Brentford vs Derby match report: Joey Barton watches on as Stuart Dallas stars in late drama

Brentford 2 Derby County 1

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Joey Barton of Queens Park Rangers, bizarrely unable to get a ticket for his own team’s game at Chelsea, turned up as he often does at Brentford and saw what he described as “a tremendous game of football”.

It was initially similar to the one at Stamford Bridge in that the underdogs fell behind to the League leaders before scoring an unexpected equaliser. The difference here was that they then went on to win in dramatic fashion, with a splendidly taken goal in added time.

Congestion at the top of the Championship is as bad as the M25 on a Friday afternoon. Derby were left banging the steering wheel in frustration as Bournemouth, Watford, Wolves and Middlesbrough all found space in the outside lane to overtake them. It was a surprising outcome, since for 45 minutes the leaders had been motoring along nicely, propelled by Scottish international Chris Martin’s 12th goal of the season.

Moses Odubajo, the Brentford winger forced to play at right-back because of a bad injury to Alan McCormack, was caught out positionally in allowing Craig Forsyth to cross, but he would make amends by setting up both goals as the home side came out transformed for the second half.

Only four minutes after the interval Odubajo went on a dynamic run and fed Andre Gray, who simply swivelled and hit it low past Jack Butland. Midway through the half Gray headed Alan Judge’s chip against a post, and then right at the finish substitute Stuart Dallas scored with an even better effort from Odubajo’s low cross.

“We haven’t handled being top of the League very well,” Derby’s manager, Steve McClaren, sighed.

Brentford: (4-1-4-1): Button; Odubajo, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas; Jota (Pritchard, 66), Toral (Dallas, 66), Diagouraga, Judge; Gray (Prochwitz, 75).

Derby: (4-3-3): Butland; Christie, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Mascarell, Hendrick, Bryson (Hughes, 58); Russell (Coutts, 78), Martin, Dawkins (Ibe, 63).

Referee: Carl Berry

Man of the match: Diagouraga (Brentford)

Match rating: 7/10

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