DANNY WILSON had warned Sheffield United would face their toughest test of the season at Griffin Park and so it proved.
Rather than attacking his side after only their second league defeat of the season, Wilson paid tribute to the young Brentford side.
First-half strikes from Clayton Donaldson and a goal-of-the-season contender from Harry Forrester stretched the Bees’ unbeaten run to eight games.
Wilson said: “We got stronger and stronger as the game went on but couldn’t get that goal we needed.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Brentford because they are a very good side and they will be one of the main challengers at the end of the season.
“They have good pace, attack well on the counter, defend well and are a credit to Uwe Rosler. That said, if we had got the goal it might have been different.”
Opposite number Rosler said: “We played the best team in the league. The way we played in the first half was unbelievable, but we got a little bit tired in the second half.
“The average age of our team was 22 and a half. I have so much respect for my players and what they showed.”
United were facing an uphill struggle after four minutes when Brentford blazed into the lead.
Donaldson was responsible for applying the finish from Diagouraga’s centre, which left a horribly exposed George Long rooted to the spot.
Kiernan was the architect of the move, having first split United’s rearguard with a delightful pass.
With influential figures such as Matthew Hill and Tony McMahon returning from injury, United had entered the fixture in a positive frame of mind, but they were deflated when Forrester struck after half-an-hour with a rasping effort from long range.
Brentford bossed the first half, but United served notice they were not prepared to kiss the points goodbye without a fight and Chris Porter and Nick Blackman went close after the break.
Richard Cresswell replaced Porter in the 65th minute and United became the dominant force.
Their frustrations grew, however, when Blackman saw a good attempt fly just past a post.
United’s grip tightened with Craig Bidwell producing a wonderful tackle as Shaun Miller primed to shoot and Harry Maguire having a header clawed away to safety despite appeals it had crossed the line.
Ryan Flynn started to pepper Brentford’s box with crosses and Blackman’s claim for a penalty when he tangled with Craig was waved away.
Brentford: Moore, Logan, Craig, Dean, Bidwell, Forrester (Saunders 59), Diagouraga, Kiernan (Hayes 66), Trotta (Hodson 81), Forshaw, Donaldson. Unused substitutes: Lee, Barron, Dallas, Oyeleke.
Sheffield United: Long, Miller, Maguire, Hill, McMahon (Westlake 61), Collins, Doyle, Flynn, McDonald, Porter (Cresswell 65), Blackman. Unused substitutes: Coyne, McAllister, Cofie, McFadzean, Williams.
Referee: A D’Urso (Essex).
Man of the match: Harry Forrester.