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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:45 6th March 2012

Brentford 2 Exeter City 0

Exeter City's 32 year hoodoo at Griffin Park goes on after they were beaten by Saido Berahino's double this evening.

Jake Taylor and Jamie Cureton both tested the home side's goalkeeper in the first half before the West Brom loanee opened the scoring inside the box on 40 minutes.

The game was effectively put to bed during two second half minutes. First captain David Noble saw red after he was deemed to have used an elbow when challenging for an aerial ball with Brentford defender Harlee Dean and then Berahino headed home his second of the night to disappoint the 347 travelling supporters.


Paul Tisdale made just one change to the side that drew 1-1 with Stevenage on the weekend with Jake Taylor coming in for Liam Sercombe who replaced the Welshman on the substitute's bench. It was a like for like change with Taylor taking up Sercombe's role on the left of midfield.

It also meant the newly reunited Jamie Cureton and Richard Logan strike partnership got another run out while Luke O'Brien continued at left-back in the absence of Billy Jones.

City's starting XI included just three of the players that started in the 1-1 draw at Griffin Park back in January 2011, the last time the teams met at this ground.

It was the home side, having made three changes from the side that last to Yeovil, who the first chance of the match on seven minutes, Saido Berahino forcing a smart save from Artur Krysiak with a first time snapshot. From the resulting corner the Pole was beaten in the air and needed Danny Coles to head off the line before referee Darren Deadman blew for a foul.

It took 24 minutes before City created a real chance of note. Troy did well before teeing up Taylor cutting in from the left hand side and he strung the palms of Simon Moore with a powerful curling right footed effort.

And Moore was called upon to deny the Grecians just two minutes later when David Noble's superb through ball found Cureton, peeling away from his marker inside the box, and his first time shot was kept out by the outrushing keeper. It was a good chance for the away side and Tisdale will certainly have been pleased to see Noble's vision creating an opportunity for Cureton.

City continued to work the linesman's flag with plenty of offside calls during the opening half an hour although they were enjoying a positive spell having had something of a shaky start. And they carved out another chance on 36 minutes, Taylor heading wide after James Dunne stood up a cross to the back post.

On the 40 minute mark the home side took the lead, a deep free kick was headed back across goal by Jonathan Douglas, poked on by Leon Legge and fired home from inside the box by Berahino.

The Grecians looked for an instant response when Taylor got to the byline but Cureton could only poke his pass wide of the post which proved to be the last real chance of the opening 45.

City made a change at half-time, introducing Dan Nardiello for Logan but it was Brentford who had the first chance of the second half when Niall McGinn threaded a ball through for former Grecian Gary Alexander who fired wide from a tight angle.

Berahino was looking for his second of his night and he almost got in on 51 minutes, but his shot hit a white shirt and deflected wide for a corner. Douglas was next to try his luck but his right foot volley also hit a City body.

After a spell of pressure City's task just became that bit more difficult when their captain received a straight red. He was deemed to have used his elbow when attempting to win a header with Harlee Dean in the centre circle. Referee Deadman was in no doubt and was quick to produce the red for Noble who had been one of City's best performers until that point.

And the City misery was compounded on 68 minutes when Adrian Forshaw's curling right footed cross from the right hand flank was headed into the bottom corner by Berahino.

On 70 minutes Alexander fired a volley right at Krysiak as City struggled to cope with the home side's attack. O'Brien was replaced by Sercombe with 19 minutes to go as Tisdale looked to fill the Noble shaped gap in his midfield by moving to a 4-3-2 formation with Taylor at left-back.

Nardiello was beginning to come more into the game and he had two shots on goal, the first was high and wide but the second needed to be deflected behind.

Berahino was only denied his hat-trick with seven minutes to go by the diving body of Scot Bennett, the midfielder doing superbly to block his shot after Brentford's number ten had weaved his way through the City defence.

So MK Dons away next for the Grecians and they'll have head there without their skipper.

    Data provided by Press Association