Brentford have their sights set on automatic promotion after grinding out a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Griffin Park.

Watkins’s first half poachers finish took his tally to 23 for the season but vitally took the Bees temporarily up to third and just five points adrift of Slaven Bilic’s men atop of the league.

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West Brom substitute Kenneth Zahore struck the woodwork in the second half but Brentford’s defence, marshalled by the imperious Pontus Janssen, held firm to see out what could be a crucial victory in their quest for, now, for top two.

Thomas Frank’s men face just two sides in the top half of the table with seven games remaining, and with Leeds and Albion looking unconvincing since the restart,  climbing the table will feel achievable for the Dane.  

Frank’s men took the lead on 16 minutes after what was a tentative opening from both sides.

Some neat work by the talismanic Benrahma and the ever-impressive Josh Dasilva down the left allowed Watkins to level the race with Fulham’s Aleksander Mitrovic for the divisions golden boot.

Under heavy pressure from bagies left back Kieran Gibbs, the Brentford forward slotted home DaSilva’s vicious cross-shot past Sam Johnstone who was largely a spectator for the opening exchanges.

The home side grew after the goal but despite dominating possession they found clear cut chances at a premium.

Bilic shuffled his pack at the break, introducing Kenneth Zahore and Krovinovic for the largely ineffective Hal Robson-Kanu and Matty Phillips.

The more direct Zahore almost gave the visitors the perfect start, but his effort from the edge of the box clipped the bar.

The high press from the Baggies disrupted the Brentford backline and they found possession difficult to maintain.

Despite being on top, a Costa Pereira strike gobbled up by David Raya was the only effort on target for visitors could muster.  

It seemed the Bees weathered the early second half storm and they’ll feel they should’ve doubled their lead midway through the half.

Substitute Shandon Baptiste’s cute pull back found Dasilva who saw his skewed volley treacle wide of the post with Johnstone well beaten in goal.

Bryan Mbeumo stung the keeper’s palms with a rasping strike late on as Brentford looked to strike on the counter, but in truth the Bees defence never looked like creaking with the blossoming partnership of Janssen and Ethan Pinnock setting the foundations of vital win.

BRENTFORD: Raya, Dalsgaard, Henry, Pinnock, Janssen, Norgaard, Marcondes (Baptiste 67’), Dasilva (Mokotjo 83’), Benrahma, Fosu (Mbeumo 67’), Watkins   SUBS: Daniels, Mokotjo, Valencia, Mbeumo, Dervisoglu, Jeanvier, Baptist, Rasmussen

WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Johnstone, Furlong, Ajayi, Hegazi, Gibbs, Phillips (Krovinovic 45’), Livermore (Harper 65’), Perreira (Edwards 90’), Sawyers, Diangana (Robertson 79’), Robson-Kanu (Zahore 45’)  SUBS: Bartley, Edwards, Zahore, Krovinovic, Austin, Harper, Edwards, Bond, O’Shea, Robinson