Brentford, somehow, pulled off another late, late, heart palpitation inducing, recovery to salvage a point against Nottingham Forest on Easter Monday, thanks to goals from Andre Grey and Jota-In-The-Last-Minute, when it seemed a defeat looked inevitable.
Just as they had done against Millwall in the previous home match, the Bees had found themselves two goal behind and looking down the barrel, but remarkably, they clawed their way back to rescue a precious point.
Many will see the draw as a missed opportunity, and I guess it was to a degree, but Forest were a very tough and up for it side who’d clearly not given up on play-off ambitions – but it took two long-ball goals to undo the home side who dominated throughout. That direct ball over the top once again proved our undoing and the Bees defence had a real fight on their hand coping with the threat from Antonio, Akpom and Walker.
At the other end the visitors weathered a barrage until the late goals – the Bees notching 33 shots and almost 74% of the possession. Eventually, and to the relief of the home fans, that relentless pressure paid off, which is a real credit to the players, who clearly never lack belief and whose fitness is simply staggering.
Brentford’s first goal came from the boot of Gray, who wrestled his marker in trademark ‘Matrix’ style, before lashing the ball past the impressive Darlow… the Forest goalie then pulled off several excellent saves to thwart the Reds… But the stopper could do nothing when Jota jumped highest at the back stick to head home Tommy Smith’s wonderful cross, which brought the roof off.
Results elsewhere in the Championship’s afternoon matches saw the Bees retain a playoff place as Ipswich had lost at Huddersfield, but Wolves’ win over Leeds in the late match eased us back down to seventh with five more critical fixtures remaining.
On the plus side Brentford picked up four points over easter and scored six goals in the process, we also played some great football and looked a confident and determined side, certainly not one who are simply hanging on in there.
There is also clearly a spirit believes that promotion is a real possibility – the players have the ability to dig deeper and deeper when their backs are against the wall, and they will simply not accept defeat. The fans need to show the same belief in the run in.
This spirit bodes well for the remainder of the season and our rivals should write us off at their peril – just as they have, reluctantly, had to do all season.