Ben Mee’s fine volley earned Brentford a share of the spoils from a scrappy Premier League encounter at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A match full of stoppages, mostly instigated by the away side, never really got going, aside from a two-minute spell at the start of the second half that saw a pair of quality goals, not in keeping with the rest of the game. 

Brentford took the lead five minutes after the restart, Mee adjusting his feet quickly to scissor kick home Bryan Mbeumo’s cross.

However, that advantage barely latest 100 seconds before Rúben Neves curled home a fine leveller from just inside the D. 

The visitors finished with ten men, Diego Costa’s headbutt on Mee picked up by VAR, as Brentford extended their run to just two home Premier League defeats in 12.

The teams

Thomas Frank made three changes to his starting XI, also reverting to four at the back.

Mee returned in place of Zanka, Josh Dasilva came in for Frank Onyeka and Mads Roerslev dropped to the bench for Wissa.

Roerslev’s full-back slot was taken by Kristoffer Ajer with Wissa starting on the left of a front three. 

Wolves made two changes from their defeat to Leicester City last time out; Nélson Semedo and Boubacar Traoré came in for Jonny and João Moutinho.

Diego Costa led the line with Daniel Podence, Matheus Nunes and Adama Traoré just behind him in support.

Brentford: Raya; Ajer (Roerslev 83), Mee, Pinnock, Henry; Janelt, Jensen (Damsgaard 38), Dasilva (Onyeka 83); Mbeumo (Canós 83), Wissa (Lewis-Potter 75), Toney

Subs not used: Cox, Zanka, Ghoddos, Yarmoliuk

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sá; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; Traoré (Guedes 83), Neves; Adama, Nunes (Moutinho 40), Podence; Costa

Subs not used: Šarkić, Aït-Nouri, Hwang, Mosquera, Jonny, Hodge, Campbell

Attendance: 17,051

First half

The two sides were well matched tactically and that led to a cagey opening 45 minutes at the Gtech Community Stadium.

With Vitaly Janelt screening the Brentford backline, and Neves and Boubacar Traoré doing the same for the away side, space was at a premium. 

In response, both sides tried to make the most of the width on offer with Rico Henry drawing Nélson Semedo into a rash challenge inside a minute, which earned the right-back a yellow card. 

Wolves early joy also came from wide areas, with Daniel Podence heavily involved. The winger should have done better when Neves’ pressing won the ball back from Jensen on the edge of the box, but his tame shot from eight yards was easy for David Raya to drop on.

Ethan Pinnock then got an important touch to divert his cross away from Costa before the Wolves’ frontman looped a header over the bar, again from Podence’s centre. 

A slip from Hugo Bueno allowed Mbeumo in down the right but his cutback was fractionally behind Ivan Toney and the Bees’ top scorer could only pull his shot across goal and wide.  

Neves fired a speculative effort well over from 30 yards before Josh Dasilva came close to breaking the deadlock. Mathias Jensen teased Boubacar Traoré into trying to intercept his crossfield pass but it evaded him and Dasilva was able to turn and line up a shot from 25 yards; Sá stood, lead-footed, as the ball curled inches past his far post.

Toney then slipped at the vital time when looking to collect Vitaly Janelt’s reverse pass inside the area, but the chances dried up as the game headed towards half-time. 

The flow of the game was in no way helped by a host of stoppages, something that suited the visitors down to the ground. After lengthy spells of treatment both Matheus Nunes and Jensen had to be replaced, Mikkel Damsgaard coming on for the Bees.

A Podence shot, blocked by Ajer, a João Moutinho volley, turned behind by Mee, and Boubacar Traoré’s wild drive was the only goalmouth action of the final 25 minutes, plus six minutes stoppage-time at the end of the first half. 

Second half

The opening exchanges of the second half were more lively and led to the afternoon’s two goals.

Mbeumo had already nodded Dasilva’s half-blocked shot into the arms of Sá, Toney also finding the Wolves goalkeeper in the way from Mee’s knockdown, before Brentford took the lead.

Mbeumo, Toney and Damsgaard combined from a quickly taken set-piece. Damsgaard’s pass to Mbeumo allowed him to whip in a teasing ball, which Mee scissor kicked past Sá and into the bottom corner. 

Having worked so hard to get the lead, the advantage was gone inside two minutes thanks to another quality finish.

Full-back Semedo reached the byline and cut the ball back to the edge of the D for Neves to send a sweet, curling finish into the corner.

Wolves enjoyed a good spell after their goal. Podence and Costa brought smart saves out of Raya from the left-angle of the area. In between the Spanish striker and Neves also sent efforts well off target, but the game didn’t open up as it might have.

Instead, as Brentford began to get back on to the front foot, Wolves sought to take the sting out of the game with a succession of stoppages. The breaks in play prevented the Bees mounting any sustained pressure, frustrating all those in red and white both on and off the pitch. 

After a 20-minute lull in the middle of the half, the final quarter of an hour did see both sides create some openings to take all three points.

Dasilva’s fierce drive from just outside the D was blocked by Collins while Toney couldn’t adjust quickly enough at the back post to turn Keane Lewis-Potter’s header goalwards. 

Henry’s well-struck low shot was cleared away by Neves while at the other end, Costa got past Mee but then found Raya equal to his shot from the angle.

That wouldn’t be the final time Mee and Costa would come together in the final minutes.

Firstly, the Brentford defender read Gonçalo Guedes’ intention to find Costa in the box and took the ball away from the striker with a fine challenge.

Their next encounter ended with Mee flat out inside the D. Nobody caught the off-the-ball incident in real time, but VAR quickly picked up a headbutt from the Wolves man and Robert Madley had no hesitation in showing the red card. 

That gave Brentford a man advantage for the final four minutes of the seven added, but it wasn’t enough time to force a winner. 

Reaction: Thomas Frank

Head coach Thomas Frank praised the energy and attitude of his players.

Reaction: Rico Henry

Rico Henry cut a frustrated figure when speaking after the full-time whistle.