottingham Forest to their second defeat in a week.
His poacher's finish just before the half-hour mark in a hard-fought clash saw Brentford make it four home wins on a trot, their best sequence in the second tier since 1951.
The Bees took the lead when summer signing Romaine Sawyers' whipped cross was smashed goalwards by Hogan, forcing Henderson into a breathtaking reflex stop.
The ball dropped for Lewis Macleod whose first time effort was also parried straight into the path of Hogan who slotted home from close range.
To add to their disappointment, the visitors saw Damien Perquis sent off with three minutes remaining for a second yellow when he fouled Sawyers on halfway.
It was a game of two halves, with the hosts dominating before the break and then having to withstand wave after wave of pressure after it.
And Dean Smith's side had goalkeeper Daniel Bentley to thank for the points deep into injury time when he made a world-class stop that denied former Southend team-mate Britt Assombalonga the equaliser.
Brentford produced the more incisive football in the first half, with Nico Yennaris and Ryan Woods instigating some flowing moves for Smith's side.
Hogan fired a deceptive slow bobbling effort past the upright with Forest 'keeper Stephen Henderson rooted to the spot with just two minutes gone.
At the other end Henri Lansbury whipped in a stinging drive, but his effort was grabbed at the second attempt by Bees stopper Bentley.
The visitors' best chance of the first half came just before the half hour when Hildeberto Pereira muscled Bees centre-back Harlee Dean off the ball only to see his low drive flash inches past the post.
Brentford made Forest pay for their missed half-chances two minutes later with one of the best moves of the half, coolly finished off by Hogan.
The goal inspired Forest to press forward, but a combination of loose final balls and offside runs conspired to leave them goalless at the break.
If anything, Brentford could have stretched their lead before the interval, Macleod's curling free-kick deflected wide before Hogan nodded wide when well placed from the ensuing corner.
After the break Macleod came agonisingly close to giving the Londoners some breathing space but saw his superb curling drive cannon to safety off the crossbar.
Forest almost levelled just after the hour when Pereira latched onto a weak Callum Elder header back to his 'keeper, only for Bentley to spare his blushes with a brave save.
Eric Lichaj saw a free-kick drift past the far post as the visitors went in search of an equaliser in front of their fans, whose appeals for a string of penalty shouts went unheeded by the ref.
By now Brentford were giving the ball away too cheaply and Forest were happy to press on, but it was still Brentford who carved open the more clear-cut chances, Egan heading straight into the keeper's arms from a corner.
The Bees were more often the architects of most of Forest's more promising attacks and a cheap give-away saw Assombalonga race through in the 94th minute only to see his and his side's hopes extinguished by the impressive Bentley.