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Brentford continued their unbelievable league form with a 3-1 win against struggling Bristol City at Griffin Park.

Being totally honest, I was a tad nervous about this game. Not for any logical reason but from the perspective of being an olde-skool Brentford fan. We’re on an incredible run and it’s more often than not on a night like this against an out-of-form team on a terrible pitch where it usually all goes so horribly wrong for Brentford.

And with big money players in the City side like ex Arsenal striker Jay Emmannuel-Thomas and Posh loanee Tyrone Barnett, Brentford always had to be on their guard.

But something has changed. We really have moved up a few notches in the ‘professionalism’ stakes. Because, despite a little hiccup when City equalised, with the way the Bees approached this game the result was never really in doubt.

Mark Warburton kept faith in the side that dispatched Gillingham in front of the Sky cameras the previous Friday. However, warming the bench was Arsenal signee full back Nico Yannaris who joined his long time team-mate Chuba Akpom in the dug out, replacing Charlie Adams.

And it was who City started brightly without creating any real clear cut chances. However, as it has been so many times of late, it was the Bees who went ahead on 9 minutes – this time with a freak of a goal from City’s Flint, who last scored a goal in that same end in the dying seconds of last year’s playoff semi-final for Swindon. This time he somehow managed to divert a Bidwell cross past his own goalkeeper Parish on the near post.

City hit back immediately and three minutes later, Ex Brentford player Karleigh Osborne found himself in acres of space after Bidwell was caught out of possession supporting a Bees attack, and cooly guided the ball past the diving a Button from 20 yds.

Fair play to Osborne he didn’t celebrate his goal. He also was injured in the act of scoring and was taken off with a suspected injured hamstring.

City were very much in the game at this stage with Barnett and Williams going close for the visiting team.

But there was a certain confidence about the Bees which shows how much this side has matured. Instead of panicking after conceding the goal, they allowed Bristol City to fire bullets at them whilst taking the blows, soaking them up then hitting them back a sucker punch. And that’s exactly how the second goal came.

Against the run of play just over half way into the half, McCormack picked the ball up on the left side and steamed down the line, passing it off to Trotta. The young Italian, who professed to really enjoying his time at Griffin Park, performed another of his showboating tricks playing the ball into the path of Judge. His powerful shot was saved by the keeper but still crossed the line prompting a knee slide celebration from the Irishman. In front of the not too amused City fans.

And from that point on, Brentford really turned the screw and City just seemed to fall apart.

Brentford started moving the ball about with panache. Their movement both on and off the ball was incredible. The team were stringing together passes for fun. At times maybe 20, 25, 30 passes at a time. To the stage where some fans were jibing that the team was trying to walk the ball into the net.

Our watching from the City end felt that Douglas controlled the midfield flanked by McCormack and Saville. And with overlapping support roles from Bidwell and Logan, we simply over-ran the City midfield to the extent of them looking tired and helpless.

Winning everything in midfield, it was no surprise when once again Brentford scored on one of their counter-attacks. City lost the ball in the middle to the energetic young Saville which is picked up by McCormack to prompt another of his marauding runs. He played the ball out to Judge who crossed for Trotta to fire home on the 42nd minute. Great move. Great goal.

HT. Brentford 3 Bristol City 1

The second half carried on pretty much as the first had finished. Brentford dominating the play with City quite happy to keep the score down.

The Bees had more chances to increase the lead from Judge, Saville, Douglas and Trotta whereas City had run out of fire-power and ideas.

The game started to get niggly with a couple of “11 vs 11 handbags at dawn showdowns” as City fouled Brentford players cynically. Derrick Williams was guilty of some naughty play whereas Trotta was seen remonstrating with El-Abd who it seems he felt had elbowed him off the ball and out of view of the referee.

But Brentford held tight and shut up shop, closing the game down in a half which saw them retain their dominance while creating a few half-chances in the process.

FT Brentford 3 Bristol City 1

The selling point of a pub on every corner obviously prompted City to take double their average travelling fans to this game. The Griffin Pub found itself over-run at half-time with City fans who decided to abandon the 2nd half in exchange for a warm dry room and a pint of London Pride.

To be fair, Bees fans were a trifle more complementary about the Bristol side than the 941 City fans who had travelled down in the pouring rain to watch their team.

Bees fan @StephenJOBrien said on twitter “(City) looked the best side in the first 15 mins Til Bees turned it up a notch. Their centre half with worst go ever. No one near him”

Whereas City fan @matthewberry69 said “Now you’ve seen the shower of sh!*t we’ve had to endure this season”


@Maatthecat said “Every time they get the ball I’m sure I can hear them shout “don’t panic Mr Mannering”

But it’s last impressions that count and the fact that City just capitulated to a point of non-existence after dominating will be etched into the memory of every person at Griffin Park that evening.

Man of the match Judge got rave reviews from manager Mark Warburton. Backing up fans’ impression that ‘he’s all over the place’ Warburton, talking to Get West London, said “He cuts in, goes outside. He’s clever on the ball. He’s strong. He’s physical and defended well”.

Overall, you have to be impressed how the squad has been able to stick to the same principals through injury. Every week the fans wonder what effect missing key players Dean, Forshaw and Saunders being will have on the side. Every week, their replacements answer our questions with a solid display whilst ensuring we retain the same style of play.

So it’s onwards and upwards for Brentford as the West London juggernaut with it’s brake cables snipped keeps rolling. Next stop Shrewsbury.

All aboard!!!

Brentford: Button, Logan, O’Connor, Craig, Bidwell; McCormack (Reeves 70), Douglas, Saville, Donaldson, Trotta (Akpom ), Judge (Grigg 74)

Subs (not used): Lee, Yennaris, Diagouraga, Dallas

Bristol City: Parish, Osborne (Moloney 13), El-Abd, Flint, Williams, Cunningham, Gillett, Pack (W. Elliott 45), M Elliott, Barnett, Baldock (Emmanuel-Thomas 64)

Subs (not used): Fielding, Reid, Bryan, Burns

Attendance: 6,517 (941 City fans)