When five minutes injury time was signalled at the end of ninety minutes’ play, and with Ipswich 2-0 up, I’d wager there wasn’t a single fan inside the ground who thought the game would end in a draw.
Last season we saw Brentford come back to level from similar positions, against Forest, Millwall and Bolton, but with the Bees looking flat for most of the second period, a single goal looked unlikely against Ipswich…. let alone two!
The Bees started brightly enough (on a pitch that has been described as a disaster), with Jota, Hoffman and Gogia looking particularly promising… and the slick passing football we have grown to love had Ipswich pinned back for long periods. But there were also signs of some wobbly defending with Ipswich going very close after finding themselves clean through.
Button was at his best, thankfully, but the impressive Bees goalie could do nothing about Town’s opener – Fletcher’s shot came back off the post before eventually falling to Bru who converted to put the visitors one up at the break.
I expected the Bees to come out all guns firing in the second period following Marinus’ pep talk, however, there seemed to be something missing in terms of cutting edge, and it may take a little time for things to click… but do go two down was a real blow.
Ipswich doubled their lead thanks to a swift and clinical counter attack, breaking from a Bees corner down the right, the home defence was caught square and, as Button rushed out, a perfect ball found Fraser who had the simple task of slotting into an empty net.
Despite some bright moments from Gogia and several nice touches from debutant Vibe, it was a disappointing performance over all, and only the introduction of Andre Grey injected any real dangerif we’re being honest.
The Bees striker, who didn’t start because of a distracting week’s transfer speculation (according to the manager after the match), demonstrated exactly what he adds to the Bees up front… and what we would miss is he were sold.
Even before Grey ‘consolation’ goal two minutes into injury time, the energy and darting runs had begun to worry Ipswich – he is a real handful to mark and a genuine threat.
Pulling a goal back certainly lifted the subdued mood at a sun-drenched Griffin Park, but the roof came off when Tarki bundled home a last gasp leveller and the scenes of celebration that followed were pretty special. 90-plus-two and 90-plus-six… There’s late, and there’s late!
The varied comments that can be heard in the post match Beesotted Pride of West London podcast demonstrate the genuine mixture of relief, concern and pragmatism among the fans back in the pub… some very interesting thoughts and opinions as always. Give it a listen by clicking the link above.
Getting a point on the board, when a defeat looked on the cards, was a real bonus, that is undoubtable… but so is the fact that we did not hit the ground running, and there is tinkering required in team selection as well as improved performance levels from several of the players.
Still, that Tarki Malarkey at the end was potty! It’s good to be back.