Two goals from Scott Hogan helped Brentford breeze to an easy derby victory over a feeble Fulham side totally devoid of confidence.
The hosts were in the ascendancy from the off at Griffin Park and made the dream start when Sam Saunders capitalised on a dreadful mistake by Jazz Richards to chip a stranded Marcus Bettinelli from the edge of the area with only five minutes on the clock. Then it was time for Hogan, revitalised since returning to the Bees starting line-up after a serious knee injury, to take over. The striker grabbed his first two minutes after Saunders’ superb lob, firing in a fierce low drive and the former Rochdale forward added a second before half-time to end the contest. Hogan was withdrawn at half-time as a precaution – but Slavisa Jokanovic’s side would have been delighted to see the back of him.
Fulham were booed off at half time with Ross McCormack, who struck a post in early on, the only player to emerge with any credit during a pitiful display at the home of their local rivals. The Whites did improve after the interval – it would have been difficult to be any worse – but they failed to take a number of presentable chances. Tom Cairney lifted an effort over the bar when well placed and Moussa Dembele was wasteful from a goalscoring position.
McCormack, who always looked like Fulham’s likeliest source of a goal, then forced a fabulous save from David Button when his dipping free-kick threatened to drop in the top corner. Brentford had eased up by that point but they could have made the margin of victory much more convincing. Bettinelli did well to thwart Konstantin Kerschbaumer at the start of the second period – and the Bees were well worth the local bragging rights.
BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Button; Colin, Field (O’Connell 53), Dean, Barbet; Yennaris, Wood, Kerschbaumer; Canos, Saunders (Clarke 80), Hogan (Gogia 45). Subs (not used): Bonham, Cole, Swift, Hofmann.
GOALS: Saunders (5), Hogan (7, 40).
FULHAM (4-1-4-1): Bettinelli; Richards (Fredericks 45), Ream, Amorebieta, Stearman; Parker; Ince (Dembele 45), Christensen (Hyndman 65), Cairney, Tunnicliffe; McCormack. Subs (not used): Lonergan, Burn, O’Hara, Smith.
REFEREE: Mark Haywood.