Diagouraga inspires easy Brentford win

Charlton 0 Brentford 3

Toumani Diagouraga made an emphatic return to the starting line-up, creating the first two goals and scoring the third in a resounding Brentford victory.

League One leaders Charlton were no match for the Bees in this Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section second-round clash, which Uwe Rosler’s men controlled from start to finish.

They went ahead after barely a minute, when Diagouraga began the move that ended with Blair Adams scoring after David Clarkson’s effort had been saved.

The outstanding Diagouraga then won a penalty which Kevin O’Connor smashed home to double the lead, and the Frenchman’s cool finish on the hour-mark ensured that last season’s finalists progressed to the next round at a canter.

Diagouraga made an immediate impact on the game, galloping towards the heart of the Charlton defence and putting through Clarkson. The on-loan Bristol City striker’s tame shot was stopped by keeper John Sullivan, but Adams was first to the loose ball and was able to net from close range.

On-loan Sunderland youngster Adams, primarily a left-back, played on the left of midfield with Craig Woodman returning at full-back.

Adams justified manager Rosler’s decision with a solid performance and his first senior goal, but it was Diagouraga who was the driving force – underlining how much his dynamism had at times been missed after he suffered a knee injury during pre-season.

He caused more alarm in the Charlton defence soon after the opener with a typically direct run towards the box before again finding Clarkson, whose shot was blocked.

Diagouraga was running off the shoulder of the hapless Mikel Alonso at will, giving the Spanish midfielder a Charlton debut he will want to forget.

And when Diagouraga popped up in the box yet again on 23 minutes, Alonso clumsily fouled him and O’Connor made no mistake from the resulting spot-kick.

Such was Brentford’s dominance that keeper Simon Moore, making an appearance in place of the rested Richard Lee, was called upon only once in the first half and did well to keep out Danny Green’s free-kick.

Almost all the action was at the other end, where Adam Thompson’s cross gave Myles Weston a chance to score against his former club, but the winger’s header was saved.

It was a similar story after the break but having troubled Charlton with his energy and directness, Diagouraga came up with a moment of class to seal his team’s victory.

With the home defence again at sixes and sevens, the ball dropped to Diagouraga near the penalty spot and after fooling defender Michael Morrison by feinting to shoot with his right foot, he pulled the ball onto his left and calmly steered his shot past Sullivan.

Brentford had chances to add a fourth. Miguel Llera, who was also playing against his ex-club, saw his free-kick deflected over, and substitute Sam Saunders fired into the side netting before Marcus Bean’s late header wide.