Brentford conceded two goals in the final five minutes as they were beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Bees were second best for much of the evening but held an advantage thanks to a first half goal from Maxime Colin. But Matt Doherty equalised for the visitors, the second full back on the score sheet, with four minutes to go and they kept pushing on. Hélder Costa then converted from ten yards inside the final 90 seconds of normal time to give Wolves the win.
And it was three points they deserved. They had much the better of the first half and were unfortunate to be behind to a well-taken goal from Colin. They hit the woodwork early in the second half and Brentford’s defence was working overtime to keep them out. Eventually the pressure told and once Doherty scored it always looked like the winner might come.
Wolves went on the attack from the first whistle. They had a sight of gaol inside 30 seconds – when Dave Edwards dragged a shot well wide – and had much the better of the opening exchanges. The visitors had three attacking midfield players high up the pitch, close to striker Nouha Dicko. They tried, with great success, to stop Brentford playing out from the back in the early stages which meant they dominated possession and territory.
The visitors also had some good chances to open the scoring in the opening 25 minutes and Brentford were indebted to some good defending and goalkeeping to keep them level. Harlee Dean made an important clearance after Andreas Weimann had worked his way to the dead ball line and Daniel Bentley saved when Lee Evans let fly from distance. The Brentford goalkeeper then saved at the feet of Dicko after Wolves had broken quickly when a headed attempt from John Egan, from a Jota corner, was blocked and Costa lashed well over from distance.
Edwards should have put Wolves ahead when Weimann’s ball put him through on goal but Bentley saved well before Egan made an important clearance when Dicko lashed across the box and Doherty pulled a shot wide. Bentley saved from Costa again as the game headed towards the half hour mark but it was Brentford that found the breakthrough. The goal was well worked as Rico Henry fed a ball forward and Konstantin Kerschbaumer flicked it in to the path of Colin who moved forward and lashed in to the bottom corner from 18 yards.
Colin finished superbly from the inside left position after drifting forward following earlier involvement in the move but there was no doubt the goal was harsh on Wolves. Brentford had been second best until that point and had only one real effort on goal – Sergi Canós firing wide from 25 yards. Their attacking trio – Jota, Lasse Vibe and Canós – had hardly been in the game as Wolves prevented Brentford’s midfield supplying them the ball. The goal could have led to a change in momentum but Wolves reacted well to going behind and came back strongly.
Doherty headed a free kick wide before Edwards missed the target with another aerial effort. Bentley saved when Dicko let fly from a tight angle before Edwards turned another free kick wide at the near post. The half ended with Ryan Woods firing well over for The Bees when they had broken quickly after a Weimann shot was blocked but that was a rare attack from the hosts. Wolves game plan had worked to great effect in the first half in terms of chances, possession and territory and they would have been hopeful of turning it in to goals after the break.
And they should have done so within three minutes of the re-start. Costa and Dicko combined to leave the latter ten yards out with only Bentley to beat, he went for power and smashed his shot against the crossbar. It was still reverberating when George Saville tried to convert the re-bound from a narrow angle and lashed it high and wide. Saville went close again later in the half when he picked up a Dicko pass and curled a shot from 20 yards just past the far post.
But Brentford started the second half promisingly. They were able to knit a few passes together in midfield and looked like creating chances. Vibe could have doubled the lead seconds after Dicko hit the crossbar with a curling left foot shot that took a deflection and flew inches past the post. Egan had a shot blocked when a corner was half cleared and the follow-up from Colin was easily saved by Carl Ikeme. Ikeme then saved from Canós soon after as Brentford looked for a second goal to give them breathing space. And The Bees wasted a great chance soon after when, as they broke quickly, Canós tried to find Vibe all alone in the centre of the pitch but the pass went astray and Ikeme gathered.
Conor Coady had seen a shot blocked for the visitors when a corner was half cleared but it took until the hour mark for them to regain the initiative they had in the first period. The opening exchanges of the second half had been even but Wolves, with an extra striker – Ivan Cavaleiro – on the pitch, began to take control again as the game entered its final half hour. There was a triple escape for The Bees when Egan blocked a Dicko shot, Bentley palmed out an effort from Cavaleiro and Dean cleared the last effort from Evans inside the six-yard-box.
Doherty should have scored when he turned a Danny Batth flick in to the side netting following a corner and Costa’s deflected free kick was cleared inside the six-yard-box by Woods soon after. Jota fired wide for The Bees but almost all the action was at the other end. Doherty headed wide and Dean blocked superbly from Coady after the full back had burst forward. Egan then blocked from Weimann and the Wolves man then had a shot blocked at the near post.
Just when it looked as if Brentford may hold on for an undeserved win, Wolves levelled. Coady got away on the right and delivered a cross that flew along the six-yard-box for Doherty to turn in from close range. The goal was well deserved and Wolves did not rest on it. Minutes later they won the ball in midfield and Cavaleiro got away in the right again, this time the cross found Costa and he bounced a shot back in the direction it came, past Bentley and in to the net.
And there was no way back for The Bees. They had not played well enough over the evening to suggest they could mount a comeback. Weimann could have made it safe when he burst in to the box on the right but Bentley saved his shot while a Dean header was easily gathered at the other end. Even when Brentford had a free kick at the death the ball forward was easily cleared and Wolves had the points.
Brentford: Bentley; Colin, Dean, Egan, Henry; Woods; Jota (sub Clarke 69 mins), Kerschbaumer (sub Sawyers 80 mins), Yennaris, Canós; Vibe (sub Jozefzoon 61 mins)
Subs (not used): Bonham, Field, Barbet, Hofmann
Bookings: Egan (34 mins) (seventh of season), Canós (51 mins) (fourth of season)
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme; Coady, Hause, Batth, Doherty; Evans, Saville (sub Cavaleiro 61 mins); Weimann (sub Gibbs-White), Edwards, Costa; Dicko (sub Marshall 82 mins)
Subs (not used): Lonergan, Stearman, Böðvarsson, Saïss
Bookings: Batth (74 mins)
Attendance: 8,732 (1,030 away fans)