No justice for Latics
Defeats don't come any harder to swallow than Latics’ 1-0 loss at high-flying Brentford in Sky Bet League 1.
It was certainly a bitter pill as an injury-time winner from Jonathan Douglas left Latics heartbroken after they looked set to leave Griffin Park with a thoroughly-deserved point.
Lee Johnson could not fault the effort and application of his players as they nullified the threat from the Bees while at the opposite end created the clearer chances.
Latics' manager said: "I thought we were fantastic and our boys worked their socks off against a good side.
"We were the better side on the day and we were on the wrong end of some poor refereeing decisions in my book which was disappointing yet again."
Johnson thought Brentford were fortunate to finish with 11 players and his side ought to have been awarded a penalty for a handball.
He continued: "That is what keeps happening at the moment. However, I was really proud of my lads and couldn't say anything other than well done at the end because to a man they were outstanding.
"We had good chances and it was a good game from our point of view and we didn't get what we deserved."
Johnson made two changes from the side which kicked off against Chesterfield in the midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie.
Mark Oxley returned in goal while there was also a recall for Ellis Plummer as Paul Rachubka and Matteo Lanzoni stepped down. Left-back Plummer's reinstatement meant a defensive rejig as Jonathan Grounds switched to centre back while Genseric Kusunga moved to right back.
Latics were solid from the start taking the sting out of the Bees who were hardly a threat in the opening stages as keeper Mark Oxley comfortably dealt with efforts from Harley Dean and Will Grigg.
Johnson made an early change substituting David Mellor who complained about feeling heavy legged. He was replaced by Carl Winchester who almost made an immediate impact.
Winchester lead a four-versus-one Latics’ break when he decided to go solo when team mates were better placed either side of him. The result was that Winchester's shot was blocked.
Grigg shot narrowly wide after half an hour after being set up by Adam Forshaw's left-wing cross.
Latics finished the opening half strongly as Michael Petrasso sliced a shot wide when well placed while Danny Philliskirk also fired off target.
They began the second half brightly as Philliskirk had another chance while Jonson Clarke-Harris bent a free kick round the defensive wall but wide of the upright.
Brentford had a two-versus-two break which ended with George Saville's goalbound shot being deflected for a corner by Kusunga.
It was only in the last quarter that the game opened up as both sides pressed for a winning goal.
Clarke-Harris pulled a shot wide while at the opposite end substitute Marcello Trotta's downward header looped over Oxley and struck the crossbar.
Adam Rooney replaced Clarke-Harris with 21 minutes left as Latics looked for new attacking ideas.
Douglas was booked for bringing down Philliskirk who was breaking through on goal, an incident Johnson believed merited a dismissal. From the free kick, Korey Smith's shot was deflected narrowly wide for a corner.
And from the set-piece, Latics appealed for a penalty claiming a handball.
Substitute Winchester found himself substituted by Sidney Schmeltz in the 88th minute as Latics made their third and final change.
Latics looked set to leave Griffin Park with a deserved point when disaster struck in the second if four minutes of added time.
Bees' substitute Sam Saunders fired over a looping cross to the far post which was headed home by Douglas.
And to provide a double whammy, Douglas was the player who could have been sent off while Johnson also maintained the midfield man committed a foul with a climb to gain the leverage to head the match-winning goal.
Brentford (4-1-2-3): Button; McCormack, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Douglas; Forshaw, Saville (El Allagui 80); Donaldson, Grigg (Trotta 66), Harris (Saunders 60). Subs (not used): Lee, O’Connor, Logan, Reeves.
Latics (4-4-2): Oxley; Kusunga, Tarkowski, Grounds, Plummer; Petrasso, Smith, Wesolowski, Mellor (Winchester 27, Schmeltz 88); Clarke-Harris (Rooney 69). Subs (not used): Rachubka, Brown, Rodgers, Lanzoni.
The goal: Douglas (90+2)
Bookings: Dean (6), McCormack (84), Douglas (85) for Latics. Wesolowski (25), Plummer (68).
Referee: Mr C Berry
Attendance: 6,594 (421 visitors)