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Brentford fans came away from Vicarage Road on Tuesday night proud that their team had once again shown they are worthy of their Championship status, but ultimately, ruing several marginal and key moments in the game that proved the difference between earning a well deserved point, and defeat.

The role of plucky losers is one that we have become all too familiar with down the years (and yes, if you have to lose, than you may as well go down fighting and playing well) but to flourish at this level, a more ruthless, clinical streak is going to be required. That’s obviously easier said that done, but at least we can put our finger on our shortcomings, which we may see addressed in the loan market.

Toumani Diagouraga came in for Adam Pritchard to give the Bees more bite and height in the centre of the park and he looked very impressive it has to be said – with Jota’s positioning and touch on the outside of him – the duo were arguably the Bees stand-out players on the night. However, the Reds were tested and stretched in the early stages by a Watford side that clearly likes to play a bit.

The Hornets made the most of our counter attacking style – coming at us and looking to take advantage of the space created. David Button had the busiest night of action this season so far and acquitted himself well… I’d go as far as to say that, in the last two matches, Button really seems to have come of age and has grown in stature between the sticks.

After escaping some close shaves the Bees came into the game, playing some great football, although they’d failed to really test the keeper, we were in our comfort zone and it looked as if we’d get to half time level pegging, ready to mount a challenge for the win after the break.

However, another contentious refereeing decision went against us, one of many this season already… the referee awarding a weak penalty for what looked like a legitimate shoulder to shoulder moment. Although Button saved the kick from Odion Ighalo, the follow up was smashed home… A real smack in the chops for the players and the impressive 2,500 visiting fans that got behind the side vociferously all evening.

Bees manager, Mark Warburton, summed this sentiment up perfectly after the match when he said; “What changed the game was that shocking penalty decision… The Watford player is running into the box, Tarkowski is running alongside him, his hands are up and the player goes straight to ground. There was no contact whatsoever… Our players are distraught in there. I hate to come across as having sour grapes because it is not that at all. The fact is my players and our 2,000 (plus) fans were fantastic tonight and deserved at least a point.”

Jonathan Douglass wiped out Watford’s lead on 57 minutes, finding the perfect finish to a perfect move that had seen him played in on goal by Alan Judge, and Brentford went close to taking the lead as confidence grew, but it wasn’t to be.

With 20 minutes remaining The Bees failed to adequately clear their lines after pressure down the right wing – the ball dropping to Matej Vydra who lashed and unstoppable volley into the top right corner, to wake up the home fans.

The game continued end to end until the final whistle, both sides could have scored as the outcome remained in the balance – Alan Judge saw a header saved on the line and Odubajio blazed over when well positioned, before being hauled down on the edge of the area in an incident that saw Watford reduced to ten men. David Button even ventured up at the death in a desperate attempt to look more threatening from our impotent corners.

The win sees Watford move to equal top in the division, which should not be glossed over… there was little between the two sides on the night… Brentford are competing and seriously worrying the best in the division, we can see that with our own eyes… And to echo what I said earlier, it is just small margins that separate our team from being up there with them. However, just like the Stieg Larsson character who inspired my headline, we’ll be back fighting and looking to take revenge – Reading will be our victims hopefully.

Dave Lane

As an aside… please, please, please, in our new ground, can we ban drums? They are the most embarrassing and annoying blight on any modern football stadia… I think I may even consider not going to matches, or perhaps consider employing a sniper, if one was unveiled at Lionel Road. Now, tambourines, that’s a different matter!