REPORT | Brentford 2 Charlton 1

Charlton battled brilliantly in their final visit to Griffin Park but were struck by two late goals as third-placed Brentford continued their 100% winning record following the restart.

Macauley Bonne gave the Addicks an early lead but the Bees levelled with a controversial 75th minute penalty from Said Benrahma before an 85th minute winner from Ethan Pinnock. 

Charlton made fives changes from the side that played Millwall on Friday and it was a change in formation as Lee Bowyer opted for what looked like at 5-4-1 with Adam Matthews, Tom Lockyer, Jason Pearce, Naby Sarr and Alfie Doughty making up a back five in front of Dillon Phillips.

Josh Cullen and Sam Field held in midfield with Jake Forster-Caskey operating as a narrow right midfielder and Jonny Williams on the left and Bonne up front. 

The two sides traded possession in the opening minutes before Charlton took the lead in the eighth minute with a lovely goal. Williams glided forward down the left wing, making good ground before feeding Doughty. The academy graduate’s deep cross was met by Forster-Caskey arriving late at the back post, whose cushioned header was perfect for Bonne, the striker got in front of his defender, to head in from inside five yards out. 

Brentford looked to respond immediately and Cullen did well with a big block in the 10th minute before Phillips tipped over neatly to deny Mathias Jensen shortly afterwards.

The Addicks hit the crossbar twice in the 21st minute when a curled corner from Cullen had Bees goalkeeper David Raya beaten but the ball bounced away, eventually falling to Pearce whose left foot volley hit the woodwork and this time bounced away for a goal kick.

Benrahma, who had netted an excellent hat-trick in Brentford’s previous outing, began to see more of the ball as the half went on and curled wide of the Charlton goal in the 27th minute before curling over in the 31st minute.

The Addicks managed out well the rest of the first half and started the second with an early chance when Bonne headed just wide from a Matthews’ cross.

The Bees pressure increased again but Josh Dasilva hit wide and Benrahma then directly at Phillips as the Addicks stood strong.

Bowyer refreshed his hard-working team with Darren Pratley and George Lapslie joining the action shortly followed by Albie Morgan and Deji Oshilaja.

Phillips made a more difficult save in the 64th minute to deny Dasilva after the midfielder had played a clever one-two to get in behind the Charlton defence.

Brentford levelled in the 75th minute when Benrahma cooly converted a penalty after referee John Brooks felt he had been fouled by Cullen, a decision the Charlton players contested. 

Charlton nearly struck back immediately but Oshilaja’s backpost header was just too close to Raya.

The Addicks were then put under sustained pressure and eventually it told. Phillips did well to stop a deflected Benrahma shot but from the resulting short corner Pinnock managed to head home to give the home side an 85th minute lead and the three points.

Brentford: Raya, Henry, Pinnock, Norgaard, Jensen (Marcondes 61), Benrahma, Watkins, Dasilva, Jansson, Mbeumo (Dervisloglu 81), Rasmussen (Dalsgaard 61)

Subs (not used): Daniels, Thompson, Valencia, Jeanvier, Fosy, Zamburek

Goals: Benrahma 75 pen, Pinnock 85

Booked: Dervisoglu (87, foul on Pratley)

Charlton: Phillips; Matthews, Lockey, Pearce (C), Sarr, Doughty (Oshilaja 71); Forster-Caskey (Morgan 71), Cullen, Field (Pratley 56), Williams (Lapslie 56); Bonne (Aneke 79)

Subs (not used): Amos, Purrington, Aneke, McGeady, Davison

Goal: Bonne 8

Booked: Cullen (90)

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 0 (Behind-closed-doors) 

Read Time: 3 mins