BEES CAN’T GET OUT OF BUTTON HOLE
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.”
SLIP UPS: An error by David Button of Brentford allows Federico Macheda of Cardiff City to equalise. Inset: Andre Gray scores