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Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick of headers as Brentford came from behind to beat Barnsley

Barnsley 1-3 Brentford: Ollie Watkins scores hat-trick as Bees come from behind to overcome the hosts

  • Barnsley took the lead inside the first minute through Cauley Woodrow
  • Ollie Watkins pulled a goal back before the break as Brentford began fightback
  • Watkins made it 2-1 on 46 minutes and completed his hat-trick on 68 minutes 
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Many Brentford fans feared their attacking sharpness would be catastrophically blunted by the £20million sale of Neal Maupay to Brighton in the summer.

And a meagre return of five goals in their opening eight Championship fixtures suggested a season of struggle following the departure of a striker who scored 28 times last season.

But one of the bright points about Brentford’s opening few games had been Ollie Watkins and his clinical hat-trick not only defeated Barnsley here but suggested the whole campaign might not be so bad after all.

Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick of headers as Brentford came from behind to beat Barnsley

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Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick of headers as Brentford came from behind to beat Barnsley 

The striker's diving header on 68 minutes put Brentford out of sight and sealed the points

The striker's diving header on 68 minutes put Brentford out of sight and sealed the points

The striker’s diving header on 68 minutes put Brentford out of sight and sealed the points

MATCH FACTS AND LEAGUE TABLE

 Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Collins; Cavare (Thiam 74), Andersen, Halme, Williams; Mowatt (c), Sibbick; Thomas (Wilks 63), Chaplin (Schmidt 63), Brown; Woodrow

Substitutes not used: Walton (GK); Green, Styles, Pinillos

Manager: Daniel Stendel

Scorer: Woodrow 2

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Brentford (4-3-3): Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson (c), Jeanvier, Henry; Mokotjo, Norgaard, Jensen (Dasilva 84); Canos (Pinnock 79), Watkins (Karelis 88), Benrahma

Substitutes not used: Daniels (GK); Mbeumo, Clarke, Zamburek

Manager: Thomas Frank

Scorer: Watkins 35, 46, 68

Referee: David Webb (Lancashire)

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Attendance: 12,188 (366 away)

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This treble took Watkins to seven goals for the season. Considering Brentford have only scored eight league goals so far, Watkins’ ratio is a mighty impressive 87.5 per cent of them.

Of course, no side should rely on one player but there was enough in this performance for Bees manager Thomas Frank to use as building blocks for the months ahead.

But it’s a far drearier picture for Barnsley, who made the perfect start here thanks to Cauley Woodrow’s first-minute stunner.

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They failed to capitalise and the way Brentford – and Sergi Canos in particular – overran them in the second half only enhances the prospects of a relegation battle on their return to the second tier.

Goals are the main problem – Woodrow’s was only their fifth of the season – and the Championship’s lowest scorers need to quickly learn to take the chances that come their way.

Given both teams’ aversion to scoring goals it was somewhat ironic that we had one after just 60 seconds.

Cauley Woodrow had put Barnsley ahead from their first attack of Sunday's match

Cauley Woodrow had put Barnsley ahead from their first attack of Sunday's match

Cauley Woodrow had put Barnsley ahead from their first attack of Sunday’s match

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From Barnsley’s first attack, captain Alex Mowatt attempted a pass out wide that ricocheted off Henrik Dalsgaard and into the path of Woodrow some 30 yards from goal.

The former Fulham striker spotted that David Raya was off his line and using defender Julian Jeanvier as a shield, took a touch and curled an unstoppable shot into the far corner.

The Tykes may have been the Championship’s lowest scorers – Woodrow’s was just their fifth of the season – but they carried the greater threat early on.

Woodrow pounced upon a heavy touch by Jeanvier to shoot from the edge of the area but the Brentford defender recovered to deflect it wide.

And Woodrow had the ball in the net once again, slotting past Raya from Conor Chaplin’s through pass only to be rightly denied by a linesman’s flag.

It took Brentford 26 minutes to fashion a chance of any note. Watkins sparked a push forward and fed Said Benrahma, who effort was turned away one-handed by Barnsley keeper Brad Collins.

Raya’s decision-making almost proved costly for Brentford when he charged out to meet Luke Thomas, the Barnsley man knocking the ball beyond him before squaring to Chaplin. Luckily, Pontus Jansson was alert to prevent Chaplin locating the unguarded net.

But Brentford and Watkins were the side celebrating by the end of Sunday's encounter

But Brentford and Watkins were the side celebrating by the end of Sunday's encounter

But Brentford and Watkins were the side celebrating by the end of Sunday’s encounter

Brentford belatedly remembered how to attack in the closing minutes of the half and gained an equaliser to reward their endeavour in the sheets of south Yorkshire drizzle.

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Benrahma found Mathias Jensen in space down the right and he delivered an inch-perfect cross that Watkins converted with a diving header from six yards out.

And he really should have scored again before half-time, denied by an extraordinary bit of bad fortune.

Having raced clear of two Barnsley defenders, he saw his first effort come back off the post and then his fierce follow-up rattle the crossbar. Benrahma looked certain to score the rebound but missed the target.

Not that Watkins had to wait too long after half-time to net again, the second period starting very much like the first with a goal.

A wet Thomas Frank celebrates with the travelling Brentford fans after the victory

A wet Thomas Frank celebrates with the travelling Brentford fans after the victory

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A wet Thomas Frank celebrates with the travelling Brentford fans after the victory

Sergi Canos raced down the right and swung in a cross that Collins should have dealt with but misjudged, the ball clearing him for the ever-opportunistic Watkins to nod home at the back post. The soggy pitch making ideal conditions for his knee slide celebration.

For a time it looked as though Brentford might overrun Barnsley, with Jensen seeing an effort deflected just over the bar by Aapo Halme.

And the Bees really should have scored when Canos raced clear just after the hour but, with Watkins in space in the centre, the Spaniard selfishly shot and hit the side-netting.

When Canos found himself in the clear a few minutes later, however, he didn’t make the same mistake. He crossed and Watkins put enough power on his stooping header to ensure Collins’ hand didn’t stop it crossing the line.

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