Mark Warburton’s Bees can count themselves highly unlucky to have left empty handed.
However, as at Rotherham, they were the architects of their own downfall, gifting the home side the only goal.
Marcello Trotta came back into the starting line up in place of Stuart Dallas. From the first whistle the initiative was seized and wave after wave of attack were launched. Clayton was being given a vast amount of space in a wide position and looked to power past the full back at every opportunity, corner after corner resulted from the constant pressuring from the big number 9.
From a Jake Bidwell free kick Dougie hit the bar with a header and the home side were lucky to escape with the ball from the follow up mealy. Minutes later Clayton floated a ball in to a dangerous central area only to see it narrowly evade the onrushing Trotta and Alan Judge.
It was the Italian who then came even closer to the opening goal, a mazy run into the box saw a low hard shot squeeze between defender and goalkeeper only for the ball to go agonizingly wide.
This was as good as it got in truth in the opening period, The Bees were playing the better passing game but with no end product, whilst the hosts were content to frustrate and try to hit us on the break with long hopeful punts. Their approach gained its intended result when one such long ball lead to Alan McCormack being adjudged to have fouled the Swindon attacker in the area, and the resulting penalty award seemed destined to give the home team the lead.
David Button had other ideas however, following a long delay and protest from The Bees, whilst it wasn’t the worst struck penalty Button produced a world class save to preserve the stalemate and send the 2,000 plus travelling fans into rapture.
Seeing the spot kick saved seemed to spark the hosts into life and shake the Bees confidence. Evidently it was shaken sufficiently as the usually solid dependable Dougie proved himself human after all, everyone makes mistakes but this one was to prove costly, an under hit pass intended for Button was latched onto and dispatched into the net by the Swindon man who had somehow put his team into the lead just before half time.
After the interval, the second half started as the first had with Brentford pushing this time however the chances were at a premium and the frustration of the self-inflicted deficit began to tell and just after the hour mark, two poor tackles saw Adam Forshaw sent off and facing a one match ban.
As is often the case 10 men upped their game and on any other day would have got at least a point. Stuart Dallas who had earlier replaced Marcello looked to bomb on at every given opportunity, the young Northern Irishman sent in crosses and saw runs abruptly ended on several occasions.
The closest the Bees came to levelling fell to another sub, George Saville, whose fierce strike from all of 30 yards produced an outstanding save from Wes Fotheringham in the home goal.
In the 7 additional minutes at the end of the 90 there was one last chance to salvage a point, a Clayton long throw caused havoc in the box and was somehow headed off the line to safety from a Swindon point of view. In the end the Bees simply ran out of time.
Despite Orient and Preston both winning, the scenario remains the same, 6 points, 2 wins from the remaining 4 games insures promotion. Given the other teams fixtures there is still twists and turns to come but that is the beauty of football and Brentford, things are never straightforward and subconsciously we all love the drama.
Our fate is still in our hands and will remain that way. Preston on Good Friday will not be easy as they are dangerous, we’ve seen that they can be got at and beaten having won 3-0 at Deepdale. Plus the star of the show that day is on his way back to fitness just at the right time. Come on number 7, it’s your chance to cement your status as the love of our lives…..Beelieve