Desperate defending ensures Bluebirds collect another 3 points
Cardiff City kept up the pressure on the sides around them at the top of the Championship with a vital win over Brentford.
Goals for Joe Ralls and Danny Ward put the Bluebirds in the ascendancy at the interval and they held on thanks to some poor finishing from the visitors.
Neal Maupay missed an open goal in the first half for the Londoners.
Cardiff remain third in the Championship, but are still four points behind Wolves, who beat Reading.
Brentford had been on the longest unbeaten run in the Championship, but had no answer to a solid first-half display from the hosts.
Bamba blasted a rocket from close range which Bentley did brilliantly to block.
But the Bluebirds took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes when the Bees failed to clear a routine Sean Morrison long throw, with Ralls on hand to blast home left-footed from 18 yards.
Brentford wasted a golden opportunity to restore parity when Maupay missed an open goal in the 35th minute after a mix up between Morrison & Etheridge. He rounded Etheridge but unbelievably shot wide.
The Bluebirds extended their advantage within two minutes of Maupay’s miss, Bruno Manga’s strong run and cross creating a chance for Ward, who converted calmly.
Ward has now had a hand in eight goals – five goals and three assists – in nine league matches against Brentford.
Cardiff have now won six of their past eight home league matches against Brentford, with manager Neil Warnock unbeaten at home against the Bees for more than 20 years.
The visitors applied plenty of pressure, particularly in a second half when Cardiff’s goal seemed to be living a charmed life.
Lasse Vibe’s effort was cleared off the line by Joe Bennett and Maupay shot wide with the goal at his mercy as the London club were left to reflect on missed opportunities.
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock:
“I’m really proud of the lads today after a difficult week. Right from the first training session, they have focused because we knew we’d be under the cosh.
“I think they’re the only club in the league to have had more crosses and shots than us, so that’s testament to Dean Smith’s side and ours, as we have created chances for supporters to watch.
“I didn’t want them to score late on and we managed to get a clean sheet which gives us a good platform to go to Barnsley.”
Brentford boss Dean Smith:
“I feel we were unlucky today, we had enough chances to get something out of the game today, we had 25 attempts and 14 inside the penalty area.
“In a normal game you would score two or three of those. It felt like it wouldn’t go in for us today. Some of our build-up play was very good, but I’m disappointed with the manner in which our goals were conceded.
“Neal knows he should have scored and 999 times out of a thousand he does. He’s had one of those moments you don’t want to see on a football pitch.”
Gunnarsson 7 (for Damour 69 mins)
Paterson 6 (for Fenney 73 mins)
Gounongbe 6 (for Ward 80 mins)