Brentford 3-3 Sunderland: Bees fight back for point
By Press Association
Last Updated: 21/10/17 6:35pm
Brentford fought back from 3-1 down at half-time to salvage a point in a six-goal thriller with Sky Bet Championship strugglers Sunderland at Griffin Park.
Lewis Grabban's first-half double either side of a Daniel Bentley own goal was not enough to clinch only a second win of the campaign for the Black Cats as Nico Yennaris, Florian Jozefzoon and Neal Maupay ensured the points were shared.
The hosts were ahead inside eight minutes, Yennaris slotting home from close range after Jozefzoon's shot came back off the post following a defence-splitting Romaine Sawyers through-ball.
But Sunderland hit back within five minutes when a speculative long ball caught the Bees defence square and Grabban ran on to draw goalkeeper Bentley and coolly slide home.
The Black Cats took the lead five minutes before the break when Bentley misjudged Bryan Oviedo's corner and could only watch in horror as his palmed clearance dropped into the net.
And the visitors were 3-1 ahead when Duncan Watmore charged clear and was sent tumbling in the box by Ryan Woods, Grabban stepping up to blast home the penalty.
However, the hosts gave themselves hope two minutes after the restart when Jozefzoon curled a superb free-kick up and over the wall and into the net from the edge of the area.
And the comeback was complete 12 minutes from time when Jozefzoon's goalbound drive was deflected in by Maupay, completely wrong-footing Jason Steele in the Sunderland goal.
The equaliser rocked the visitors back on their heels as Dean Smith's side surged forward in search of the winner, Steele pulling off routine saves to deny a Josh McEachran drive and Maupay header.
The swirling wind played a major part in the game, with Sunderland happy to fire long ball towards the lively duo of former Brentford loanee Grabban and winger Watmore.
Brentford had skipper John Egan to thank before the break when the former Sunderland man headed a Watmore drive clear, before Josh Clarke raced up the other end and brought a full-stretch save from Steele.
After the break it was always Brentford, with the wind at their backs, who looked the more likely to score as Sunderland dropped deeper to protect their slender lead.
But the direct running of Watmore was always a danger on the break, and Sunderland manager Simon Grayson braved the visiting fans' boos when he withdrew him in the dying stages.
Winger Aiden McGeady had probably the north-east side's only worthwhile second-half effort on goal just after the hour mark when he turned Henrik Dalsgaard, only to flash a low drive into the side-netting.
Dean Smith: "I was angry at the break and I am still angry now because we gave them three goals. I can't remember them creating any chances apart from the ones we gave them. It was very windy and stop-start so we couldn't get any rhythm in the game but that was no excuse for the goals we handed them, which were all the result of individual mistakes.
"You can play good football in the wind but our decision-making was poor so I am disappointed to only get one point, but in time it might prove to be a good point."
Simon Grayson: "We were playing quite well so not to win is frustrating and disappointing, but it was one of those games where we might have taken the point beforehand. That said, when you are in the position we were you want to go and win it. Their second goal came from a free-kick which we thought was a good tackle from Didier Ndong but we defended well, got back into it and then the deflection allowed them back in.
"We defended well and had a good shape. You have to defend well against Brentford and for large parts we did. We were decent going forward but we still have to put a few more of the ingredients together. If we do, there were signs that we are looking like a decent team."