Report: Brentford 3-1 Bolton
A disappointing first half display saw Bolton Wanderers lose away at Brentford on Tuesday night.
Nico Yennaris fired the Bees into an early lead before a Lasse Vibe brace effectively sealed the tie before the break.
Responding well following the interval, Zach Clough netted for the Whites from the penalty spot, but it was not enough to prevent Bolton from suffering another defeat.
Alex Finney was handed his full Wanderers debut as Jimmy Phillips made three changes to the side that faced Reading.
Liam Trotter and Tom Walker both returned to the Whites starting XI, while Alex Samizadeh was again named on the substitutes’ bench.
Wanderers found themselves on the back-foot straight from kick-off and could have fallen behind inside the opening moments, only for Lasse Vibe to head wide after finding space at the near post.
Continuing to find themselves penned back inside their own half, Ben Amos was called into action to deny Alan Judge before later gathering a Yoann Barbet free-kick at the second attempt.
Judge remained a constant thorn in the Whites’ back-line throughout and almost fired Brentford ahead in fortuitous circumstances, only to see his right-wing cross cannon back off the crossbar with Sam
Saunders unable to convert the rebound.
However, Bolton fell behind from the Bees’ next attack as Nico Yennaris diverted Ryan Woods’ scuffed shot home at the far post.
Backed by a vocal travelling Trotters support, Wanderers responded well and were unfortunate not to net an immediate equaliser following good play from Josh Vela, operating behind lone-striker Zach Clough.
Combining well with Liam Trotter after stealing possession, the midfielder beat David Button with a well-placed shot from the edge of the area, only to see it deflect behind off the post.
But Bolton remained vulnerable at the back and were punished as Brentford took advantage to double their lead from their very next attack.
With Amos caught out of position, Niall Maher did well to clear Vibe’s dangerous low cross, however, the Dane reacted quickest to slot home into the corner after toying with the Trotters goalkeeper and covering defenders on the line.
Vela, Kaiyne Woolery and Zach Clough continued to look lively when in possession and almost combined to halve the deficit on the half-hour mark, only for the latter to fizz narrowly over from distance.
But once again Wanderers were punished as Brentford went up the other end to extend their lead, Vibe finding the corner with a well-placed header as the Whites went in at the break with a mountain to club.
David Wheater was introduced at half-time in place of Alex Finney, while Neil Danns replaced Tom Walker early in the half as Bolton looked to reshuffle following the interval.
Exchanging chances in what was an even start after the break, Vela missed the target when well-placed outside the area for the Trotters before Saunders volleyed over on the turn.
Liam Trotter was next to go close for Wanderers, bursting forward after stealing possession inside the Brentford half before curling his shot narrowly wide of the far post.
At the other end, Amos denied Brentford a spectacular fourth goal, diving full-stretch to keep out Alan McCormack’s ambitious 35-yard effort.
Midway through the half, the Whites were handed a lifeline as they were awarded a penalty after Woolery was brought down by McCormack.
Clough stepped up and made no mistake with the spot-kick, sending Button the wrong way with a coolly placed strike into the bottom corner.
With proceedings evenly balanced, Jimmy Phillips handed 17-year-old Alex Samizadeh his Bolton first team debut with less than ten minutes remaining.
But the youngster was unable to inspire an unlikely comeback as the Trotters’ away days blues continued.