Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick of headers as Brentford beat Barnsley 3-1 at Oakwell to move up to 14th in the Championship table.
Cauley Woodrow gave Barnsley the lead with less than a minute played, before Watkins’ close range header drew Brentford level. Watkins then scored his second of the game just a minute into the second half and completed his treble with 20 minutes left to play in the game.
Coming into the game both sides were in need of a victory. Barnsley were sitting inside the relegation zone and Brentford were placed 19th in the division ahead of kick-off.
Conditions were tough, with heavy rain throughout the game, but it didn’t take long for Barnsley to take the lead in tough at Oakwell. Woodrow struck a perfect effort into the top corner from long range to give the home side the lead with just 59 seconds played.
Woodrow came close again just 10 minutes later. The 24-year-old’s first time strike was narrowly wide of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya’s far post.
Brentford’s best chance of the half fell to Saïd Benrahma. The Algerian had time to pick his spot after being given the ball on the edge of the Barnsley penalty area following a dangerous Watkins run forward. But Benrahma’s curling effort was well saved by Bradley Collins in the Barnsley goal.
The game was turning into a real battle and the heavy rain certainly wasn’t helping matters.
But will 35 minutes played in the game Brentford found a superb equaliser. Brentford broke from a Barnsley corner and an impressive cross into the penalty area from Benrahma was met by the head of Watkins. 1-1 the score.
Brentford had grown into the game and were unlucky not to take the lead just three minutes after their leveller. The pacy Watkins was put through on goal but somehow hit the post and then the bar with two efforts before Benrahma struck wide when well placed.
The home side scored after a minute in the first half and Brentford did the same in the second half. With just one minute played, Watkins headed in his second goal of the game from just a yard out. Collins misjudged a deep cross and Watkins couldn’t miss.
The away side were so dominant at this point and the Tykes couldn’t deal with their oppositions quick play. Sergi Canos could have put Brentford in a more dominant position but could only hit the side netting when well placed. The attacker also had Watkins in space but decided against passing to the 23-year-old on a hat-trick.
Barnsley felt they should have had a penalty when Mallik Wilks was brought down by a clumsy Henrik Dalsgaard challenge, but referee David Webb was unmoved.
Just a minute later Watkins completed his hat-trick. Barnsley pushed players forward in search of an equaliser and the Bees exploited the gaps left in the home side’s backline. Canos cross found the head of Watkins who almost had his header saved by Collins, but the effort had just too much power on it. 3-1 the score.
Benrahma came close to scoring a deserved goal, but missed the target when well placed after some lovely passing play by the away side.
Barnsley couldn’t find a way back into the game as the match finished 3-1. Barnsley remain in the relegation zone and take on Derby County at Oakwell in midweek. Brentford will face Bristol City in London.
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