Match report: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Brentford 2 - Owls pay the penalty after sloppy start

Bad night for Owls goalscorer Fernando Forestieri.....Pic Steve Ellis
Bad night for Owls goalscorer Fernando Forestieri.....Pic Steve Ellis
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You can take nothing for granted in the topsy-turvy world of the Championship.

The second-tier is a tough, competitive, unforgiving league and form book frequently goes out of the window. Just ask Sheffield Wednesday.

No penalty Owls Fernando Forestieri tangles with Bees Harlee Dean in the box....Pic Steve Ellis

No penalty Owls Fernando Forestieri tangles with Bees Harlee Dean in the box....Pic Steve Ellis

Not many pundits gave Brentford much hope of pulling off an upset under the lights at Hillsborough.

But the Bees sentenced the Owls to their first home defeat since November following two first half goals by Harlee Dean and John Egan.

Their strikes came after Fernando Forestieri saw a strong penalty claim turned down by fussy referee Darren Bond after he collided with Dean.

And despite a late rally where Forestieri pulled one back, the Owls were left ruing their poor defending from two set pieces.

Owls Barry Bannan fires in a shot...Pic Steve Ellis

Owls Barry Bannan fires in a shot...Pic Steve Ellis

It was no surprise boss Carlos Carvalhal altered his full-back positions as Liam Palmer replaced right-back Jack Hunt and Adam Reach switched to the left side of the defence, with Ross Wallace coming in for Daniel Pudil.

Wednesday, playing against the wind in the first half, took a while to get to grips with the tricky conditions. Their passing was too sloppy and slow.

The crowd tried to lift them but Brentford, renowned for being a good footballing side, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.

There was a nervy moment in the Owls’ defence when Romaine Sawyers, the Bees’ lone striker, shrugged off the attentions of Vincent Sasso but saw his effort from an acute angle go across the face of goal.

Owls Liam Palmer gets away from Bees Nico Yennaris...Pic Steve Ellis

Owls Liam Palmer gets away from Bees Nico Yennaris...Pic Steve Ellis

It took Wednesday until the 23rd minute to force Brentford goalkeeper Daniel Bentley into action, with Almen Abdi’s rasping 30-yard half volley comfortably kept out.

Moments later, Wallace whipped in a dangerous cross which Jordan Rhodes couldn’t turn in and Abdi’s fierce drive was brilliantly blocked by Egan.

Sawyers drilled a low shot straight at Keiren Westwood after a rapid counter attack by the visitors.

Then came the big flashpoint.

Carlos Carvalhal can't hide his frustration....Pic Steve Ellis

Carlos Carvalhal can't hide his frustration....Pic Steve Ellis

Following a quick throw, Forestieri burst into the penalty area at pace and appeared to be shoved to the ground by Bees captain Dean. Referee Bond was unmoved but his decision incensed the home faithful and Carvalhal.

Brentford broke the deadlock through Egan, who looped a lovely header over Westwood after Ryan Woods floated in a free kick towards the back post.

Wednesday’s supporters were left fuming with ref Bond, chanting ‘One nil to the referee’ and ‘You don’t know what you’re doing.’

Rhodes was then desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as his glancing header from Palmer’s teasing delivery clipped the woodwork.

The Bees, without strikers Lasse Vibe and Philipp Hofmann due to injury, kept creating chances and Spanish winger Jota was thwarted by Westwood twice in quick succession. Republic of Ireland international Westwood produced a smart save with his legs to deny Jota’s second attempt.

But Smith’s men were not to be denied, with Dean rising highest to power in Jota’s corner on the stroke of half-time.

Owls Carlos Carvalhal not happy with the officals at full time...Pic Steve Ellis

Owls Carlos Carvalhal not happy with the officals at full time...Pic Steve Ellis

Dean marshalled Brentford’s back four expertly and he threw himself in the way of Rhodes’ goalbound shot as the Owls looked for a quick response.

The Owls felt aggrieved over a number of decisions in the first period and Bond and his two assistants were booed off at the break.

Attacking the Kop end after the restart Forestieri, who moved to the left flank to accommodate Sam Winnall, blazed over before Sam Hutchinson headed off target as the Bees continued to frustrate the hosts.

Westwood came to Wednesday’s rescue to stop Brentford from grabbing a third in the 57th minute. Diving to his left, he held on to Jota’s deflected free-kick from just outside the penalty area.

To the Owls’ credit, they refused to give up and Wallace dragged wide after an incisive passage of play.

Carvalhal made another attacking change midway through the half, throwing on Callum McManaman for Abdi. It took an inch-perfect last ditch tackle by the excellent Egan to halt a sparkling run by the West Brom loanee.

Wednesday huffed and puffed and Forestieri’s header from Wallace’s corner went agonisingly wide before McManaman cut inside on to his right foot and fired into the side-netting.

Brentford showed little adventure in the closing stages and were content to sit on their two-goal advantage.

Bentley turned away Forestieri’s fierce drive after Winnall fluffed his lines from close range as the Owls piled forward in numbers.

The pressure was relentless and Bentley acrobatically tipped over Forestieri’s curling free-kick.

It wasn’t Rhodes’ or the Owls’ night and the striker saw his header cleared off the line before substitute Steven Fletcher headed against the post.

Wallace and Forestieri were also denied by the agility of Bentley as Wednesday laid seige to Brentford’s goal.

Bentley made a string of impressive saves in the dying minutes, foiling Winnall, Forestieri and Wallace, and Sasso toe-poked wide after Bentley kept Forestieri at bay.

Forestieri deservedly claimed his second goal in as many matches deep into added on time, bending a beautiful right foot shot past Bentley. His 10th goal of the season, though, couldn’t save them.

It was an unexpected slip up in the Owls’ pursuit of Premier League football. Defeat ended their seven-match unbeaten home run as they missed the opportunity to put more distance between themselves and the chasing pack.

Owls: Westwood; Palmer, Sasso, Loovens (Fletcher 81), Reach; Wallace, Hutchinson, Abdi (McManaman 67), Bannan (Winnall HT); Forestieri, Rhodes. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Pudil, Semedo, Jones.

Brentford: Bentley; Colin, Dean, Egan, Henry (Field 86); Jota, Yennaris, McEachran (Kerschbaumer 45), Woods; Canos (Jozefzoon 64), Sawyers. Substitutes: Bonham, Bjelland, Clarke, Shaibu.

Attendance: 25,014

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)

Star man: Callum McManaman