SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 2 BRENTFORD 0

Stewart Purvis sees the Bees fail again on the road.

Maybe it was over before it began. Just as the Bees warmed up at Hillsborough with every player back in their right position after Canos’s matches as an emergency wing back, a key man was withdrawn. Kamo Mokotjo told the coaches he felt something wrong in his calf and achilles so wasn’t risked. Josh McEachran took his place in the starting line-up. The midfield was immediately minus a tackler and goal scorer. It turned out to be no Kamo, no chance. 

Wednesday manager Steve Bruce, who’d suffered at the hands of the Bees while Villa manager, said before the game that he had ‘wonderful admiration for the way they go about their business’. So he was prepared with a high press in midfield and a well organised defensive back line ready for the talk of the EFL, Said Benrahma.

Students of Brentford’s away form - described by Thomas Frank later as ‘horrendous’ -will know the characteristics; slow to the second ball, careless in possession, off-target up front. Despite that Brentford held out for forty minutes. Daniel Bentley made a great save from Stephen Fletcher and a defensive arm got away with what looked like a penalty for handball. At the other end Sergi Canos had perhaps the best chance of either side in the early period, breaking away on the right but only for his shot to be smothered away.

Then on forty minutes- just as it looked as if Brentford could get to half time without conceding- it was Fletcher who broke away for Wednesday, beating the offside trap and blasting it past Bentley.Within minutes of the start of the second half it was 2-0. A 50-50 ball in midfield fell between two former Chelsea youth players- Josh McEachran and Sam Hutchinson.  No contest as the Wednesday man swept it out to the right where Reach crossed for Fletcher to head home his second. It could have been three but for Bentley saving from Aarons who’d been causing constant trouble down the left.

Two changes- Josh da Silva for McEachran and Ollie Watkins for Canos- helped a bit and Benrahma was beginning to get into the game. He set up a chance for Watkins on the right and then tried for goal himself but put it over the top. For the first time ‘Come on  Brentford’ could be heard wafting out from the hardy souls in the away end.

But hopes of a comeback were to prove as over optimistic as the railway timetable which predicted that the 2211 from Sheffield to Cleethorpes would connect with the last train to London. As I stood with another Bees fan of equally mature years your correspondent wondered quite what he had done wrong in life to deserve to spend six hours on Doncaster railway station waiting for the 05.07 to Kings Cross. At which point Trans Pennine Express, the operators of the train that had failed to make the connection, offered to pay for a taxi to take us home to London. After what the Brentford FC Twitter feed had called ‘a miserable night on the road’ it was an offer we were not going to refuse. 

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Hector, Lees, Lazaar (sub Iorfa); Reach, Hutchinson (Pelupessy), Bannan, Aarons; Forestieri (Boyd), Fletcher

Brentford: Bentley; Konsa, Jeanvier, Barbet; Dalsgaard, McEachran (Dasilva), Sawyers, Odubajo; Canós (Watkins), Maupay, Benrahma