Football: Driving Asaba

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The Independent Online
Brentford 4

Asaba 24, 59, Taylor 42, Forster 86

Rotherham United 2

Berry 31, Druce 62

Attendance: 6,137

Two more goals from Carl Asaba, three more points for Brentford. If they carry on like this, promotion to the First Division should be a formality, but hanging on to Asaba might prove slightly more tricky.

The 23-year-old striker, now the leading scorer in the country with 11 goals, was the main difference between two sides at opposite ends of the Second Division, and for that Rotherham must take some credit.

After their worst start to a season for 63 years, the management team of Archie Gemmill and John McGovern were ousted last month in favour of Danny Bergera. Defeat in his first game was followed by Rotherham's first win of the season over Bournemouth last Saturday. Yesterday, despite the size of their task, they were never overawed.

Brentford, unbeaten after 11 games, maintained their five-point lead at the top but not without a fright or two along the way. Asaba opened the scoring with a sweetly struck right-foot shot after 24 minutes, but six minutes later Rotherham were level when Trevor Berry headed home John McGlashan's neat cross.

Four minutes before the interval, Bob Taylor, with the help of a sizeable deflection off Bradley Sandeman, restored Brentford's lead, and Asaba increased it 14 minutes into the second half with another convincing swing of the right boot.

Rotherham refused to capitulate and three minutes later they pulled one back. Andy Hayward set up Mark Druce for his third goal in as many games since signing on loan from Oxford.

Brentford, missing their injured captain Jamie Bates, continued to look hesitant in defence but deadly up front, and Nicky Forster finally put Rotherham out of their misery five minutes from time, lobbing over the helpless Stephen Farrelly.

An understandably satisfied David Webb afterwards revealed that Asaba has had "something like 17 people phone him up asking to be his agent". Gerry Francis, the Tottenham manager, has already paid a visit to Griffin Park this season and whoever he came to look at, he must have left with only one name on his mind.

As for Rotherham, they remain rooted to the bottom, but at least Bergera knows he has something to work with. And unlike Webb, he can be reasonably sure that his players are going nowhere fast.