So four games on from the Chelsea debacle, Brentford have definately shown a different face.
Ten goals scored. That’s good isn’t it?
Ten goals conceded. Now that’s not great.
One win and three losses in four games. All of a sudden those 10 goals don’t sound like they’re worth much. Or are they?
Reading started the match at the Madjeski on the front foot. And it was no real surprise when they took the lead. The home team found plenty of space down the Bees’ left side to get deep and bang a cross in. There was some sort of defensive fluff and Maxime Colin smashed the ball off his own post. Ex-Bee john Swift was first to respond – picking up the rebound and finding the back of the net.
However, the goal seemed to spur the Bees on from that point onwards. It was unfeasible that Brentford would not claim at least one point if not three as they piled the pressure on Reading.
Jota was like a man possessed as Reading were struggling cope with the Spanish winger. Canos was starting to look like the player who caused defences problems last season – beating two players before putting the ball wide.
Yennaris, Jota, McEachran and Vibe also went close in a half where we quite simply didn’t take our chances. And theyveee very good chances too.
Canos had a good shout for a penalty. Cutting into the area with the ball he looked from where we were that he was thrown to the floor by Mutch . But our good friend in black Keith Stroud was having none of it. The Bees players were furious.
A deep sigh of breath from Reading fans as their team goes into half time one goal to the good. A Reading fan on the Beesotted Post Match Podcast (below) even commented that he didn’t understand how Brentford weren’t 4 goals up at half time.
Neither did we to be totally honest.
The second half saw the Bees continue their domination. Canos and Yennaris once again came close. But it was Jozefzoon, who came on for Canos on the hour, who made an immediate impact – bombing the length of the wing to beat everyone with his first touch before crossing the ball in for Jota to plant it in the back of the net.
A few minutes later, Woods sets up Vibe nicely for him to cut in, beat the defender and smash the ball into the back of the net (via an incoming Reading player’s face). Cue mad scenes on the away terraces.
The game had a properly opened up by this stage. Reading were on the rack. And Brentford could have, and should have, had six goals by this stage.
However, in typical Bees fashion, we were unable to batton down the hatches.
Reading hit the Bees on the break – our achilles heel – down the left. A ball over the top evaded Field but not the Reading wide man who got his cross in and Danny Williams put the ball into the back of the net at the near post for a Royals equaliser. Gutting.
But it wasn’t over. Calamity Bees saw keeper Bentley try to clear a long Reading ball with a neat pass to his defender when he could have easily put it anywhere else. Instead his pass went to to Kermogant who from 35 yards laid the ball off in the area for the onrushing Berens to score in the back of an empty net.
A completely un-necessary goal to concede. And, after all the good work done for an hour by the bees, probably sums up the calamitous side of our season.
Saying that, the game was far from over. Reading were still on the racks for the closing period of the game. Jozefzoon, who the Reading defence were finding problems containing, broke fast getting himself into a shooting position. He shoots. His shot is saved. He picks up the rebound and he shoots again .. the ball goes across goal beating Al Habsi but painfully just misses going into the net.
Vibe also had another chance blocked. But the best opportunity for the Bees to have got a point from that game came in the final minute. Reading were breached once again by Jozefzoon who did well to lay the ball off to Vibe. Al Habsi was beaten. Vibe only needed to stab the ball. Toe poke it. Fall over. Do anything. Instead he hesitates. Takes the ball wide. And the chance was gone – along with Brentford’s point.
That was as frustrating as drawing 3-3 with Brighton. We had a team gunning for promotion on the racks most of this match – on their own turf. But as good as Brentford are in attacking – and we created a number of very good chances – we can be suicidal at the back.
It seems when we are on the front foot, we can give any team a game. But we struggle once are put on the back foot. Teams can dominate us and we struggle to get a grip on the match.
Saying that, we were on the front foot for most of this match. But we were undone by a couple of defensive frailties. Once again.
We keep talking bout positives and negatives. This game there were a lot of positives. We’re playing great football. And we can score goals and – more to the point – create chances.
But we need to be more clinical in front of goal. And we have to work out how to close games out. Reading saw our left hand side as a weakness and continually exposed us down that flank – with two of their goals coming from that side.
Field should not be scapegoated. He’s young. He’s learning. And he’ll make mistakes. I saw Rico Henry playing for the B team against QPR earlier yesterday (Tuesday). He came through 60 minutes no problem and in our interview with Dean Smith to come on this weeks B team themed podcast (out Friday), he feels that Henry is only a few weeks away from making a first team appearance. That will take the pressure off Field.
So 10 goals score in 4 matches. Are they worth anything? I would say so yes. If we weren’t scoring, I would be worried. But we are. And if you score, you can always win games. We’re not going to lose all the time playing football like this. It’s a fact. But it’s hard to predict how each game will go at the moment.
We’ve also scored 17 goals in the 8 matches since Scott Hogan stopped playing for Brentford which, until the end of the season anyway when we inevitably will invest in a new striker, should make Bees’ fans feel comfortable.
And as frustrating as it is, I feel better going away from Reading having lost 3-2 having played like that than losing 5-0 to Norwich or 2-1 to Wigan showing no fight or attacking prowess.
However, taking zero points from games like this week in and week out isn’t an option. So Dean Smith and his coaching team had some work to do in the next few weeks. Our attack seems to have taken care of itself.
Next stop – sort that defence.