Brentford 1-1 Reading: Bees denied first win of the season
Last Updated: 16/09/17 7:27pm
Brentford's search for their first Sky Bet Championship win of the season continued as Reading came from behind to clinch a 1-1 draw at Griffin Park.
Josh Clarke broke the deadlock for the Bees after 16 minutes, exchanging passes with Neal Maupay on the edge of the box before smashing a rising drive into the roof of the net.
Reading's Liam Kelly levelled from the spot midway through the second half after a hotly-contested penalty decision. Former Brentford loanee Liam Moore went to ground in the box, with Rico Henry picking up a yellow card for the challenge.
Brentford had all the possession and looked the side more likely to take maximum points with Romaine Sawyers and Ryan Woods pulling the strings, but they lacked any cutting edge in the box.
Once again Dean Smith's side were left to rue a series of missed chances either side of the break and are still waiting to record their first league win since April.
Bees skipper John Egan should have put the hosts ahead minutes before the opener, but his header from a Florian Jozefzoon free-kick lacked conviction.
The goal eventually came, and then Kamohelo Mokotjo almost stretched the Londoners' lead after 21 minutes when Ollie Watkins' clever backheel played him in, but Vito Mannone was equal to his dipping 20-yard drive.
Brentford were winning most of the second balls in midfield, but the more direct Royals were always a threat on the break. Watkins saw an angled drive blocked by a sea of legs on the half hour before Reading went close to gaining a foothold in the game just before the break, the unmarked Paul McShane heading Kelly's free-kick wide at the far post.
Reading started brightly after the break and substitute Roy Beerens forced a superb full-stretch save from Dan Bentley. Brentford wingers Clarke and Jozefzoon both looked lively going forward but lacked any real quality in the final third and both shot tamely wide when well placed.
Reading's equaliser was almost followed by a sucker-punch. Brentford surged forward but luck was against them, with Clarke's deflected drive drifting narrowly over the bar.
Bees centre-back Andreas Bjelland then thought he had put the hosts ahead, but instead he saw three efforts blocked on the line by the legs of desperate Reading defenders. Deep into injury time the game could have gone either way, firstly with Nico Yennaris' low cross eluding everyone in the visitors' box.
From the goal-kick Reading swept up the other end and Sone Aluko could have stung Dean Smith's side, but his 30-yard strike skidded to safety off the top of the bar. Small consolation for Brentford saw them move above Birmingham towards the foot of the table.
Dean Smith: "It's a case of deja vu. I keep coming in after games and the message is the same every week. I've even joked that we could send a cardboard cut-out of me in.
"I can't fault our attitude or quality, apart from 15 minutes after half-time. We are creating chances and working hard but the luck just isn't with us. I've even asked the lads if any of them have smashed a mirror over the summer."
Jaap Stam: "We are very pleased because we had a hard time in the first half and didn't play to our usual standards," he said. "Our choices on the ball were not good enough and we gave the ball away too quickly, and that is dangerous with the players Brentford have.
"They scored a good goal. We've seen them play this season and they've played well and made it difficult for the majority of teams they've played against. You always want to win but sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and perhaps if Sone Aluko's shot at the end had gone in you might have asked was it deserved or not. Maybe not, but that's how it goes."