SMITH FUMES AT AS OWLS ROMP
Unmoved Carvalhal says ref was right
ANGRY Brentford boss Dean Smith took aim at referee Scott Duncan after his side were forced to play with ten men for almost 90 minutes.
A bright Bees’ start was left in ruins when French defenderYoann Barbet was dismissed following a tangle with Gary Hooper.
Having blown for a foul with Barbet last man, Duncan had no choice but to pull out the red and Wednesday duly capitalised, with goals from Fernando Forestieri, Hooper, Kieran Lee and Lucas Joao sending the Owls to within four points of second place.
For Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal, the decision was clear. “Hooper was through, he was fouled, it is a red card,” he said.
For Smith, however, it was less clear cut. “From the position he’s in, I don’t believe he can make that decision,” said the Bees boss.
“As far as I’m aware, no referee can see through bodies. He’s directly behind the incident, 40 yards away. He’s just broken into our half and the ‘foul’ happened on the edge of our box. He’s guessed.
“I went in to see him and said ‘if you talk to the linesman and he’s given it, that I can accept. But you can’t make that decision’.
“I don’t think Hooper ever had the ball under control. He’s taken a big touch, probably felt the presence behind him and gone down easily. By the time he hit the ground, the ball was in my keeper’s arms. It was a poor decision.”
Had Brentford held out for halfan-hour, who knows? Better sides than Wednesday have been driven to distraction by a belligerent backs-to-the-wall job.
Sadly for Smith and his men, their resistance lasted barely five minutes, Daniel Pudil’s deflected cross glanced home by Forestieri.
Blood scented, Wednesday put the burners on, their quartet of midfield technicians revelling in the space and time afforded by Brentford’s numerical handicap.
Barry Bannan was instrumental in a deep-lying role, a pint-sized Pirlo who collected the ball from his back four before finding every gap in Brentford’s depleted armoury.
Yet for all the slick build-up, the second was little more than an old- fashioned hoof. Keiren Westwood lamped a goal-kick upfield, Jack O’Connell misjudged the bounce and, as the ball dropped over his head, Hooper unleashed a stupendous 20-yard half-volley that seared into David Button’s net.
Hooper, the Championship’s January player of the month, has scored ten goals in as many games and was again involved as Wednesday made it three.
The former Celtic striker – a £3m signing from Norwich in Jan- uary – beat O’Connell to nod into the path of Lee, who bundled Harlee Dean aside before sliding past Button.
Whether it was complacency or simply a bit of tenderness on Valentine’s, Wednesday’s savagery did relent.
Indeed, the re-shaped Bees could have pulled one back when hard-working midfielder Nico Yennaris clipped over the bar.
But with the dangerous Alan Judge stymied by imposed defen-