Brentford 1-0 Wednesday
Griffin Park, Brentford
05/09/10 - 12 noon
WEDNESDAY fell to their first league defeat of the season at Griffin Park as Charlie MacDonald fired Brentford to their first three points of the campaign in front of the Sky cameras on Sunday afternoon.
It was a lacklustre performance from Alan Irvine's men and came just a week after the Owls' 5-0 demolition at Hartlepool United at Victoria Park - but the defeat still left Wednesday top of the League One table.
It will be scant consolation for Irvine and his men though, with plenty of work to do if they're to return to winning ways against Carlisle United at Hillsborough next weekend.
Irvine reverted back to the starting line-up that put in a five-star shift at Hartlepool following the midweek win against Notts County in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Neil Mellor joined Marcus Tudgay in attack while Giles Coke came back into the midfield, despite the two-goal heroics of James O'Connor in midweek, while Tommy Spurr and Lewis Buxton both returned at the back in place of Daniel Jones and Jon Otsemobor respectively.
Going into the weekend it was top against bottom in Wednesday's favour, but it was certainly going to be no walk in the walk given the build-up, and give it's so early into the new season.
And that's exactly how it started out with the Bees buzzing early on in front of their home fans as they searched for a first league win of the campaign.
The hosts came flying out of the traps and almost found an immediate breakthrough when Kevin O'Connor diverted a Craig Woodman corner goalwards but Darren Potter was well positioned to clear the effort off the line.
The Owls were struggling with balls into the box and Brentford carved out another good chance not long after when Nicky Weaver had to be alert to thwart Robbie Simpson,
Wednesday slowly settled into the game, but despite some neat football on the ground - opposite to Brentford's long-ball tactics - the Owls never really got into a position to threaten the Brentford goal.
The final ball, cutting edge pass was never there from the visitors, although Gary Teale did look lively on the wing but he too struggled to carve anything out in front of goal.
Last weekend's hero, Neil Mellor, wasn't in the game much at all and Wednesday generally struggled to get through the stubborn Brentford defence in the first half.
Brentford's hard work paid off just minutes before the interval to take a hard-earned lead into half-time.
Myles Weston found MacDonald in the box and he found space from his marker Darren Purse to swivel and fire a superb low effort beyond Weaver and into the back of the net.
It was only the second league goal Wednesday had conceded all season and it was well deserved for the hosts and came at just the right time.
Half-Time: Brentford 1-0 Wednesday
Wednesday needed to up a gear on the restart and they showed some more bite in front of goal almost immediately when some neat build-up play resulted in Marcus Tudgay firing an effort on goal.
It should have been a sign of things to come from the visitors but, despite that early second-half effort, the Owls struggled to penetrate the home defence further.
The Owls still enjoyed more of the possession and still looked patient in their build-up play, but for all the time Wednesday did have on the ball, Brentford looked more dangerous on the break and with each attack forward.
Weaver had to be alert to deny MacDonald adding a second when Michael Spillane got free of Tommy Spurr and provided a dangerous ball for the hitman, only for the Wednesday defence to crowd out the Brentford attackers.
Weston was also denied just moments later as the hosts built the pressure, Beevers being well positioned to hack his effort off the line as Wednesday somehow managed to stay in the contest.
Irvine introduced James O'Connor in place of Gary Teale and Clinton Morrison at the expense of the below-par Mellor as the Owls looked to change tactics to find a way back into the game.
And the Owls did start to show slightly more of an attacking threat, as a good one-two between Tudgay and Coke saw the latter fire straight at goal.
Coke was lucky to escape any punishment when he got involved in a challenge with his Brentford opponent, but the referee refused to raise a card in what was a scrappy match.
The Bees again came close to doubling their lead when Simpson turned with his back to goal to unleash a stunning effort which had Weaver beaten but came crashing back off the woodwork.
Nicky Adams then saw a fine effort palmed away for a corner by Weaver as Wednesday's hopes of anything to show for their efforts looked to be at an end.
But as they stayed just a goal behind, the Owls rallied late on with some half chances coming for the visitors, but they were unable to take any of them and returned to S6 with what they deserved - nothing.
It'll be a kick up the backside for Irvine's men, but they still remain top of the table and will be looking to bounce back next weekend at home against Carlisle United.
Full-Time: Brentford 1-0 Wednesday