Nathan Collins earns Brentford wild win over West Ham on afternoon of firsts

Nathan Collins secured a 3-2 win for Brentford over West Ham on an unlikely afternoon of firsts in west London.

Defender Collins scored his first goal for the Bees after Jarrod Bowen became the first player in Premier League history to score in each of his side’s first six away matches.

There was also a first goal in 35 matches, and 14 months, for Brentford forward Neal Maupay.

Unfortunately for West Ham, it was a first Premier League win – or even point – against the Bees which eluded them. Thomas Frank’s side have the hoodoo over the Hammers having won all five meetings since they were promoted.

Maupay’s last goal was for Everton in a 1-0 win against none other than West Ham, at Goodison Park in September 2022.

So it came as little surprise to anyone of a claret and blue persuasion that he would end his drought here. It took him only 10 minutes and it was the scruffiest of goals, but the 27-year-old could not have cared less.

Yoane Wissa had a shot blocked in a crowded West Ham penalty area and Frank Onyeka’s swipe at the rebound bounced into the ground and up for Maupay to glance past Alphonse Areola.

If that goal was not exactly one for the purists, West Ham’s equaliser certainly was.

Michail Antonio crossed from the left and Mohammed Kudus steadied himself before executing a stunning, acrobatic volley across Bees keeper Mark Flekken and into the far corner.

It was the Ghana winger’s fifth goal since joining West Ham from Ajax, on what was only his second Premier League start.

West Ham took the lead after 26 minutes as Bowen grabbed his landmark goal.

Kudus diverted Said Benrahma’s cross onto the far post and Bowen was on hand to tuck away the rebound, the goal surviving a VAR check for handball against the England winger.

West Ham should have led 3-1 at the break but Antonio, in trying to get on the end of Bowen’s cross, inadvertently made a goal-saving challenge to prevent Benrahma scoring with a far-post tap-in.

Instead, 10 minutes into the second half it was 2-2.

Hammers boss David Moyes had just been booked for chirruping away at fourth official John Busby, and his mood did not improve when defender Konstantinos Mavropanos headed Bryan Mbeumo’s cross into his own net.

West Ham would probably have settled for a point but Brentford did not, and in the 69th minute Mathias Jensen crossed from the right and Collins rose highest at the far post to head the winner.