Fury was the watch word after the Bluebirds battled back from two goals down to earn a SkyBet Championship point at Cardiff City Stadium.
Neil Harris was, by his own admission, angrier than he has been at any time this season over the performance of referee Simon Hooper, while Brentford boss Thomas Frank made his feelings clear during his press conference.
Harris was adamant his team should have had a second half penalty when Junior Hoilett was fouled, while Danish manager Frank swore when he talked to the media.
He believed Will Vaulks should have been shown the red card after a clash with Christian Norgaard, saying: “If you saw the reaction from our bench. Normally, if it’s 50-50 situations, I will complain and one of my staff will complain because we want to influence.
“You could just the see the whole fucking bench jumping up. If you see that, it’s probably because something is wrong.
“One hundred per cent it was a red card. I am almost never in the media complaining about referees, that’s not what I do, but I need to raise my voice because it was a clear, clear red card.
“The incident was in front of the fourth official and a linesman could see. Neil Harris admitted it should have been a red card. Just too soft.
It was a crucial decision.”
Angriest moment of the season?
“Yeah, it’s probably a build-up of the last three home games,” said Harris.
“It tipped me over the edge. It’s no disrespect to the officials today, it was a difficult fixture to referee at times today.
“But it’s a clear penalty [on Junior Hoilett] and they have to get those decisions right. That’s the difference between us winning the game or not.
“At 0-0 against Forest we have one, we have various decisions against Wigan and then again [v Brentford]. It’s a big call at 2-2 with not long to go and they can’t keep going against us.
“We have to get the rub of the green at some stage. One penalty in 24 games, it’s not right.”
Harris had asked to have contact with Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) before the game against Bees, saying: “In my last report I asked for a phone conversation and didn’t get one,” he told BBC Radio Wales.
“I got a response that was really embarrassing.
“I hear all the time that officials want to improve and want to work with clubs, but you saw how animated I was and I’m not often like that because I try to set a precedent and a standard on the touchline as a proud manager of this football club.
“I try and keep a calm head but the decisions tipped me over the edge.
“It makes you not want to work with referees and help them develop.
“Everybody keeps asking me about VAR. It will find us one day. If it had found us in the last three months we would have been on a much better position in the league.”
Frank conceded Hoilett was fouled by Ethan Pinnock and that City should have been awarded a penalty: “I think it was a penalty.”
Harris still believes his team can qualify for the play-offs over their final 10 fixtures – five at home, five away – and said: “We’re five points off, so it is still all to play for with 10 games to go. We need to go on a run of unbeaten games to make that late push.”
Cardiff’s next match is at Barnsley on Saturday, while they are then at home against Leeds United on Sunday, March 15 (1pm).
Joe Ralls made his first league start since December, saying: “It’s been difficult with the timing of my injury happening around the time that Neil Harris came in, then injuring myself again with my first game under him.
“Both the manager and coaching staff have been superb in keeping me involved, with the boys in the squad being as good as gold as well.
“It was tough not being involved, but I just kept my head down and tried to keep myself as fit as possible so that when I came back I’d feel in half good shape.
“It was great to be back on the pitch on a personal level.
“The boys did well to come back from being two goals down and we came away feeling that we should have won the game.
“We had chances, a few penalty shouts and we were disappointed that we didn’t take all three points.”
Hoilett (34 mins) and Ralls (45) were Cardiff’s goalscorers after Luca Racic (5) and Bryan Mbeumo (20) had put Brentford two goals ahead.
“We started slowly, but to turn it around before half-time is credit to ourselves,” said Hoilett. “We had the better chances in the second half and should have earned three points.
“The way we played today, we know we can create good chances. We deserved to win. We were on the front foot for the majority of the game, pressing them in their half. We just have to be more clinical.
“We have 10 games left and every point is going to count. We have to go into every game with the belief that we can gain points to close the gap on the play-off positions.
“We still have to play some of the teams ahead of us and they will be the critical games. We have to be positive because we know we are capable of it.”
Manager Harris reflected on the game after his ‘fury’ had subsided, saying: “We showed character to come from two goals behind. We gave a soft goal away for the first goal and it was a great free-kick for the second.
“We were a little nervous about their qualities as an attacking team and weren’t aggressive enough for my liking. We found our way back into the game by forcing our way higher up the pitch, gaining turnovers and scored a really good goal with some great build-up play that finished with a great cross and header.
“Then we started to really play, causing them problems.”
Now Harris and his Bluebirds focus on their trip to play Barnsley in Yorkshire before the international break.
They are without a win in four matches – two points from four matches – and have to finish the season in style if they are to give themselves a chance of a promotion challenge.