Bees beaten in Hertfordshire
Brentford were handed only their third away defeat of the npower League One season as they lost 1-0 at Stevenage.
Lucas Haber scored the only goal of the game for the home side inside the final 15 minutes, winning the race to a header forward.
The Bees started with Bradley Wright-Phillips on the left side and Clayton Donaldson as the lone striker.
They struggled to hold the ball in the early stages and Stevenage took control of the game.
They were able to turn the Brentford defence with balls in to the space behind but also played some decent football when they were able to work space in midfield.
The home side would have wondered how they did not take the lead in the first half hour, they had at least five good openings and Brentford were indebted to the woodwork and goalkeeper Simon Moore.
But The Bees survived that and the game was more even, particularly in the second half, but Stevenage took a late chance and took the points.
Harlee Dean made an early block from a Haber shot before Gavin Mahon headed the resulting corner against the post and Simon Moore scrambled the loose ball away.
Stevenage captain Mark Roberts headed against the crossbar from a corner later in the half and Darius Charles smashed the loose ball wide.
Brentford were fortunate to escape again soon after when a ball forward deflected off Jake Bidwell and set Sam Hoskins free, he got round Simon Moore but overran the ball and Liam Moore cleared.
Luke Freeman also fired over for the hosts, who were in command.
Brentford Manager Uwe Rösler made a tactical change midway through the half, reverting to two strikers and pulling Tom Adeyemi and Adam Forshaw to the flanks.
That made The Bees much more competitive and the rest of the half was more even.
Wright-Phillips brought a save out of Steve Arnold with a low shot and Jonathan Douglas was crowded out when he had a shooting opportunity from a half cleared corner as The Bees started to put together some attacking moves.
But Stevenage were still on top – Freeman couldn’t convert a Haber cross at the far post and Dean blocked a Hoskins effort before the striker smashed the loose ball over.
The best chance of the half came when Freeman escaped on the left, his cross to the far post was met by Haber at the far post and the striker looked certain to score only for Simon Moore to get across full stretch and keep it out.
Rösler shuffled his pack further at half time, bringing on Shaleum Logan and Harry Forrester for Bidwell and Jake Reeves.
The Bees stuck to the 4-4-2 shape they ended the first half with and Forshaw and Forrester provided the width.
The visitors could have gone ahead 90 seconds in to the second period when Forshaw sent Donaldson away in the right channel, he raced clear of Miguel Comminges but Arnold kept out his low shot.
Wright-Phillips went close again soon after when he turned free from danger and hit a shot from 25 yards that flew just over the bar before Dean headed a Forshaw free kick over.
Hoskins faded a left foot shot wide for Stevenage before a Greg Tansey corner flew across the six-yard box and a Freeman shot was blocked.
An Adeyemi header from a Tony Craig cross was saved before Stevenage went ahead with 14 minutes remaining.
Craig’s clearance was returned with interest by Roberts and Haber out-muscled Dean to toe-poke the ball past Simon Moore and in to the net.
The Bees knew they had less than 20 minutes to try and get something from the game and Stuart Dallas was introduced as they chased the game.
A curling Forshaw shot was weak and easy for Arnold and Wright-Phillips worked him slightly harder with a shot soon after.
Simon Moore saved from Hoskins as Stevenage sought a goal that would kill the game and The Bees were forced to end the game with Liam Moore limping in the centre of defence.
Stevenage midfield player James Dunne was very fortunate referee Craig Pawson and his senior assistant did not adjudge it as a foul as he had already been booked and would certainly have been sent off for a tackle that was late and appeared to go over the ball.
Dunne was substituted as soon as play re-started to ensure he was not dismissed and Mr Pawson angered Brentford further by playing less than five minutes of additional time despite lengthy treatment to Liam Moore, a goal and substitutions.
Brentford could not create anything during that period and went home with nothing.
Stevenage: Arnold; Gray, Roberts, Charles, Comminges; Tansey (sub Grant 85 mins), Mahon, Dunne (sub Akins 90 mins), Freeman; Haber, Hoskins (sub Shroot 90 mins)
Subs (not used): Day, Jeffrey, Iro, Beleck
Bookings: Dunne (59 mins)
Brentford: S. Moore; L. Moore, Dean, Craig, Bidwell (sub Logan h/t); Douglas; Forshaw, Adeyemi (sub Dallas 79 mins), Reeves (sub Forrester h/t), Wright-Phillips; Donaldson
Subs (not used): Lee, Diagouraga, Hayes, Trotta
Bookings: Wright-Phillips (65 mins) (third of season)
Attendance: 2,794 (882 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham