The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Nick Bull

BRENT­FORD manager Mark War­bur­ton de­fended goal­keeper David But­ton af­ter his two mis­takes gifted Cardiff City victory at Grif­fin Park.

An­dre Gray gave the Bees a de­served half-time lead be­fore But­ton tan­gled with de­fender Har­lee Dean to set up a Fed­erico Macheda equaliser.

But­ton’s in­de­ci­sion then al­lowed Alex Rev­ell to score City’s win­ner.

How­ever, War­bur­ton stood by But­ton, say­ing: “He’s an out­stand­ing goal­keeper, and I think he will get bet­ter and bet­ter.

“David has been out­stand­ing for us week in, week out this sea­son.

“He’s kept us in games time and time again.

“I can’t think of many saves he had to make, but two mis­takes cost us two goals. At this level, mis­takes cost you dear.”

Nonethe­less, the Brent­ford manager was be­mused as to how his side were beaten.

“I thought there was only one team in the game for 88 min­utes,” added War­b­u­ton. “I’d rather lose a game hav­ing been dom­i­nant than hav­ing not played well.

“The big­gest dis­ap­point­ment for me is that we lacked qual­ity in the fi­nal ten min­utes.”

Jonathan Dou­glas had a header dis­al­lowed for a foul on City goal­keeper Simon Moore and Stu­art Dal­las had squan­dered a great op­por­tu­nity fol­low­ing a Jota de­liv­ery be­fore the Bees went in front.

Alex Pritchard’s 25-yard free­kick was hit straight at Simon Moore, a for­mer Brent­ford player, who in­ex­pli­ca­bly par­ried it into Gray’s path.

The striker tapped home the opener, but Moore made amends with a smart save to deny Dal­las from an acute an­gle min­utes later.

City manager Rus­sell Slade made just one player change – in­tro­duc­ing Kadeem Har­ris – and stuck with a 4-4-2 for­ma­tion at half-time, yet his side were much im­proved in the sec­ond half.

And they were level eight min­utes into it as But­ton and Dean care­lessly col­lided when both went for the same ball, leav­ing Macheda to slot home.

But­ton looked shaken by his part in City’s equaliser, and when Macheda sent Rev­ell through on 68 min­utes the Bees goal­keeper ini­tially surged to­wards the ball. He was then struck by in­de­ci­sive­ness on the edge of his box, al­low­ing the Cardiff striker to chip into an empty net.

The vis­i­tors were re­duced to ten men when Har­ris was sent off 13 min­utes from time for a foul on Alan Judge fol­low­ing a 50-50 chal­lenge.

“It wasn’t ma­li­cious, he’s just a right winger try­ing to put a tackle in,” said Slade.

Macheda, who was booked for block­ing a But­ton kick in the open­ing half, fol­lowed him into the dress­ing room with time al­most up for a need­less foul on James Tarkowski.

Brent­ford con­tin­ued to press for an equaliser, and should have had a penalty when Tarkowski’s shot was par­ried wide by Ken­wyne Jones.

“Watch the re­ac­tion of our play­ers,” added War­b­u­ton.“They all went up ap­peal­ing for it – that nor­mally says if it’s a penalty or not.”

Cardiff had only won once away in the Cham­pi­onship prior to Fe­bru­ary.

They’ve now won three on the bounce away from the Welsh cap­i­tal and manager Slade is hop­ing his side can re­pro­duce their away form in front of their own fans from here on out.

“We’ve got to back that up with a home win now,” added Slade. “But I keep telling the play­ers that ev­ery point is im­por­tant, as it’s a barom­e­ter of how much we’re pro­gress­ing.

“It will do the play­ers the world of good beat­ing a top seven side. We showed great spirit, and that’s grow­ing all the time which is great to see.

“It was im­por­tant that we stayed in the game here.

“Brent­ford were 3-0 up at half­time in the game at our place.

“They’re a good side, they’ve won a lot of games at home, but there was great char­ac­ter in our play here.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

SLIP UPS: An er­ror by David But­ton of Brent­ford al­lows Fed­erico Macheda of Cardiff City to equalise. Inset: An­dre Gray scores

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