Scott Hogan continued his stunning return from injury to seal Brentford’s seventh win in nine games with a crushing 5-1 victory at Huddersfield.
Hogan struck a second-half double to take his tally to seven goals in four matches. The former Rochdale striker had been sidelined for 18 months with a recurring knee injury but his return to fitness has coincided with Brentford’s powerful end to the season.
The Bees claimed one of the quickest goals of the campaign when Sergei Canos scored after just 21 seconds.
Jamie Paterson equalised just after half-time but Hogan’s quick-fire brace followed by others from his replacement Lasse Vibe and fellow substitute John Swift completed the demolition.
Town slumped to a heavy defeat for the second successive game after last week’s 4-0 drubbing at Bristol City. Huddersfield had hardly shaken off the pre-match carnival atmosphere after a lap of honour by 180 fans who had cycled 215 miles for charity when they were caught cold straight from the kick-off.
With just 21 seconds gone, left-back Martin Cranie’s first touch let him down and Canos took the ball and raced forward before firing home under Jed Steer for a stunning opener.
The Bees could have made it 2-0 just minutes later when Jake Bidwell’s corner was not dealt with by the Town defence and Harlee Dean flicked the ball on for Yoann Barbet to test Steer with a header at the back post.
Konstantin Kerschbaumer also caused more panic in the Huddersfield defence but there was no-one on the end of his driven cross.
In the 15th minute Huddersfield lost on-loan goalkeeper Steer, who had earlier needed lengthy treatment on the pitch. A second collision saw him limp off in the last game before his return to relegated Aston Villa and he was replaced by 22-year-old Lloyd Allinson, making his professional debut.
Allinson showed no sign of nerves and his confidence would have been boosted by a good save from Hogan. The striker broke through one-on-one but Allinson stayed big to block.
Town levelled in the 50th minute after substitute Joe Lolley was fouled on the left by Maxime Colin. Dean Whitehead’s quick-thinking from the free-kick set Paterson away and he side-stepped a defender to slot home.
Two minutes later Kerschbaumer split the Town defence and Hogan beat the offside trap to give Allinson no chance.
Hogan sealed the win with his second in the 62nd minute when Kerschbaumer pierced the heart of the Huddersfield defence again. Hogan took the ball around Allinson and fired into an empty net.
Hogan, his work done, was replaced by Vibe two minutes later and the Danish striker played his part when he took a pass from Canos and smashed a shot straight past Allinson.
The Bees ensured boos for the home side on the final whistle when Swift smashed home two minutes from time from Vibe’s pass.
Head coach David Wagner had plenty of food for thought.
“To be honest we struggled from the first second and the goals we conceded were too easy,” he said.
“We tried to work but we were just too tired. The tank was empty.
“Brentford were much stronger than we were and this just shows how tough the Championship is and how much we have to do.
“To play the way we want to play we have to be fresh and we have to work on that in the summer.”
Wagner promised new signings but said: “No decisions will be made on the last two games.
“There will be some new signings and we will try to develop the interesting players we have. We just need small pieces to take steps forward.”
Huddersfield: Steer, Cranie, Hudson, Lynch, Smith, Whitehead, Huws, Scannell, Matmour, van La Parra, Paterson. Subs: Davidson, Hogg, Bunn, Lolley, Dempsey, Allinson, Billing.
Brentford: Button, Colin, Dean, Barbet, Bidwell, Woods, Yennaris, Canos, Kerschbaumer, Saunders, Hogan. Subs: Hofmann, Bonham, Swift, Vibe, O’Connell, Gogia, Clarke.
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)
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