A highly entertaining evenly matched game ended goalless through a mixture of wayward finishing and solid defence from both sides.
Wolves looked to put Uwe’s men under pressure from the off and within 30 seconds had forced a corner following direct approach play down the right, this set the tone for the opening period of the game. The league leaders probing with limited success, unsurprising, given the commanding presence of Harlee Dean and Tony Craig, assisted majestically by the ever solid and dependable Dougie.
As the half went on so Brentford came more into the game and began creating openings, notably when Harris got a cross to the far post Adam Forshaw uncharacteristically blazed over with a venomous drive. Seeing their team more than holding its own served to liven up the 2,000 strong travelling swarm of Bees fans.
The closest either side came to opening the scoring in the first 45 came when Clayton chipped goalwards only to see his deft effort drift wide of the upright.
The game plan was working, namely press high and don’t give them an inch. From back to front Brentford looked composed and confident, every bit the side that had won its previous 6 outings. Kadeem Harris seemed a little bit over awed by the occasion, after all a top of the table clash away at much fancied Wolves is a world away from Cardiff reserves and loan spells at Wycombe.
The referee and his assistants had a curious opening half, seeming happy to give free kicks without bookings for the smallest of indiscretions, all adds to the spice and spectacle of the game but none the less a tad surreal.
Half time came and went without further incident of note. A trend which for the most part unfortunately continued as the midfield battle raged on with neither side gaining much ground on each other. A moment of note came when Clayton lunged recklessly into a challenge on the half way line, looking to all the world as if he would see the game’s first yellow card, the big number 9 seemed to be in some discomfort and called for medical assistance, much to the bemusement of the home crowd this seemed to discombobulate the referee who forgot to book him given his apparent condition. However seeing as The Don played on for the whole 90 minutes it seems you’ve been had Mr Naylor.
Chances were at a premium until Uwe rang the changes to add a bit of a spark and urgency to the proceedings, Sam Saunders and Will Grigg replacing Kadeem Harris and Marcello Trotta, both of whom had put in a shift without being able to find the killer ball.
Will almost silenced his critics when his angled shot under pressure and with not much of the goal to aim at went marginally wide. In the closing stages Toumani Diagouraga came on for George Saville to freshen the middle quartet for one last push.
On 85 minutes a corner routine produced what would have been a sublime goal from Alan McCormack who would have seen his vicious volley break the net and the deadlock only for an equally impressive save from the home custodian.
At the final whistle Uwe will have been the happier of the managers. While his team may not have got all three points it was a job well done at a more than challenging ground against a higher standard of opponent than they’d faced in the current run of success, except for the fingertips of a glove McCormack’s volley would have won the game.
We now move on to Tuesday and Peterborough come to Griffin Park, and although they may not be on the best of form, as the adage goes, form is temporary, class is permanent, The Posh aren’t push overs so we’ll need to be on our metal again but Bees fans and Uwe know that this team and indeed squad could be something special, if the momentum keeps going it could be very interesting.
By Chris Horricks