Bidwell off as Bees lose in injury time

Brentford 1 Watford 2

Brentford had Jake Bidwell controversially sent off as they were beaten in injury time by their play-off rivals in a dramatic game at Griffin Park.

Bidwell was harshly dismissed for a challenge on Miguel Layun on 38 minutes, but the 10-man Bees still went ahead early in the second half through Andre Gray.

Brentford keeper David Button then saved a Troy Deeney penalty minutes later but Watford’s pressure paid off on 68 minutes as Odion Ighalo headed in.

Mark Warburton’s side worked hard throughout but the Hornets snatched it at the death when Ighalo crashed a volley past Button.

It was a cruel end to a strange day for Brentford, which began with the club issuing a statement which stopped short of denying a newspaper report that Warburton will be replaced in the summer.

Despite the confusion surrounding the manager’s position, Brentford began well with Gray forcing an early save from Heurelho Gomes.

At the other end, Button was equal to a Ben Watson shot diverted goalwards by Ighalo while Fernando Foriestieri curled an effort just past the post.

Seven minutes before the break came the game’s key moment. Bidwell went in on Layun but Brentford fans were left incensed when referee Keith Stroud produced a red card.

However, it did not derail the Bees who went ahead on 53 minutes. Gray latched on to a long ball, stormed past defender Gabriele Angella and fired past Gomes.

Almost immediately, Watford were given a chance to level when Jonathan Douglas handled a cross, but Deeney’s spot-kick was saved.

Button also kept out Ikechi Anya but could not stop Ighalo’s header midway through the second half, as he converted Juan Carlos Paredes’s cross.

Brentford weathered several Watford attacks, with Button denying Deeney and Ighalo, but it was not all one-way traffic, as Gomes produced a low save from Jon Toral.

But Watford had the last word, Matej Vydra setting up Ighalo to net the winner and send them above Brentford into fifth.

Brentford: Button, Odubajo, Dean, Tarkowski (Craig 52), Bidwell, Diagouraga, Douglas, Pritchard (Smith 79), Dallas, Jota (Toral 73), Gray.
Subs not used: Bonham, Saunders, Yennaris, Long.

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