Ollie Watkins now has 23 Championship goals this season – level with the league’s top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic

Ollie Watkins scored the only goal of the game at Griffin Park as Brentford beat leaders West Bromwich Albion to hot up the Championship automatic promotion race.

The Bees striker’s goal-line finish in the 16th minute was enough to leave Slaven Bilic’s Baggies still winless – and goalless – in their two games since the return of football following the coronavirus suspension.

But Brentford’s second straight victory moved them to within five points of top spot, before second-placed Leeds United’s game with fourth-placed Fulham on Saturday.

Leeds, who trail Albion only on goal difference, need only a point to return to the top. But if Fulham were to win, it would reduce the gap between the top two and the chasing pack to four points.

The game’s only goal in west London was a beautifully worked team move to earn Watkins his 23rd Championship goal of the season, taking him level as the division’s top scorer with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic. But it still owed a little to luck.

A nice five-pass cross-field move got Josh Dasilva into a menacing position inside the left half of the penalty area. But, when his low left-foot cross took a cruel touch off the covering Semi Ajayi’s heel, that wrong-footed keeper Sam Johnstone to allow the grateful Watkins to turn the ball in almost on the goal-line.

For all their attacking endeavour in a decent game, the closest Albion came to an equaliser was when half-time sub Kenneth Zohore crashed a right-foot curling shot from 20 yards against the bar.

More to follow.



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