With the transfer window closed and the international break brought to an end Aston Villa welcomed Brentford to begin a run of vital September fixtures.
The introduction of lineups saw Villa faithful happy to see Mile Jedinak back in uniform. With Captain John Terry and James Chester it seemed as if Steve Bruce was using Jedinak as the backup central defender, a position he played sparingly but successfully last season.
Ahmed Elmohamady started on the right wing ahead of new man Robert Snodgrass who was in the lineup as a sub. With no other right back in behind James Bree, it seemed likely that if there were a need, Snodgrass could come onto the wing and Elmo could move back as has been theorized.
Lineup commentary aside, that was about the most interesting thing from the first half. Villa had very few opportunities on the attack with any clarity and the defence was left scrambling often, as well, fortunate for Brentford's inability to capitalise on the lapses.
Spurs loanee Josh Onomah continued to look the most active and engaged participant for our Claret and Blue, creating a few chaotic chances with Keinan Davis, but without real threat.
Uncharacteristically from the beginning of the season, Villa escaped the first half without any knocks, so any substitutions would be allowed to be tactical rather than reactionary.
The second half began with more positive opportunities for both teams, but began from Keinan Davis and Conor Hourihane, who was dragged down in the box while his appeal went denied.
A horrible collapse of the defense left Brentford with a half a pitch of wide open grass for Josh Clark, but Sam Johnstone blocked the break and shortly later stopped a free kick on goal.
What we said earlier about injuries? Sadly in the 59th minute Andre Green went down and was quickly replaced by former Bees man Scott Hogan. A double change brought in Robert Snodgrass for his debut seeing off Keinan Davis. Snodgrass then pushed Elmohamady to the left side of the pitch and took his familiar position on the right.
A pretty sustained and cohesive attack saw Josh Onomah put Scott Hogan through on goal, but at an acute angle, Bees keeper Daniel Brentley closed down, blocked and covered to snuff the chance.
How often have we written this? Onomah continued to be the best player on the pitch for Aston Villa, which made it unfortunate for him to go down with an injury in the 70th minute while his mates had the ball on attack. The trainer worked him back into shape and he gamely attempted to continue before he was replaced by Gabby Agbonlahor.
Another incredible Sam Johnstone save after a shameful giveaway at midfield kept the score level at zeroes, but conceded a series of corners to Brentford. Johnstone continued to make dramatic leaping fingertip saves on Brentford strikes.
Hogan showed his skill getting fouled on a deep ball to create a 40 yard chance for Elmohamady's free kick. John Terry saw himself nutmegged by the set to no chance for Villa.
Elmohamady had more reason to be concerned of his effort being wasted in about the the 80th minute. He was taken down at the 6 yard box with a free opportunity on net but was frustratingly not given consideration for a penalty kick by referee Scott Duncan.
Snodgrass showed his class by holding off an attempted dispossession and earned a foul on the right corner of the 18 yard box. He took the free kick himself and his bullet strike earned a corner kick which resulted in a James Chester opportunity, but Chesters first touch popped the ball too high while giving Brentley a chance to put the ball out of play on Chesters point blank attempt.
The Villa fans in attendance grew louder and louder throughout the end of the second half, repeatedly appealing the team to push forward and faster.
A disaster corner was given in the 90th minute by Brentford after Agbonlahor's header was canceled but all it led to was a break for Bees and a few counters that had to clear chances.
Brentford killed clock to the groans of the attendees before Neil Taylor and Conor Hourihane pushed a break down the left for Aston Villas last attempt.
Villa had a few frantic moments trying to create a chance on the right side, but found no opportunities between Bree, Elmohamady and Snodgrass. Brentford found a goal kick and that led to the final whistle.
For the start of their September push, this was truly a disappointing start for a "promotion push." Villa simply cannot afford to drop points at Villa Park and the boos at the final whistle showed a few fans in attendance felt the same.