Brentford stroll past Addicks

Charlton Athletic 0 Brentford 3
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Brentford strolled to victory against Charlton in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Section second round.

They led from the beginning and never looked like relinquishing their grip on a one-sided game.

The Addicks received a bye in the tournament's first phase, while Brentford beat Milton Keynes Dons on penalties after a 3-3 thriller.

But as reflected by the largely empty Valley, the JPT is not of high priority to either side; Brentford made five changes after their home mauling by Huddersfield, while Charlton opted for six.

However, there are only 18 miles between the sides and Charlton boss Chris Powell had spoken of the game as a clash between south-west and south- east London, so could have expected his defence to have remained alert for longer than one minute. Brentford took the lead instantly when a slack header by Gary Doherty fell to a swarm of onrushing Bees and despite a fine save from goalkeeper John Sullivan, Blair Adams followed up to prod into the net.

Brentford beat Charlton on penalties in this competition at the Southern semi-final stage last year, but after 23 minutes their chance of avenging that defeat became slimmer. And less likely still, when Brentford skipper Kevin O'Connor rammed the spot-kick down the middle and into the net.

The League One leaders found it hard to get into their stride in a fast paced, if technically deficient opening. Matt Taylor had spurned an early chance when, unmarked, he headed a corner across the goal rather than aiming for the target.

Their next opportunity came after half-an-hour when Danny Green was felled on the edge of the box by ex-Charlton centre-back Miguel Llera, then blasted the resultant set-piece into Simon Moore's grateful hands.

But in stabilising themselves and tightening up at the back they turned an engaging encounter into an attritional affair, which made for a more even game but lessened the spectacle.

Their newfound resolve lasted until the hour mark when Diagouraga found himself in acres of space before slotting home, despite protestations of offside by Charlton players and fans alike.

Brentford will look forward to the next round of a competition they have historically gone far in, while Charlton fans will claim their exit suits loftier promotion ambitions.