Date:Saturday September 10 2011
Wycombe Wanderers 0 Brentford 1
Referee Keith Stroud awarded the softest penalty you'll see this season to gift the Bees all three points and condemn the Blues to their third consecutive league defeat.
It's a result that leaves Brentford fourth from the top and Wycombe sixth from the bottom, but there was nothing between the two sides this afternoon apart from one dreadful decision.
Stroud's last appearance at Adams Park was an equally controversial clash with Brentford in 2009. On that occasion he awarded Wycombe two penalties and reduced the visitors to ten men. Today he certainly evened things up.
The high-flying Bees started this match strongly and Marcus Bean forced Nikki Bull into a diving save after only 30 seconds, but that was to be the visitors' only shot on target of the entire game.
They had the better of the first half though, with Wycombe struggling to create anything of note and only recording their first shot on target after 32 minutes - Stuart Beavon lashing one at the keeper from an impossible angle when he realised there was no-one else up in support.
The abysmal penalty decision came after 35 minutes. Clayton Donaldson was going absolutely nowhere - facing away from goal on the extreme edge of the area - when he sensed the presence of James Tunnicliffe behind him, waited for the slightest touch and threw himself to the ground.
When Stroud pointed to the spot, there was a stunned silence borne of disbelief, before all those blessed with eyesight erupted in fury at the ineptitude of the decision. It would have been funny if it wasn't so tragic.
Nikki Bull couldn't prevent the injustice and Kevin O'Connor stroked home the only goal of the game.
Stirred into action, the Blues enjoyed a brief flurry of pressure, the highlight of which was a shot from Ben Strevens smartly saved by Bees keeper Richard Lee.
The second half was a different ball-game altogether in which Lee played a prominent part.
Presumably Gary Waddock reminded his players that you have to shoot before you can score, and the result was a series of long-range efforts that thrilled the crowd and brought the best out of the Brentford keeper.
Within minutes of the restart, Stuart Lewis and Ben Harding had 30 yard shots tipped over the bar, and as the match wore on, Scott Donnelly, Marvin McCoy and Andy Sandell all tried their luck to no avail.
The Blues had improved all over the park and Donnelly was particularly unfortunate not to cap an excellent individual second-half performance with the goal he deserved.
Over the course of the game Wycombe were worth at least a point and the Bees can consider themselves extremely fortunate to pocket all three. There's a fine line between success and failure.
Wycombe Man of the Match - Scott Donnelly
Wycombe line-up & ratings
Bull (6), McCoy (7), Tunnicliffe (6), Johnson (7), Sandell (5), Grant (6) (Betsy 79 (5)), Donnelly (8), Lewis (7), Harding (5) (Benyon 67 (5)), Strevens (6) (Ainsworth 74 (5)), Beavon (7).
Date:Saturday September 10 2011
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