Huddersfield edge Brentford to close gap on Championship top two
Promotion chasers Huddersfield closed the gap on the Sky Bet Championship top two to six points with a hard fought 1-0 win at Brentford.
Rajiv van La Parra's freak goal just before the half-hour mark was the difference between two good footballing sides.
Brentford's defence fell asleep and - when a quickly-taken free-kick found Van La Parra wide on the left - the Dutch winger's fierce cross-shot was punched into the net by Bees goalkeeper Daniel Bentley for a winner that may have the dubious goals panel scratching their heads.
It was no more than Town deserved for a spirited, energetic and technically-impressive performance against Dean Smith's in-form Brentford.
But the hosts' striker Lasse Vibe will rue a glaring miss just after the break when Florian Jozefzoon burst down the left and squared for the Dane to take aim - before he blazed his effort well over from close range.
Minutes later, still smarting from the miss, his shot from the edge of the box deflected over the keeper and away to safety off the angle of post and bar.
Brentford started brightly and Jota might have given his side an early lead with just three minutes gone, but his 20-yard drive was tipped away at full stretch by keeper Danny Ward.
Minutes later Town signalled their intent when Tommy Smith burst down the right and zipped in a low cross to the near post which Jack Payne touched goalwards only to be thwarted by a reflex Bentley stop.
Vibe's speculative effort was deflected over the bar as the visitors looked sharper and more industrious, winning most of the midfield battles.
After the deadlock was broken Brentford tried to respond with Rico Henry flashing a low drive across the crowded goalmouth - but no one could get the decisive touch.
Smith was getting plenty of joy down the Bees' left flank and teed up Nahki Wells with an inviting near-post cross which the livewire striker side-footed against the upright.
Brentford could not wait to get to half-time against David Wagner's side, who looked energetic and classy throughout the first 45 minutes.
After the break and Vibe's howler, Brentford pressed forward looking for the equaliser and centre-back John Egan thought he had found it only to see his headed effort ruled out for pushing.
Town were always dangerous though and constantly pressed the Londoners all over the pitch.
Bees skipper Harlee Dean was fortunate not to compound a miserable afternoon on 71 minutes when he deflected Elias Kachunga's driven cross onto his own post.
Brentford thought they had a shout for penalty late on when Sergi Canos was bundled over on the edge of the box, but the referee waved play on as Huddersfield held on for maximum points.
Source : PA