A “GOAL” that wasn’t given and a harsh sending-off left Bury with a sour taste in their mouth as they slipped to defeat in their top-of-the-table clash with Brentford.

The Shakers deserved at least share of the spoils from a contest that was settled by Marcus Bean’s first-half effort.

That strike came eight minutes after Andy Morrell was denied what looked to be a goal when the Brentford goalkeeper Ben Hamer seemingly clawed the striker’s effort from behind the line.

“I was standing five yards away, the ball was flicked on and Mozza (Andy Morrell) got a touch on it and it was a yard over the line but the keeper pulled it back. However, you can’t moan about refs – it’s up to us,” said skipper Paul Scott.

To compound Bury’s misery, influential midfielder Stephen Dawson was sent-off for two bookable offences and now faces a suspension.

Dawson received his first booking after a late challenge on Bees skipper Kevin O’Connor, and was given his marching orders in the 70th minute when he kicked the ball away in frustration after the referee had blown his whistle.

“In the first half we were the better team and had the better chances, but I always fancied us in the second half to get one,” said Alan Knill.

“The players were fantastic with 10 men and pinned them back into their half. I’m disappointed, but it’s one loss in nine.

“We didn’t play great football, but it was a game of second balls. The only football that was played was by us when we opened them up.”

There was little in the contest in the early stages, with both sides giving each other ultimate respect.

Bury, however, were creating the better chances and Michael Jones forced Hamer into a fine double save just five minutes before the contentious Morrell incident.

Bar a free-kick that went sailing over the bar, Brentford created very little and it was against the run of play when they went into the lead.

Sam Wood floated a free-kick into the box, and it was only half-cleared for an unmarked Bean to steer the ball into the bottom left corner from 16 yards out.

Bury, who have come from behind to win matches in their last two away games, were rocked and on-loan striker Jordan Rhodes shot straight at Mark Tyler early in the second half after dispossessing Ryan Cresswell.

The visitors were having plenty of possession without really testing Hamer in the Brentford goal – and their task became even harder when Dawson was given his marching orders for the first time in his career.

But that only served to galvanise Bury and they pinned Brentford into their own half for the remainder of the contest.

Bury threw everything at the Bees and David Buchanan volleyed over from 25 yards while Andy Bishop and Brian Barry-Murphy both saw shots blocked by the determined home side.

Andy Scott’s side were, however, still dangerous on the counter-attack and Charlie MacDonald ran the length of the pitch twice but couldn’t match his endeavour with a finish.

Defeat was hard to take for the Shakers, but they have the perfect chance to return to winning ways when they host Chesterfield tomorrow night.

BRENTFORD: Hamer 7, O'Connor 8, Dickson 7, Bean 7, Phillips 7, Bennett 7, MacDonald 7, Rhodes 6 (Elder 6, 64), Wood 8, Halls 7, Williams 6 (Hunt 88). Subs not used: Brown, Newton, Hunt, Osborne.

BURY: Tyler 7, Scott 7, Cresswell 6, Sodje 7, Buchanan 7, Bennett 7, Dawson 7, Barry-Murphy 6, Jones 6 (Baker 6, 74), Bishop 6, Morrell 6. Subs not used: Haslam, Hurst, Racchi, Rouse.

Attendance: 6,597 (560 Bury fans)

Referee: Mr P Crossley (Kent)