WIGAN ATHLETIC 0 BRENTFORD 3

Stewart Purvis was at the DW stadium for Bees’ fifth away victory so far this season.

It is getting to be a habit. Three goals scored away for the third game in succession. And this one achieved without Said Benrahma who missed the trip north because of a slight injury to his hamstring. In his place a first start for Joel Valencia arriving from Ecuador via Spain, Slovenia and Poland. For Wigan there was a place in midfield for Lewis Macleod, so far injury free on his one year contract after leaving Brentford.
Earlier this week Thomas Frank ventured out to the Red Lion at Barnes, the latest home of the Beesotted podcast, and told Billy Grant, Dave Lane and the crew that this season our attacking set pieces have been ‘a disaster’ for which he took responsibility.
Five minutes into this game, and with a new set piece coach Andreas Georgson watching, two good chances went begging from a Josh Dasilva corner as Christian Norgaard first headed straight at keeper David Marshall then failed to follow up the rebound. But fortunately Bryan Mbeumo forced the ball over the line.
Inspired by this early goal Brentford began to boss the game with great interplay in midfield and Valencia showing extraordinary pace in attack and defence,
The giant match up of the day was Pontus Jansson of Sweden (6 ft 4) against Kieffer Moore of Wales (6 feet 5) and no surprise Pontus was the winner. His acrobatics even appeared to have prevented a goal with a clearing kick on the goal-line but the Wigan move was judged to have been offside anyway.
Cheered on by 500 Bees fans, reinforced by club chairman Cliff Crown in the wind and rain of the away end, Brentford saw out the first half with minimum fear of an equaliser. But in the second half the number of unforced mistakes multiplied, too many passes went astray and a Wigan team that deserved little was gifted chances. So much so that with half an hour to go it looked as if Brentford would struggle to keep the lead. However in the 70th minute some nice approach work by Dasilva put the Wigan defence under pressure. The ball fell to Kamo Mokotjo who was not having a great game but he struck the ball perfectly for Brentford’s second goal of the game and the fifth of his Bees career. 
Three minutes later Ollie Watkins- who was battling away in the air and on the ground showing a wide range of striker skills- got past central defender Cedric Kipre who brought him down and earned a second yellow. Brentford were heading for victory but now they began to pick up cards too. Norgaard’s fifth yellow of the season means he misses the Reading game. 
Jan Zamburek came on for the injured Valencia and the 18 year old  Czech midfielder who was a makeshift right wing sub against Huddersfield was on the left this week and brought new energy where and  when it was needed. 
Brentford put the game beyond doubt with a super strike by Josh Dasilva. It wasn't the usual Dasilva curl out of the reach of the keeper, more of an arrow to the top left that the keeper never even saw. Behind him at the away end the Bees fans spilled down the terrace to celebrate with Josh and their other heroes. 
Sadly the game ended on a sour note.There was a collision between two Wigan players and Dominic Thompson on as sub for Rico Henry.Wigan’s highly-rated England 17 year old Joe Gelhardt, said to be ‘choosing between Liverpool and Everton’ ended up prone on the pitch. The sub had apparently collided with the hip of Kieffer Moore. It seemed nobody was to blame but Julian Jeanvier, who was at the heart of the melee with Millwall that cost £14,000 in FA fines, felt the need to get involved in a tussle.
As the medical staff carefully moved Gelhardt onto a stretcher referee Andy Davies hovered worryingly close to Jeanvier. Fears that a straight red card was on its way were justified and the Guinea international defender heads off to play for his country knowing that he won’t be back in Brentford colours for a month. With Ethan Pinnock, Mads Bech Sorensen and Luka Racic more than happy to step up in his absence Jeanvier  may regret his rash intervention. Gelhardt went to hospital with his mum and apparently was speaking in the ambulance. Afterwards Thomas Frank said Jeanvier ‘needs to learn from this situation so it doesn’t happen again’. Apart from that Frank was ‘a very happy man’ that his team had won three away games in succession for the first time since April 2016. He welcomed the international break as a chance for Said Benrahma and his cover Joel Valencia to recover from their injuries. 
The final word goes to Tony Pulis, now a TV pundit, for whom Brentford ‘now are in the Championship what Leicester are in the Premier League’. 
 

Wigan Athletic: Marshall, Robinson, MacLeod (sub Windass) , Morsy, Lowe, Sterling (Fox) Jacobs (Gelhardt) Moore, Williams, Kipre, Dunkley
Brentford: Raya, Henry (Thompson), Norgaard, Watkins, Mokotjo, Dasilva, Valencia (Žambůrek) Jansson, Mbuemo (Jensen) , Dalsgaard, Jeanvier