Port Vale 0 Brentford 1 Eddie Hutchinson hit his first goal of the season to give Brentford a hard fought 1-0 away win on Saturday - their first at Port Vale since the 1966/67 season, writes Chris Wickham.

Manager Martin Allen took a risk by throwing former skipper Michael Dobson and Andy Myers into the team following injury spells, as stand-in full-backs Kevin O'Connor, Jamie Lawrence and Andy Frampton were unfit. Dobson and Myers, together with Sam Sodje, who returned from suspension in place of Scott Fitzgerald, helped Brentford to take their winning run to three games without conceding a goal.

Allen revealed: "Dobson wasn't really fit to play after having a 45 minute run out in a friendly at Basingstoke the previous Wednesday. But, with Kevin O'Connor, Jamie Lawrence and Andy Frampton out, he had to play. It wasn't a question of having a fitness test - he was just told he was playing. It was a bit of gamble, but it was either him or me."

Dobson, who was not reinstated as captain, said: "I was just happy to be back. I would love to be captain again, but Stewart Talbot is doing a good job. My main aim is to regain my match fitness."

It was Dobson who set up the vital goal in the 29th minute after Brentford, again using Deon Burton as a lone striker, had twice gone close through strikers-turned-flankers Isaiah Rankin and Ben May.

Dobson floated a free-kick to the far post, where May headed down for Hutchinson to blast a low shot past keeper Jon Brain from 10 yards.

Sodje missed a fine chance to make it 2-0, but made amends by blocking a goal-bound effort at the other end from Billy Paynter, who had gone round keeper Stuart Nelson.

Early in the second-half Rankin hit the bar following a fine run by substitute Salako, but Port Vale then took control, with Nelson having to make superb saves from Robin Hulbert, Jeff Smith and Paynter.

Brentford: Nelson; Dobson, Turner, Sodje, Myers (Salako, ht); May, Talbot (capt) (Tabb, 70 mins), Hargreaves, Hutchinson, Rankin; Burton. Subs not used: Julian, Fitzgerald, Lee. Attendance: 4230.