MacDonald gives Scott hope of good night's kip

Brentford 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0
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The Independent Football

Andy Scott has confessed to enduring sleepless nights during the opening weeks of the season but Charlie MacDonald's first-half goal should ensure the Brentford manager can at last enjoy a full eight hours' rest.

Without a league win and facing the unbeaten League One leaders, this game had all the makings of another testing 90 minutes for Scott and his players. In the event, though, MacDonald's strike proved enough to claim three invaluable points and halt Sheffield Wednesday's early efforts to put clear water between themselves and the rest of the division.

"It's been a frustrating start because we know we can be a good side in this league," said Scott. "You could say it was my fault in the first place. But it's a group situation so there's no finger-pointing when we lose. Yes, I do question myself when I'm awake at 4am after we've lost to Rochdale. I put myself through it and those times are the hardest."

A visibly relieved Scott added: "This was going to be all about Sheffield Wednesday today. People were turning the television on to see how good they were, but I told the players that I wanted those people to be talking about us after the game. Anyone who watched that would agree."

His team certainly deserved their half-time lead. They had pressed strongly before MacDonald finally found a way through the Wednesday defence, turning away from Darren Purse and firing beyond Nicky Weaver.

Weaver was the busier of the two goalkeepers but Wednesday did show something like their recent form after the break, with Marcus Tudgay coming closest with a strike that forced a fine save from Bees keeper Ben Hamer.

But Brentford were a threat all day, with Robbie Simpson, the winger on loan from Huddersfield, hitting the bar before seeing a second effort cleared off the line by Mark Beevers.

Wednesday's manager Alan Irvine was at a loss to explain his side's indifferent showing but had praise for the winners. "Brentford deserve a lot of credit for the way they went about their game. They made life difficult for us but we made things difficult for ourselves as well. We made some poor decisions and we didn't pass the ball well enough," he said.

"I spoke to the players before the game and reminded them what the other results were yesterday. Some teams thought they could go top of the league but didn't, so I was very conscious of how difficult this game would be.

"If some players were complacent I would be even more disappointed in them. It's very disappointing. I didn't think we played at anything like the levels we've been at in recent games. We have to bounce back and we can't let this result affect us."

Match facts

Brentford Hamer; Spillane, Osborne, Balkestein, Woodman, Simpson, O'Connor, Diagouraga, Weston (Wood, 90), Alexander (Hunt, 81), MacDonald (Adams, 64). Substitutes not used Lee (gk), Bean, Forster, Legge. Sheffield Wednesday Weaver; Buxton, Purse, Beevers, Spurr, Sedgwick (O'Connor, 54), Coke, Potter, Teale (Heffernan, 75), Tudgay, Mellor (Morrison, 65). Substitutes not used Jameson (gk), Miller, Jones, Otsemobor. Man of match Robbie Simpson (Brentford).

Possession Brentford 57%, Sheffield Wednesday 43%.

Shots on target Brentford 4, Sheffield Weds 5.

Referee G Hegley (Hertfordshire).

Match rating 7/10

Attendance: 5,396