Ivan Toney takes his tally to 30 as Brentford beat Watford
Ivan Toney scored his 30th Sky Bet Championship goal of the season as Brentford beat Premier League-bound Watford 2-0.
The Championship’s top marksman netted a second-half penalty after Marcus Forss had opened the scoring as Brentford guaranteed a third-placed finish for the second season running.
Their points tally of 84 would have sent Brentford up automatically last season, but they will now attempt to avoid the agony of another defeat in the play-offs.
Thomas Frank’s side will have the advantage of playing the home leg of their semi-final second, hopefully in front of 4,000 supporters, as they bid to follow Watford into the top flight for the first time in their history.
The Hornets, who secured promotion by beating Millwall last weekend, almost opened the scoring when Craig Cathcart headed wide before Tom Cleverley was denied by a fine save from David Raya.
But the visitors were disrupted by first-half injuries to Cleverley and debutant Joseph Hungbo as Brentford began to dominate.
Christian Norgaard volleyed over, Forss had a goal ruled out for offside and Toney headed straight at Daniel Bachmann.
It stayed goalless until half-time but 55 seconds into the second half Brentford took the lead when Sergi Canos crossed for Forss to convert at the far post.
Toney’s big moment arrived on the hour after he was tripped in the area by Francisco Sierralta.
The striker dispatched his trademark two-step penalty to become the first player to hit 30 goals in the Championship since Glenn Murray for Crystal Palace eight years ago.
Watford tried to hit back but Isaac Success struck the crossbar before they sent on a familiar name in Maurizio Pochettino.
The son of Paris St Germain and former Tottenham boss Mauricio was handed his debut as a late substitute, but his most notable contribution was giving the ball away to Canos whose shot hit the crossbar.