Jon De Souza's side let 3-1 lead slip to fall to third straight league defeat
George Hirst’s late goal condemned Brentford’s Youth Team to a third straight defeat as they were downed 4-3 by an inspired second-half display from Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon
The Bees fell behind early on when Matt Penney slotted past Cameron Greaves but Courtney Austin’s fifth goal of the season, coupled with Reece Cole’s brace – including a stunning free-kick – put the Bees in the driving seat at the break.
Hirst then pulled one back with a hooked effort and the Owls drew level through Josh Stachini with Hirst completing the comeback with twelve minutes to play, before Julius Fenn-Evans was sent off in the dying seconds.
Luke Dunn made first start of the season at right-back, Danny Parish and Julius Fenn-Evans returned to the starting XI, whilst Giovanni McGregor was dropped to the bench after his run out for the U21s earlier in the week.
Brentford started on the back foot and, after just seven minutes, were a goal behind as Penney turned Jon Centeno’s low cross beyond the reach of Greaves and into the bottom corner.
Five minutes after falling behind, Courtney Austin equalised for the Bees when he brought down a perfectly-weighted pass from Ian Carlo Poveda and beat Brad McDonagh; the shot hit the bar but was adjudged to have crossed the line by the referee.
Midfielder Reece Cole then put Jon De Souza’s boys in front when he hit an unstoppable, curling free-kick past McDonagh; David Beckham would have been proud.
Romayn Pennant fast became a target for the home side, and was sent flying by reckless lunges from Connor Kirby and Joe Cook, for which both players’ received cautions.
On 22 minutes, the lead was extended further as Cole doubled his tally; he danced past the Wednesday central defence and stroked in low shot as the Bees gained confidence.
The Owls were struggling to cope with the visitors’ high defensive line and potency of their attacks, but came close to pulling a goal back on the half hour, when Greaves attempted clearance hit Hirst but drifted harmlessly wide.
The second-half saw a revitalised Sheffield Wednesday who almost immediately pulled one back when Cole was caught in possession; the ensuing counter-attack saw Penney draw a very good block from Greaves.
Brentford seemed to be happy to keep the ball on the deck and defend their lead against a side whose attacking threat had previously been less than deadly, with just four goals scored in their last six games.
Nonetheless, Brentford were caught napping; firstly on the hour mark, when Penney swung in a cross that was expertly hooked in by the long leg of Hirst and again just six minutes later by Stachini.
The left-back picked the ball up in a deep position, found space and arrowed a low drive straight at Greaves; the shot agonisingly slipping through his fingers and into the net to level up proceedings.
Hirst nearly bagged his hat-trick as he hit the bar with 15 minutes remaining, and Courtney Austin scuffed the subsequent clearance inches wide when through on goal.
But two minutes later, the three points finally slipped away from the Bees as Warren Clarke’s cross-field pass was picked up by Hirst who made no mistake in tucking his shot away from 20 yards.
As the Bees looked for an elusive equaliser, Josh Bohui couldn’t get his head on Cole’s corner with eight minutes to go but in the final minute, Brentford’s momentum finally slipped away when Fenn-Evans was given a harsh second booking for what looked like a 50/50 challenge.
Brentford: Cameron Greaves, Luke Dunn, Romayn Pennant (Giovanni McGregor 45) (Tony Guppy 68), Reece Cole, Chris Mepham (c), Terence Vancouten, Danny Parish, Julius Fenn-Evans, Courtney Austin, Ian Carlo Poveda, Josh Bohui
Subs not used: Kingsley Eshun
Goal Times: Austin (12), Cole (17 & 22)
Bookings: Fenn-Evans (71 & 89)
Sheffield Wedneday: Brad McDonagh, Joe Cook (Spencer Brown 85), Josh Stachini, Connor Kirby, Connor O’Grady, Jack Lee, Jon Centeno, Warren Clarke (Freddy Tracey 90), George Hirst, Jake Nicholson
Subs not used: Dan Wallis, Mason Duffy, Fraser Preston
Goal Times: Penney (7), Hirst (60 & 78), Stachini (66)
Bookings: Kirby (9), Cook (18)