Irish duo star but Brentford could still miss playoffs

Two of Brentford’s Irish players were in flying form on Saturday but their best efforts were not enough to earn the Bees three desperately-needed points.

The 2-2 draw at home to Bolton stretched their winless run to four games and leaves them three points outside the Championship play-off zone with just two games to go. Brentford twice surrendered an advantage with their second goal coming from a precisely placed header from Jonathan Douglas. That goal was made by a fine cross from Alan Judge, his second assist of the day. However the result leaves Brentford needing help elsewhere if they are to make it to Wembley.

“We’re upset but the lads will bounce back again,” Judge said. “We’re already looking forward to next week and hopefully putting it right.”

Harry Arter’s prospects of playing Premier League football next season suffered a late blow as Bournemouth conceded a stoppage-time goal to draw 2-2 with a Sheffield Wednesday side that lost Keiren Westwood through injury in the warm-up. The result meant the Cherries surrendered top spot to Watford and only goal difference has them ahead of Middlesbrough.

Ipswich are clinging on to the final play-off spot after a 1-1 draw at Wolves. The result kept the Tractor Boys three points clear of Wolves and delighted former Ireland boss Mick McCarthy.

“Wolves were in the ascendancy in the second half but we have had a great, stubborn, belligerent, professional performance — all those horrible words people don’t like in football but I do because you win games and win leagues by doing that. We are always hard to beat and hard to play against.

“It takes a lot of things to be in the top six and there will be teams below us who are all playing sexy football but we are winning games and we are in the top six and we still have a chance of being promoted.

“So to anyone who cocks a snook at the way we are doing it I laugh at them and think it is comical because what we do we do well.”

All the other end of the table, David Forde kept a rare clean sheet as Millwall drew 0-0 at Cardiff City while James McClean’s Wigan boosted their slim hopes of survival with a 2-1 win over Brighton.

Millwall are four points off safety with three games left while Wigan are five points in arrears with two games to play. Neither club is without hope though as Rotherham, who are one spot above the drop zone, could yet be hit with three-point deduction if found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.

In the SPL, Adam Rooney’s 27th goal of the season gave Aberdeen a 1-0 win over Dundee United and brought the Dons to within five points of leaders Celtic, albeit having played a game more.

Rooney conceded the title is out of each but was delighted with a victory that secured European football for next season.

“We wanted to get the three points to confirm our European qualification. It was important to get that done and the win also takes a step closer to securing second spot,” he said.

In League One a Billy Clarke goal secured a 1-1 draw for mid-table Bradford away to Sheffield United. At the County Ground, a strike from James Berrett gave already-relegated Yeovil a shock win against Swindon.

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