Wednesday’s play-off push took a setback when we paid for another lacklustre first-half display at Hillsborough and went down 2-1 to Brentford.
We went into the game knowing that victory would have taken us up into fourth place and 10 points clear of seventh-placed Norwich. Instead, Wednesday ended up staying in sixth place, still seven points ahead of the Canaries but no longer with a game in hand, and now six points behind third-placed Huddersfield after their 1-0 win over Reading.
It was another low tempo first 45 minutes at S6 from the Owls and this time we paid for it, Brentford taking advantage of poor marking from two set-pieces to lead through headers by central defenders John Egan and Harlee Dean.
Jordan Rhodes saw a header clip the bar with the score at 1-0 and Wednesday had a penalty appeal turned down at 0-0 after a challenge by Dean on Fernando Forestieri. However, we rarely tested Daniel Bentley in the Bees’ goal in the opening half.
We then rallied in the second half, particularly in the final 20 minutes, and went close on several occasions in the closing stages.
Bentley saved from Forestieri’s free kick, Vincent Sasso missed a great chance from close in and sub Steven Fletcher headed against the post when he might have scored.
By this time, Wednesday were playing with five attackers and Forestieri eventually pulled one back in added time with an excellent curling effort into the far corner … but it was all too late.
The final statistics showed we had 29 shots, with 11 on target, but this was mainly due to the improved performance after the break and the vast majority of the 25,000 crowd were left wondering why it again took us until the second-half to show real aggression and attacking intent.