Brentford’s draw at Franchise McDons on Easter Monday will be remembered more as an amusing away day than for footballing reasons as our fans continued their weekend of celebration after promotion to the Championship on Good Friday… the team took the game very seriously however… until the last ten minutes anyway.
Mark Warburton made two changes from the team that beat PNE – with Nico Yennaris coming in to the team at right back and Will Grigg taking up the central strikers position.
Brentford were excellent for the first hour or so – Tarkowski netting after the Dons’ keeper kindly dropped the ball onto his foot and Donaldson doubling our lead after the cutest of through balls from Adam Forshaw (who has now gone for an ankle operation and won’t be seen again this season).
With Warbs then bringing on a few subs MK got back into the game firstly through a penalty (hotly contested by David Button) and then equalising deep in injury time when Izale McLeod headed home unchallenged.
The draw “officially” handed the League One title to Wolves but the reality is that we would have had to have won our last two games about 20-0 to make up the goal difference anyway.
Overall, though, the day was about savouring our success this season – from waterside pre-match drinks to a half time of pottiness and singing – fans waving their footwear in the air in the concourse singing “Shoes off if you love Brentford” as we did briefly back in the 90s… There was also a conga and a mild pitch invasion after the match which must have bemused the 76 or so MK Dons fans inside the stadium.
Moment of the day however was probably the introduction of Kevin O’Connor as substitute with about 20 minutes to go – his 498th Brentford appearance as he seeks to make appearance 500 at home to Stevenage in our final game of the season. The away support roared support and appreciation for a player who has been at Griffin Park for his entire senior playing career and is still an influential figure on the training pitch and in the dressing room.
Franchise manager Karl Smuginson even said some nice things about us to the TV cameras after the game. Wonders will never cease (although there was, admittedly, a subtle dig about our squad size).
Bees – Button, Bidwell, Yennaris, Craig, Tarkowski (SuperKev), Judge (Saville), JD (Toumani), Forshaw, Dallas, Donaldson, Grigg
Unused Subs – Lee, Reeves, Trotta, Adams