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Sheffield Wednesday 2 Brentford 1

Bees let lead slip to lose at Hillsborough

12 September 2017

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A first half goal from Nico Yennaris was not enough for Brentford as Sheffield Wednesday came from behind to take the points. The Bees had enough chances to have won the match but failed to take them and the game turned as Gary Hooper equalised in first half stoppage time. The home side then went on to score a second 20 minutes from time to take the points with a 2-1 win.

Brentford can feel slightly hard-done-by that they did not take at least a point. While Yennaris’ goal was not a thing of beauty when Brentford had a one-goal lead in first half stoppage time it was the least they deserved. But Hooper’s strike, slightly fortuitous, swung the game the way of the hosts and they took their chance in the second period to get the win.

There was a rather pedestrian start to the game, not helped by an early injury to Wednesday right back Jack Hunt which halted things for a few minutes. The home side seemed content to let Brentford have the ball, albeit in unthreatening areas. Large spells of the opening exchanges were spent with Brentford holding possession in their own defensive areas while Wednesday waited for a mistake that never came. And when The Bees had their foothold in the game, they went forward and scored almost immediately.

The goal came from a corner that was only half cleared. The Bees had earned that set piece when a Yoann Barbet free kick was deflected behind. Ollie Watkins’ delivery was half cleared and the shot from Yennaris flew through a crowd of bodies and squirmed past Keiran Westwood. The home goalkeeper should have stopped the shot, even in wet conditions, and tried to claim his view was impeded by Brentford players in an offside position. But referee Jeremy Simpson consulted with his assistant Shaun Hudson and awarded the goal.

The woke up a previously sleepy home crowd and Wednesday almost hit straight back. Daniel Bentley made a fine save from Ross Wallace after the midfield man had cut inside and shot from 18 yards. The resulting corner was met by Tom Lees and Bentley saved again before the ball was scrambled away. John Egan made a good block from a David Jones shot later in the half but for all Wednesday pressed in the first half hour, they did not create much.

There was no lack of endeavour from the hosts but Brentford were playing all the football. The Bees were patient in possession, probing for openings and happy for Barbet and Egan to have a lot of the ball. They also created plenty of chances and the game could have been over long before half time.

Neal Maupay was guilty of missing many of the better openings Brentford created but his movement was also responsible for them coming about in the first place. After a spell of possession, the French striker made a fine run to beat the offside trap and was found by Yennaris but his low shot was well saved by Westwood. The resulting corner was headed in at the far post by Egan but Mr Hudson ruled Watkins’ delivery had already gone out of play before being met by the Brentford captain.

Moment later Josh Clarke got away on the right and found Romaine Sawyers, his shot was blocked and Maupay screwed the rebound wide with his left foot from ten yards. Watkins had a low shot saved soon after before a superb piece of play should have led to a second goal. After a series of one-twos, Sawyers fed Yennaris and then burst in to the box on to the lofted return pass, but he failed to make a good contact with his shot and Westwood saved.

Steven Fletcher had a deflected shot saved late in the half and that appeared as if it would be the last chance of the opening period. But there was still time for Wednesday to strike. Clarke lost the ball on halfway and a pass from Adam Reach released Hooper, he bundled his way past Rico Henry and then Bentley and then poked in when Egan’s attempts to clear off the line resulted in the ball falling fortunately to the Wednesday forward.

The goal was completed against the run of play and the balance of the first half. While Wednesday had territorial advantage at times, they had created very little while Brentford had dominated possession and had some clear-cut chances. And that goal late in the half gave Wednesday a boost going in to the break. They came out for the second half with renewed energy and starting to have a higher share of possession, with more of it in dangerous areas.

The second half started in an open fashion. The home side were higher up the pitch but that left space for Brentford when they got the ball in attacking areas. An early Yennaris shot was saved by Westwood and Sawyers screwed an effort wide after he fed Maupay and then got a return ball. At the other end, Bentley saved a deflected effort from Barry Bannan before Fletcher and Reach both blasted well wide. Bentley also made a good stop when a clever Bannan pass put Kieran Lee in on goal but his shot was kept out.

A bit of a stalemate was developing as the game entered the final quarter and an attempt from Barbet from 45 yards that had Westwood scrambling back was a sign of a lack of openings. Both teams made changes as the final 20 minutes approached and it was Wednesday substitute Jordan Rhodes that made a key impact. His first involvement was a deflected cross that landed on the roof of the net and the goal came soon after as Brentford never cleared their lines.

Jones had a shot blocked from the first corner and when the ball was recycled a Bannan shot was bravely deflected behind by Ryan Woods. However, the corner came in, Wallace knocked it back and then reacted quickest to poke in to the roof of the net from close range as the ball dropped loose. It was almost three soon after as Bentley saved an audacious near post shot from Bannan but the hosts largely sat in to defend what they had.

That meant chances for Brentford and they really should have taken one to earn at least a point. Egan fired over from distance before a Henrik Dalsgaard pass released Florian Jozefzoon in the inside right channel but he blasted across the face of goal with players waiting for a pull back. Westwood then saved a low Yennaris shot after clever work from Sawyers before Hooper had a shot blocked on a rare Wednesday attack. Yennaris and Maupay then had shots blocked after good work by Dalsgaard. Maupay’s effort seemed certain to be a goal but Lees threw his body in front of the shot from 12 yards.

Egan was unable to direct a header from a corner and an acrobatic effort from Maupay was saved before a late stoppage that halted the game for around ten minutes. Dalsgaard was involved in an aerial collision and was left prone on the Hillsborough turf. After lengthy treatment, he was removed on a stretcher and while Mr Simpson let the game go until the second half had reached an hour, in order to ensure his added time was played, Brentford could not score. They almost levelled with the last kick when a corner was half cleared and dropped to Maupay but his shot hit the post and Wednesday had the win.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Hunt, van Aken, Lees, Reach; Wallace, Jones, Bannan (sub Pudil 88 mins), Lee; Fletcher (sub Rhodes 63 mins), Hooper (sub Butterfield 81 mins)

Subs (not used): Wildsmith, Palmer, Joao, Matias

Bookings: Hunt (89 mins), Rhodes (90 mins), Lee (90 mins)

Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Egan, Barbet, Henry; Woods; Clarke (sub Jozefzoon 63 mins), Sawyers, Yennaris (sub Shaibu 85 mins), Watkins (sub McEachran 71 mins); Maupay

Subs (not used): Daniels, Bjelland, Chatzitheodoridis, Mokotjo

Attendance: 23,536

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