Bradley Wright-Phillips rescued a late point for nine man Brentford in Yorkshire in a game somewhat decimated by Bournemouth-based referee Keith Stroud.
Brentford had taken a first half lead from the penalty spot through Marcello Trotta after The Bees weathered an early storm from the home team -who then fell apart for a bit.
This was Chris Morgan’s 2nd game in temporary charge of United and before the game Blades fans were telling us that they would be coming out the traps from the first minute to attack. Nothing pretty. Just hard direct football. And they didn’t surprise. The game was played at breakneck speed at times. However, Sheffield’s long ball play was handled admirably by the Brentford defence who on the whole kept United at bay in the first half.
The penalty came about in the 24th minute after Donaldson was put through by an excellent Jake Reeves and he was bought down by goalkeeper Long. Trotta made no mistake with the spot kick. Prior to that Trotta and Hodson had chances to put Bees in the lead and Moore pulled of a fine save from Maguire.
Stroud emerged from his half time break like someone who had had his tea spiked by acid. He had already handed out 8 yellow cards before the break and failed to pull United up on a number of dubious challenges. Then inexplicably he handed Sheffield United a penalty for something or other, whilst also sending off Tony Craig for an off-the-ball incident that no-one in the ground except the linesman saw. He’ll probably miss our next three competitive games (let’s hope one is in the Championship) although Uwe Rosler, after seeing the video, is confident that he will win the appeal for an undeserved sending-off.
Tony McMahon blazed the spot kick onto the bar and the rebound also missed the target – a lucky let off for the Bees. However, it was backs up against the wall as we were now down to 10 men. In the 62nd minute team-mate Robson made no mistake with the game’s third penalty – given for a needless handball by Lee Hodson to pull the score back to 1-1.
Ginger tit Kitson then rose high from Murphy cross to put the home side ahead before Stroud decided he’d not personally featured in the game for a while and gave another penalty – this time to Brentford – and sent off United’s Maguire. Unfortunately for the Bees, Saunders’ penalty was saved by Long and the rebound was missed by Trotta.
Clayton Donaldson then picked up a second yellow for we’re not quite sure what, to reduce Brentford to nine men but that seemed to actually spur the Bees on. Reeves, substitute Wright-Phillips and Dean all went close before Bradley Wright-Phillips popped up in the 89th minutes to fire home a fabulous goal to send the 1200 visiting fans (and another tens of thousands of Bournemouth fans sitting at home in Dorset … Bournemouth ref … interesting decisions …. hmmmm) into euphoria – jubilation which was continued when they witnessed a late Simon Moore save to prevent U tied from popping in a late winner.
A draw that felt like a win. Vindication for a referee who was hell bent on spoiling the game. Great passion and determination from the Brentford team with their never say die attitude. And tremendous support from the 1200 Brentford fans who all stood up for 90 minutes and sang their hearts out for the duration of the game. There is no doubt that the away crowd helped lifted the team last night helping them to secure that all-important point.
It would be fantastic if fans could ignore the fact that the match is on TV and get themselves down to Victoria Park on Saturday in their droves by hook or by crook (let’s set up a Hartlepool car share maybe?). A sizeable away crowd screaming for the team, could be the difference between 1 point and 3 … And the difference between automatic promotion and the playoffs.
So we go into Saturday’s game at Hartlepool (relegated on Tuesday) possibly without Tony Craig and definitely without Clayton … but in the knowledge that we can still catch Doncaster on goal difference. It is of course possible that Donny or Bournemouth will also drop further points before we kick off on Saturday …. Wouldn’t that be a nice position to be in?
Condorman (@thecondorman), BillytheBee (@billythebee99) and Dave Lane (@beesotted100) with words, singing, video and malarkey
Apologies to followers of @beesotted on twitter on Tuesday night – due to sheer volume of retweets we blew our daily limit and went missing towards the end of the game. We’ll be back on Saturday for sure so make sure you follow us at @beesotted
[soccer-info id=’21’ type=’table’ highlight=’722||Brentford’ /]
[soccer-info id=’21’ type=’results’ highlight=’722||Brentford’ /]