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League One

Mark Warburton praises his Brentford team

24 January 2014

Brentford boss Mark Warburton praised his side for "sticking to their principles" as they moved back to the top of League 1 with a hard fought 2-1 win over Gillingham.

The Bees made it nine home wins on the trot on a rain-soaked Griffin Park pitch thanks to a first-half Jonathan Douglas strike and a Marcello Trotta penalty.

The Italian stepped up to convert from the spot at the same end where he hit the bar in Brentford's infamous last game of the season against Doncaster.

Cody McDonald gave the visitors hope late on, slotting past David Button to set up a nail-biting finale.

Bees boss Mark Warburton said: "They were very difficult conditions but I was delighted with the way we kept trying to play football even as the pitch deteriorated. We stuck to our principles of playing football, worked ever so hard and got our rewards.

"We dominated for long spells so perhaps my only criticism might be that we weren't clinical enough. We have to learn from that, but to be honest the points were a reward for how hard we worked throughout."

Brentford always looked the slicker of the two sides in what was a typically robust derby clash.

"We knew what to expect from Gillingham and that it would be a very tough physical game in difficult conditions," he said.

Warburton hailed the ice cool head of Fulham loan star Trotta, who converted from the spot to banish his final day demons.

He said: "I never had any doubt that he would. He didn't banish his demons here though. He did that months ago.

"For a 20-year-old to step up under pressure like that you have to be a special kind of person. He is and I was delighted with the response of our fans after he scored."

Brentford should have been out of sight long before the end, Alan Judge seeing a string of ferocious drives charged down by the Gills defence.

Douglas broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when he glanced home Jake Bidwell's left-wing cross from close range.

And Trotta extended the lead after Tony Craig, who played through the pain with a broken hand, was hauled over in the box by Adam Barrett.

The cushion lasted less than three minutes, McDonald latching onto Craig Fagan's through ball to give Peter Taylor's side hope.

And they almost stole a point but Bees keeper David Button made a superb late save to deny Jack Marriott.

That response delighted Gillingham boss Peter Taylor who said: "At times we played some very good football against a very good side in Brentford who haven't lost for something like 15 games.

"We played it long, we played it shot and we mixed things up. We've missed a couple of sitters to get back in the game so it could have been a very different outcome.

"We were very well organised and at times put them under a lot of pressure. Perhaps my only disappointment was that we didn't score a couple more goals."

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