Brentford won their first away game of the season up at Rotherham. Dave Lane explains why he is glad he made a late decision to make the trip to Yorkshire
It’s always an ominous sign when you book your train tickets for a Brentford away match feeling the same as when booking an appointment for the dentist, but trips to Rotherham in recent seasons have provided miserable pickings… Not to mention the Bees had yet to win on their travels this season.
And it’s not too harsh to say that Rotherham is a depressing place. A run-down, semi-abandoned town centre in a city scarred by appalling child abuse issues that give the place an infamous reputation. The football club (and especially the stadium) is a bright beacon to illuminate the gloom.
Still, the green shoots of recovery that had started to grow for Thomas Frank’s side over Christmas burst into bloom for the first time against Stoke last weekend. Liquid football was back. And that stinky away run had to end at some stage… and so it proved.
Thankfully, what played out in front of 606 Bees fans was another example of how the tide is turning for Frank. Not only was that elusive first away win achieved. But the Bees scored some delicious goals and fully deserved the three points.
The aerial bombardment from Rotherham is best demonstrated by the post match crosses stats – 32 to Brentford’s 7. And it’s true that we continued to struggle with the long ball and long throw tactics. But most teams have similar problems would unless they are kitted out with a team of giants. The policy serves the Millers well having only lost twice at home before the Bees’ visit.
Rotherham made life as difficult as they could. After going behind so early in the game, they arguably should have been ahead at the break based on the clear cut chances created after having gone behind so early. Despite the setbacks, the Bees played with a swagger for much of this game. And with Sawyers and Mokotjo bossing the middle of the park. And Benrahma and Watkins causing all kinds of mischief out wide, all four of our goals, and host of other very good chances, came through patient, slick approach play – Mokotjo’s second goal being the culmination of move which could only be described as total football.
There were 14 passes from Brentford straight from kicking off again before their third goal against Rotheram…
Brilliant move, and a very tidy finish from Kamo Mokotjo. Here it is sped up. pic.twitter.com/K4YxlNeHuR
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) January 20, 2019
And if there can be any positives taken from conceding goals it must be that, despite being pegged back for 1-1 and 2-2, it didn’t phase our players and they simply upped the pass rate and stuck to their guns – confident in their game plan and abilities.
Mokotjo and Saywers were once again excellent in the middle of the park. Said Benrahma was an utter nuisance and full of tricks. While Neil Maupay‘ non-stop graft would have earned him a hat trick on another day.
I’m so glad I made the trip.
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