Sky Bet Championship: Brentford hang on to claim 3-2 victory at Cardiff
Last Updated: 21/12/14 7:32pm
Brentford held off Cardiff City's second-half fightback to continue their impressive Sky Bet Championship promotion push with a 3-2 win at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The Bees were coasting after first-half goals from Alex Pritchard, Andre Gray and Jota Peleteiro Ramallo put them in total control.
Craig Noone and Kenwyne Jones pulled goals back for Cardiff, but the visitors held on to make it seven wins from their last eight games.
Cardiff, meanwhile, fall further away from the play-off places as they struggle for consistency under Russell Slade.
Aside from some lively forays by young winger Kadeem Harris, on his first league start for the club, Cardiff were over-run by Mark Warburton's bright Bees during the first 45 minutes.
The Bluebirds had already survived a couple of scares before the opener arrived in the 11th minute. Ben Turner's weak headed clearance rolled out to Pritchard, who was given plenty of time to shift on to his right foot and fire low past David Marshall.
Harris responded for Cardiff with a jinking run and shot that went just wide of the right-hand post, before the home side fell further behind in the 22nd minute.
The ball was given away in midfield and Pritchard seized possession gratefully. The midfielder, on loan from Tottenham, spotted Turner out of position and played in Gray, who chipped in his seventh goal in eight games and 10th of the season.
The home fans were stunned and their frustration only increased when Adam Le Fondre somehow failed to convert from inside the six-yard box. The striker made room to turn from Noone's pass but allowed Tony Craig to get across and make a crucial block as the striker picked his spot.
They were to pay for the miss in the 33rd minute. Pritchard was allowed to take the ball 60 yards upfield with no resistance and find Jota, who stepped inside on to his right foot to rifle an unstoppable drive into the top corner.
It could have been worse for Cardiff as the excellent Pritchard, Gray and Jake Bidwell combined to find Jota, with Marshall making a fine close-range stop.
Cardiff were booed off at the break and badly needed a quick goal after the re-start to breathe life back into the contest. They got it, and it was no surprise that Harris was involved. His trickery worked room for a cross, with Noone arriving late at the far post to convert.
Instantly the game had a different feel to it as the hosts drove forward at every opportunity.
Le Fondre had a handball appeal against Craig waved away, while the former Reading striker was inches away from converting Noone's low cross.
Slade introduced Jones just past the hour for the ineffective Federico Macheda and Cardiff's top-scorer soon narrowed the deficit with 15 minutes to go. A poor clearance allowed John Brayford to pick out the Trinidad striker, who bundled his eighth goal of the season into the far corner.
But they could not find an equaliser as Brentford held on.