Brentford’s play-off hopes crushed by defeat at Stevenage

Stevenage 2 Brentford 1

Brentford’s promotion hopes were dealt a savage blow as they were beaten by their fellow play-off chasers – after missing two penalties.

Clayton Donaldson and Sam Saunders both missed from the spot before second-half goals from Craig Reid and Luke Freeman put Stevenage in command.

Saunders scored with a late free-kick but it was too late to rescue the Bees, who are now all but out of the race for a top-six finish.

Both teams were handed a major boost before kick-off after Notts County, who were sixth, suffered a shock 4-2 defeat at home to Bury.

The fact that former Bees forward Mike Grella scored two of Bury’s goals to help out his old team suggested that perhaps it would be Brentford’s day.

They were handed a golden chance to take the lead when Clinton Morrison was fouled by Jon Ashton as he attempted to reach Saunders’ 29th-minute cross.

Donaldson fired the resulting penalty against the bar, so when Brentford were awarded another spot-kick three minutes after the break after Donaldson was fouled by Ashton, Saunders took responsibility.

But he too was unable to find the net. His effort hit the post – and three minutes later his team were behind.

Reid scored from close-range, before Freeman doubled the lead with a brilliant strike from distance.

Saunders’ late reply offered little consolation to Uwe Rosler’s men, while Stevenage moved into the play-off positions.

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