Two goals from João Teixeira were enough to condemn Brentford to their first defeat for a month. The Bees were beaten 3-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in a match that was even for long periods. Brentford travelled to the Black Country unbeaten in four and were level at half time despite being second best. But two goals early in the second half from Teixeira gave Wolves a lead they did not give up.
There were stages, however, when Brentford looked like they might make a comeback. Sullay Kaikai scored his first goal for The Bees and there were chances to level it up. But referee Andy Davies will ultimately be the man, along with Teixeira, who takes the headlines. He failed to notice home midfield man Dave Edwards punch a free kick clear when Wolves led 2-1 and a late third from Ivan Cavaleiro only rubbed salt in the wound.
The hosts started the game in an energetic fashion. Their three central midfield players hustled like terriers and did not give their Brentford counterparts a moment on the ball. Brentford tried to play in a similar fashion, looking to harry Wolves in to mistakes and the first chance of the game came from such a moment. Lewis Macleod robbed Cameron Borthwick-Jackson as he tried to shield the ball out of play and then cut it back to Scott Hogan but Carl Ikeme pushed the shot around the post.
That was a rare moment of attacking excitement for Brentford in the first quarter. Wolves had the upper hand in the opening exchanges. They were happy to pass the ball around in all areas of the pitch but used their central striker – Jón Daði Böðvarsson – to good effect. The hard-working and tenacious Icelandic international almost created the opening goal but Teixeira was unable to turn in his cut back. The striker was the focal point for Wolves. They looked to play in to him and then work the ball for their midfield players to get past him. It meant they started well as Brentford took a while to get to grips with Böðvarsson but they did not create much.
Edwards blasted wide from distance for the hosts before Romain Saiss saw a free kick blocked and the follow-up effort from Hélder Costa flew straight at Daniel Bentley from 25 yards. Borthwick-Jackson shot wide at the near post before Ryan Woods curled an effort narrowly wide at the other end. Referee Davies upset the home fans and players by refusing to award a penalty when Teixeira went down midway through the half. The Portuguese attacker had tricked his way past Harlee Dean and Maxime Colin and then went down when the latter got close again but Mr Davies adjudged the theatrics of the home player did not mean he was fouled.
When Hogan was not penalised moments later when similarly coming close to Dominic Iorfa’s heels at the other end and Brentford won a free kick when the Wolves defender handled, the home fans were even more upset, albeit the official had applied the laws in the same fashion twice in quick succession. Josh McEachran’s near post free kick was blocked and Teixeira saw a similar effort at the other end also blocked. Bentley saved an Edwards shot and Saiss blasted over from distance as half time approached.
The game turned in to a midfield battle as the break loomed. Both teams harried the other when out of possession but couldn’t really utilise the ball when they had it. Wolves would probably have been the happier at the break as they had had the better of the game but they had not really tested Bentley. However, within 15 minutes of the restart they had a lead they would not surrender.
The opening goal came less than 90 seconds after the interval and from a Brentford attack. McEachran strode forward with the ball but was robbed by Costa and the hosts broke with purpose. The Wolves attacker ran half the length of the pitch before slipping the ball through to Teixeira and he cut inside John Egan before slotting under Bentley. The goal was particularly costly for The Bees as McEachran was injured when tackled and had to be removed on a stretcher.
The home side should have doubled their lead from another quick break. This time Teixeira led the break, darting forward from the left side, he slipped in Costa who rounded Bentley but ran wide, his back heel left the ball inside the six-yard box and there were heroic blocks from Dean and Egan to prevent Böðvarsson scoring. The ball was eventually scrambled away after Teixeira had also had a shot blocked but Brentford’s escape was shot lived.
The Bees were the team to feel aggrieved as Mr Davies inexplicably gave a free kick to the hosts when it appeared Woods was the man fouled. Teixeira took advantage, curling the dead ball from the left side across Bentley and in to the far post. A number of Wolves players tried to get a touch but none did and the goal was Teixeira’s.
Brentford tried to respond and Macleod saw a shot blocked before he too limped off while a Colin cross was just too high for Hogan. Brentford threw Lasse Vibe on to replace Macleod and attacked with numbers. They then had a lifeline midway through the half when Hogan and Woods found Yennaris, he flicked the ball in to the path of Kaikai and the loan attacker smashed a shot past Ikeme and in at the near post to halve the deficit.
Kaikai had a shot blocked before a Woods free kick was punched out of danger by Edwards only for Mr Davies to award a goal kick. Dean was booked for his protests and Brentford’s ire grew when a push on Egan as he attacked another set piece also went unpunished. Brentford were also creating chances – Colin had a shot blocked and Vibe headed a Sawyers cross wide from eight yards – while Prince Oniangue blasted over the at the end.
The whistle of Mr Davies was blowing almost consistently in the later stages with often no obvious reason as to why. Free kicks would go repeatedly one way and then repeatedly the other as almost everyone inside the ground became more and more confused. Yoann Barbet made a fine tackle to prevent Joe Mason converting a Oniangue cross and when Brentford’s French defender then flicked on a Yennaris cross, Egan nodded straight at Ikeme.
Kaikai had another shot blocked but the game was up three minutes in to stoppage time as Wolves grabbed a third. Böðvarsson broke away on the right as Brentford committed bodies forward and he square to substitute Cavaleiro to tuck the ball under Bentley and make the game safe. Böðvarsson could have had a fourth but pulled his shot wide while Woods, who picked up a booking to mean he misses Tuesday’s match against Reading, blasted in to the side netting at the death. Brentford continued to put forward as the game ticked in to the 98th minute but there was no way back and Wolves had the win.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme; Doherty, Iorfa, Batth, Borthwick-Jackson; Oniangue (sub Coady 88 mins), Edwards, Saiss; Costa (sub Cavaleiro 69 mins), Böðvarsson, Teixeira (sub Mason 77 mins)
Subs (not used): Lonergan, Stearman, Price, Gladon
Bookings: Saiss (75 mins)
Brentford: Bentley; Colin, Dean, Egan, Barbet; Woods, McEachran (sub Yennaris 49 mins); Macleod (sub Vibe 64 mins), Sawyers, Kaikai; Hogan
Subs (not used): Bonham, Chatzitheordoridis, McCormack, Clarke, Saunders
Bookings: Colin (35 mins) (fourth of season), Sawyers (37 mins) (second of season), Dean (76 mins) (second of season), Woods (90 mins) (fifth of season – suspended for one match, Reading (H), 27 September)