Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Brentford: Steven Fletcher double inspires Owls win
Steve Bruce maintains good start to life at Sheffield Wednesday as Steven Fletcher scores twice against limp Brentford.
Last Updated: 26/02/19 10:39pm
Steven Fletcher scored both goals as Sheffield Wednesday beat Brentford 2-0 to extend their unbeaten run to seven Championship games.
The Owls were on top for the majority of the match but had to wait until the latter stages of the first half to open the scoring.
Scotland international Fletcher made it two early in the second half, taking his tally for the season to eight.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank was forced to make a last-minute change when Kamohelo Mokotjo suffered an injury in the warm-up. Josh McEachran took his place in the starting line-up.
Wednesday's Fernando Forestieri, restored to the side in place of Lucas Joao, put an early angled effort off target.
Fletcher was next to threaten for the hosts when he stabbed the ball wide at the far post after getting on the end of a Barry Bannan free-kick.
Rolando Aarons then saw his cross from the left clear the crossbar.
Brentford's first attack of note saw Sergi Canos break free on the right-hand side of the area, forcing goalkeeper Keiren Westwood to get down bravely at his near post to block.
Tom Lees went close with a header which flashed just over the bar after the Wednesday skipper connected with a corner from Achraf Lazaar.
As the home side continued to press, Fletcher fired in a shot on the turn which was beaten away by Daniel Bentley.
Lazaar had to go off in the closing stages of the half after suffering an injury, with Dominic Iorfa replacing him.
The Wednesday players made a strong appeal for a penalty when Ezri Konsa appeared to handle the ball following Liam Palmer's cross into the area.
Fletcher scored the breakthrough goal in the 41st minute, receiving a fine forward pass from Bannan before advancing into the area and beating Bentley with a good finish.
Adam Reach put a low shot a fraction wide of Bentley's right-hand post shortly after the restart before Wednesday extended their lead.
Fletcher scored his second goal of the night in the 48th minute, meeting Reach's cross with a downward header at the far post.
Brentford's Said Benrahma fired in a long-range effort which flew wide.
Aarons was through on goal, under pressure from a chasing defender, forcing Bentley to get down smartly to make an important block.
Frank made a double substitution in the 65th minute, sending on Josh Dasilva and Ollie Watkins in place of McEachran and Canos.
But the changes failed to spark a revival for Brentford, who had won five out of their previous six league games.
Steve Bruce: "It was certainly the best performance since I've been at the club. From the first whistle to the last, I thought we were worthy winners. Some of the stuff we played and the way we worked was terrific. I can't fault them for their effort and endeavour. They're working extremely hard and I can't ask for more.
"Brentford are a very good good football team and I've got huge respect for them. We could have a really good end to the season. We've got a huge game (the Sheffield derby) to look forward to next Monday. We're sixth in the table in terms of form and there's still all to play for."
Thomas Frank: "It's a very big disappointment. Fair play to Steve Bruce and Sheffield Wednesday - they pressed us very high, went man for man and we didn't have a solution.
"We knew the solution, we just didn't do it. That made us extremely bad on the ball. I haven't seen us give the ball away so many times like we did today. We looked without energy and we couldn't get back into the game. It was a well-deserved win for Sheffield Wednesday."