Full-time: Brentford 1 Scunthorpe United 0
SUBSTITUTE Tom Adeyemi scored with his first touch of the ball to condemn hard-working Scunthorpe United to defeat at Griffin Park.
The midfielder struck in the 70th minute, making the most of some hesitant Iron defending to almost burst the back of the net from 12 yards out.
It was a harsh blow on a Scunthorpe side, who had won four of their previous six matches in their search for points to move clear of League One’s relegation zone.
They enjoyed few moments of joy in the opposition penalty area, but largely contained promotion-chasing Brentford to a flurry of half chances in what was often an entertaining contest.
£10.00 VOUCHER to use at our award winning restaurantView details
Book a table for 4 and get £10 off with this voucher. When ringing quote: “This is Scunthorpe” promotion. Your email address.......................... (if you want to receive vouchers in the future)
Terms: Cannot be used with any other offers or vouchers. Print voucher or show us the voucher on your phone.
Contact: 01724 701783
Valid until: Thursday, June 20 2013
Although they named the same starting XI as the side that beat Stevenage in midweek, Scunthorpe changed their formation, using stand-in skipper Michael Collins in a holding midfield role in front of the back four and moving Mark Duffy, previously a support striker to Karl Hawley, back to his more familiar position out on the right flank.
Duffy was involved early on, crossing for Andy Barcham, who was caught out by a big bounce on a barren pitch and could only head over the bar.
The former Morecambe winger then tapped a free-kick into the path of Jimmy Ryan, who thundered in a shot from 25 yards but could not keep it on target.
Having initially had the better of the early play, Scunthorpe then found themselves coming under increasing Brentford pressure.
A good spell of 10 minutes for the Bees began when a long ball forward from deep caught out Sam Slocombe and the Iron keeper was booked for handling the ball outside of his penalty area.
Slocombe, from then on in, looked nervy and in the immediate aftermath fumbled a shot from Marcello Trotta out for a corner.
In the absence of top scorer Clayton Donaldson, Trotta and Bradley Wright-Phillips were both lively, leading a Brentford attack which benefited from some neat play from the talented Harry Forrester out on the left.
As a partnership though they failed to really hit it off, each too often preferring to shoot rather than look for whether the other was better placed.
Ironically given the hosts’ superior threat, it was Scunthorpe who had the best chance of the half, in the 22nd minute.
Eddie Nolan showed great persistence to find room to get in a shot from just inside the home penalty area, but, leaning back, he clipped the top of the bar.
His reaction, as he lay on the turf with his head in his hands, told just how good an opening it had been.
At the other end of the pitch, the Bees finished the half strongly.
Scunthorpe survived a half-hearted penalty appeal when Barcham, covering the overlapping run, looked to be all over midfielder Jake Reeves as he latched on to Forrester’s clever one-two.
Slocombe also had a let off as he reacted instinctively to dive at the feet of Trotta having seen a powerful drive from Wright-Phillips bounce back into the box off his chest.
With so many bodies tracking back, rarely did Scunthorpe allow the hosts to get in behind them.
When they did, three minutes before the half-time whistle, United will have been thankful it was tough-tackling midfielder Jonathan Douglas who got on the end of a through ball, as Niall Canavan recovered to hack the ball out of his path.
The Bees continued to hunt for a goal as the second half got underway, with Trotta thundering a low shot wide having worked himself an opening and Slocombe holding on to an effort from Douglas which lacked power.
Scunthorpe, though, were not without a threat either.
Barcham’s persistence won the visitors a free-kick on the very edge of the left-hand side of the 18-yard box, one from which Duffy’s shot flew over by only a matter of inches.
From the opposite flank, when the latter whipped in a dangerous ball, Barcham could not get any meaningful touch to divert it goalwards, despite getting goal side of his marker.
Having struggled to make an impact during the first half, Barcham had quickly become a key figure for Scunthorpe.
In the 69th minute his clever flick took him clear of Bees defender Harlee Dean, but former Iron loanee Shaleum Logan, playing at full-back, and Tony Craig came across to sandwich the United winger and halt his progress.
Play quickly switched to the other end of the field at which point came the decisive moment.
Scunthorpe failed to clear when Wright-Phillips pulled the ball back from the byline following some enterprising play down the right and substitute Adeyemi stole in to keep his cool and stab it to Slocombe’s left.
The Iron made a raft of changes in a bid to salvage something from the game, introducing strikers James Alabi, Mike Grella and Connor Jennings and switching to 4-4-2.
But the closest either side came to adding to the scoring came via the Bees, when another substitute, Stuart Dallas, lifted a shot just over the bar with what turned out to be the last kick of the match.
BRENTFORD: S Moore; Logan, L Moore, Dean, Craig; Reeves (Adeyemi 67), Douglas, Forrester (Bidwell 81), Saunders (Dallas 59); Wright-Phillips, Trotta. Subs not used: Lee, Barron, Diagouraga, Hayes.
SCUNTHORPE: Slocombe; Nolan, Mirfin, Canavan, Newey; Collins; Duffy, Ryan, Walker (Alabi 74), Barcham (Grella 81); Hawley (Jennings 85). Subs not used: Severn, Ribeiro, Godden, Adelakun.
ATTENDANCE: 5,400 (337 away).