Brentford 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday: Owls win it late
Last Updated: 27/09/15 3:16pm
Sheffield Wednesday took the points with a smash-and-grab 2-1 win at Brentford in a game which finished 10-a-side.
Substitute Lucas Joao raced clear of a static Bees defence in the closing stages to draw keeper David Button and coolly slot home from 12 yards.
It was cruel on a Brentford side who lost centre-back James Tarkowski to a red card after 35 minutes when he hauled down Atdhe Nuhiu, the striker dusting himself down to give the visitors the lead from the spot.
The hosts, lethargic and sloppy before the break, emerged stronger in the second half and clawed their way back into the game on 76 minutes.
Keeper Button raced from his box and drilled a superb angled ball to Alan Judge on the left wing for the Irishman to cut inside and send a sizzling drive just inside the far post.
Brentford had their tails up and drove forward in waves, with Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos a constant threat down the right flank.
But home defender Jack O'Connell failed to deal with a hopeful ball forward in the 89th minute and the ball bounced kindly for Joao to run on and pick his spot.
The win will ease the pain of a second yellow card for Wednesday substitute Jeremy Helan with just over 20 minutes remaining when he scythed down Marco Djuricin on the halfway line.
It was harsh on the Londoners, who dominated the second half after a woeful first 45 in which they were second to every loose ball, sloppy in possession and lacking in creativity.
Nuhiu almost gave the Owls the lead on 23 minutes when he powered a header against the bar from Ross Wallace's pinpoint corner.
Jack Hunt survived a handball scare just before the half-hour mark, but erratic referee Geoff Eltringham waved away the Brentford protests.
Button parried Marco Matias' piledriver to safety as Wednesday pressed for the opener, sensing the uncertainty of an injury-ravaged Brentford side.
Bees skipper Jake Bidwell rattled the bar with a superb volley from Judge's cross from deep before the visitors took the lead on 35 minutes. Nuhiu found acres of space in the box only to be felled by a desperate late Tarkowski tackle, and converted from 12 yards.
Djuricin crashed a header against the bar just after the break for the 10 men, but his effort would not have counted thanks to an offside flag.
Wednesday were rocked on their heels throughout the second spell, and it was no surprise when Judge found the net after some incisive, neat football.
But the visitors reminded the Griffin Park crowd of their threat when Joao forced a superb save from Button with a dipping drive.
Canos, Judge and Djuricin all went close but in the end the Bees were hit by that late sucker punch.
"Football is a beautiful game but also a very cruel one. We were excellent in the second half with 10 men and playing three at the back and when we scored it looked like we would go on and win. We lacked quality in the first half so it's a strange mental thing that we can be so good in second halves of games and not so good in the first. It is something we will talk about."
"We were a little lucky, but not a lot lucky because we had some chances to score. This was our game. It was a very hard game. We started very well. We made some chances before the first goal and if we'd scored then the story of the game would be different."