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9 April 2016

Feeney gets first Town goal but it's a consolation as 10 men Blues go down

Town’s Play-Off hopes took what could be a knockout blow after playing the second-half with 10 men against Brentford.

Bees were a goal up through Sam Saunders when Luke Hyam was shown a second yellow card after putting his hands into the chest of Ryan Woods, the  Bees’ midfielder also booked. 

It was always going to be an uphill battle after that but Blues threatened an equaliser through Ben Pringle and Freddie Sears before two goals in five minutes midway through the second-half from Lasse Vibe sealed the points for the visitors. 

Liam Feeney scored his first goal for the Club late on but the defeat now leaves Blues eight points behind sixth placed Sheffield Wednesday with a trip to Hillsborough next week.  

Town made four changes to the side that drew with Charlton in midweek, Ainsley Maitland-Niles coming into midfield, with Luke Varney up front. Kevin Foley started on the right of the back four, Hyam in the centre of the park. 

The game was only a minute old when Hyam caught Alan Judge with a challenge that earned a yellow card, it sadly marked the end of the game for Brentford’s leading scorer, who was stretchered off after lengthy treatment with a suspected broken leg. 

Sears cut deep into Brentford’s area, his cross forced behind for a corner, then Town lost possession in the middle of the park with Christophe Berra doing enough to block Saunders’ shot with the visitors having men over. 

Konstantin Kerschbaumer, the replacement for Judge, curled a right footer wide with Brentford willing to throw men forward, Hyam almost releasing Varney with a clever pass over the top at the other end in a bright opening to the game.

Sears weaved his way past two defenders but his shot was deflected comfortably into David Button’s hands before Brentford opened the scoring just before the half hour, Kerschbaumer took the ball off Cole Skuse, with a foul looking possible but referee Philip Gibbs waved play on and Saunders found the net with a neat finish.  

Button plucked Varney’s cross out of the air as Skuse looked to get in at the back post, then Canos’ 50 yard run ended with a shot inches wide. 

Maitland-Niles couldn’t beat Button after a clever run and an equally clever pass from Sears, 

Town were reduced to 10 men just before the break Hyam was shown a second yellow for a shove on Ryan Woods, who was booked in the same incident. 

Blues went close to an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, Jonas Knudsen’s rocket beaten out by Button, Pringle unable to force home the rebound. 

Town made a double change at the break, David McGoldrick and Jonathan Douglas on for Maitland-Niles and Pringle. 

McGoldrick was wide with an overhead kick after a corner had fallen to him as Blues looked for an immediate response as the second-half got underway,
McGoldrick then slightly too heavy with a clever pass for Sears that drifted through to Button, Sears then fizzing a cross that evaded McGoldrick inches out. 

Maxime Colin hooked the ball clear as Sears looked to get in on goal, the  Brentford defender then doing enough to clear the danger from Sears’ effort. 

Town had a lucky escape on the hour, Canos’ strike deflected onto the bar and Saunders headed the rebound over. 

The Bees did find the net moments later though, Colin’s cross deftly headed in by Vibe to put daylight between the teams. 

It got worse for Blues on 68 minutes, a mistake by Berra left in Vibe who confidently put the ball in the net with the outside of his right foot. 

Sears was unlucky to see his effort blocked by Harlee Dean when it looked goalbound, Bart Bialkowski saving well from Vibe down to his left, the Town ‘keeper then seeing an effort from Saunders go just wide.

Sears - who was bright throughout - should have reduced the arrears five minutes from time when he was clear on goal from Knudsen’s pass but his finish was a foot wide. 

Feeney, a replacement for Varney, fired over but the Bolton loanee did find the net three minutes from time after McGoldrick set him up but it proved to be a consolation, leaving Town eight points to bridge with only five games left.

Town: Bialkowski, Foley, Chambers, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse, Hyam, Maitland-Niles (Douglas 46), Pringle (McGoldrick 46), Sears, Varney (Feeney 74). Subs not used: Gerken, Smith, Bru, Pitman. Sent-off: Hyam. Booked: Hyam, Varney.   

Brentford: Button, Colin, Dean, Bidwell, McCormack, Woods, Saunders (Hogan 81), Judge (Kerschbaumer 6), Barbet, Canos (Gogia 74), Vibe, Subs not used: Bonham, O'Connell, Clarke, Ferry. Booked: Woods. 
Att: 18,845




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