Brentford 1-0 Ipswich Town: Soft penalty condemns Blues to defeat at Griffin Park
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The softest of penalties condemned Ipswich Town to defeat at Brentford this afternoon.
In a game lacking quality and urgency, Neal Maupay sent Bartosz Bialkowski the wrong way in the second half after Jonas Knudsen’s slight touch on winger Sergi Canos inside the penalty area.
The game had been drifting harmlessly towards a 0-0 draw before the penalty incident, with the Blues offering little in way of a reply before Grant Ward’s late effort was saved by Dan Bentley.
A disappointing afternoon was compounded by an apparent shoulder injury to captain Luke Chambers, who looked in pain as he was helped off the pitch in the first half with an injury which could potentially end the skipper’s season.
McCarthy made five changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Millwall on Monday, with Cole Skuse missing out after suffering a head injury in the clash with the Lions.
Luke Hyam took his place in a midfield also including Callum Connolly and Tristan Nydam, while Cameron Carter-Vickers returned to the back three as Freddie Sears took Bersant Celina’s place up front.
Hyam was dealing with abuse from the Griffin Park stands from the off, dating back to a tackle in April 2016 which resulted in a broken leg for Alan Judge and ruled the Republic of Ireland international out until recently.
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Judge was bright in for what was his first home start since the incident, moving the ball around well, and he was involved in the move that produced the first chance of the game as Bialkowski superbly saved from Neal Maupay.
The Blues were dealt a major blue after 21 minutes as Bialkowski came charging off his line to clear a through ball but, in doing so, left captain Chambers lying on the Griffin Park turf and requiring treatment. He was eventually helped off by the club’s medical staff with what appeared to be a shoulder problem, leaving the Blues to soldier on without their leader.
Cameron Carter-Vickers made a number of key blocks to help keep the Bees out, while the Blues struggled to create anything meaningful going forwards until the final minutes of the half. Connolly had the ball in the net but saw his effort ruled out for handball.
The second half was played in much the same way, with neither side managing to test the opposition keeper, before Waghorn stole into the Brentford box and forced a decent stop from Bentley.
The game looked destined to drift towards a goalless draw before a ball into the box saw Knudsen and substitute Canos come together in the area, with the former Norwich player hitting the deck. The referee awarded the softest of penalties, which Maupay slotted home to give the Bees the lead.
Ward’s effort from Celina’s cross was as close as the visitors came to getting back into the contest as their winless run was extended to six games.
Brentford: Bentley, Dalsgaard, Egan, Mepham, Barbet; McEachran (Marcondas 73), Sawyers, Mokotjo (Yennaris 66); Maupay, Watkins, Judge (Canos 66)
Subs: Daniels, Macleod, Bjelland, Clarke,
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Spence, Carter-Vickers, Chambers (Kenlock 24 (Celina 75)), Webster, Knudsen; Nydam (Ward 73), Hyam, Connolly; Sears, Waghorn
Subs: Crowe, Kenlock, Gleeson,Carayol, Folami