Spread the love

Brentford produced another fantastic and memorable win against one of pundit’s pre-season promotion favourites thanks to goals from Jota and Alex Pritchard … Once again the result was no more than Mark Warburton’s side deserved as the boys in red and white were clearly the better side, playing the better football.

The Bees were on the front foot from the start and could have been one-up within a minute – Andre Gray was played through on goal only to see the ball bobble just as he was about to shoot, meaning the strike went high and wide… But there were further chances as the slick counter-attacking visitors looked confident and well up for the battle against a physical City side who were not shy in taking a booking for the team rather than let a Bees skip past.

As we are becoming accustomed to, the opening goal arrived after another slick move. This time cutting through the flapping Canaries defence … Andre Gray playing in Jota who made no mistake from 12 yards out to signal that yet another impressive away win could be on the cards.

Norwich came back at Brentford, as you would expect from a home side, and were on level terms again when Nathan Redmond cut inside Jake Bidwell and beat David Button at his near post with a deflected shot.

The goal woke up the swathes of silent home fans for a few moments at least, before they went back into hibernation. The loyal Canaries are clearly not impressed by their side and, on this weekend’s showing, they are a long way behind the likes of Bournemouth, Derby, Watford, Middlesbrough and Brentford – teams who all employ a far more stylish and less direct brand of play to far better effect.

David Button and the Bees defence had to be on their toes throughout as Norwich hit the ball long for their powerful forwards to challenge for. With players like Jerome, Lafferty and Hooper on the pitch, they were always going to be a threat. But wayward passing made the hosts look crude, if canny at times.

The second period continued in the same vein as the first – Brentford bossing possession and knocking the ball around nicely in attack aware that they had to keep things water tight at the back.

Andre Grey, for all his intelligent running and hard work, seemed to be having a frustrating afternoon in so much as the ball seemed not to be falling for him, but his physical presence drew the foul that led to the winning goal.

With his back to goal, and shielding the ball just inside the Barclay End penalty area, two defends came through the player for the ball – the referee pausing for a moment before pointing to the spot. It was a clear penalty – as was the one the referee failed to spot against City at Griffin Park back in September. Alex Pritchard stepped confidently and lashed it home… But could the Bees hold out this team?

The answer was an emphatic yes, but it did take a wonder save from David Button, a keeper who I have repeatedly praised as having come of age this season, and whom Tony Parks talks at length about in his exclusive Beesotted podcast interview this week.

Jonathan Douglas also had a couple of great chances to increase the lead, but just failed to beat Ruddy.

There were some chewed nails in the away section of the ground as the clock ticked down… The 1000-plus Bees jigged around and sang their hearts out in an attempt to keep warm and back their side to the three points… “Thirty Five Quid … yer having a laugh” referring to the extortionate price Norwich charged to get into Carrow Road (as discussed in our ticket podcast this week) … rang out all around the ground …. rumours have it Norwich fans in the River end also joined in the chant …

And the final whistle was greeted by some wildly happy scenes by both the players and the fans. What a season, what a team, what a well deserved reward for a well executed game plan.

To their credit the Norwich fans were gracious in their assessment of the match back in the pub after the game – they’re a good, knowledgable bunch who were honest enough to acknowledge they had been beaten by a better side.

‘Tinpot’ Brentford are certainly making people sit up and pay attention.And for those ‘big club’ fans who continue to look at our badge and harp on about having a more successful past, they need to wake up and smell the Bovril.

So, are the Bees really going up?

Well, on this form, which has rarely wavered throughout the campaign, the answer is a realistic yes. Middlesbrough, fresh from their FA Cup heroics at Manchester City are the next stern test… But why should we doubt the mighty MIGHTY Bees’ chances of making it four wins on the spin?

Dave Lane

Norwich Fan Book Offer

Buy ‘Fantasy Football’ for just a fiver by clicking here.


[polldaddy poll=8608253]