BillytheBee sees lots of positives in the Bees’ victory in c-Oldham at a time when the locals are looking for the first opportunity to move away
Clayton Donaldson scored two goals as Brentford extended their league unbeaten run to thirteen games up in the chilly nether regions of Oldham as the Bees ran out 2.0 winners. Uwe made three changes from the Southend game seeing Kiernan come in for the injured Adeyemi and Forrester and Logan also returned to the team after both being rested on the seaside.
Oldham started brightly but were caught on the hop after 5 minutes when great work by Harry Forrester saw his excellent cross power-headed into the net by Clayton Donaldson, beating his marker on the 6 yard line. Oldham then had plenty of opportunities to bring themselves back into the game missing half a dozen half-decent opportunities to bring their team level. Baxter and Croft as well as ex-Brentford loanee Robbie Simpson were all lively for Oldham but the Brentford defence remained firm. For all their possession (73% was the official first half figure), Oldham never really troubled Simon Moore much and the Bees went into half time one goal to the good.
The second half started pretty much the same as the first had ended. Simon Moore was called upon to make a save but for all their possession, Oldham weren’t really cutting the mustard with the majority of their chances flying wide of the mark. Oldham fans meanwhile were engaging in gallows humour singing how they would rather be living somewhere else after Brentford fans were chanting how Oldham’s charm didn’t quite appeal to them and they wanted to go home. Then in a masterstroke of tactics which changed the game. Uwe brought on Diagouraga for Kiernan on 59 mins … then Barron for Forrester … then Saunders for Trotta … and for the final 20 minutes of the match, Brentford took control.
Diagouraga firmed things up in the midfield whereas a Barron flew down the wings getting a fair few crosses in .. both doing a good job in pinning the Oldham team back. Forshaw had three good chances to increase the Bees lead and Trotta had two gilt edged opportunities to score before he was substituted. Then on 82 minutes, Saunders’ pinpoint pass found man-of-the-match Donaldson on the edge of the area who sauntered into the box and made easy work of slotting the ball calmly past Bouzanis to score his 17th goal of the season and give Uwe a 100% record against Paul Dickov’s team.
Brentford have not been firing on all cylinders since our enforced pre-Christmas bad weather break. However, the positive thing is they have been picking up points when any other season they would not have. We are coming out of a tricky winter patch continuing our momentum where it would have been easy to have gone backwards. There have been whisperings from some quarters on the terraces about the quality of our back-up players being not quite good enough but it’s becoming plainly obvious that, compared to our opposition, we have more than enough decent players in reserve to maintain a championship challenge. The spirit generated by Uwe and his coaching staff has ensured that, despite differing abilities within the side, Brentford are playing as a team and are grinding out results. That is worth it’s weight in gold and as we go into the final third of the season, its gonna be the best teams, as opposed to the collection of best individuals, who will conquer.
And the stattos among you may have noticed that we currently have 3pts more (49 pts) than we did after the same amount of games in the Andy Scott 2008/9 promotion winning season (46pts). In the long term, that may mean absolutely bugger all. But what it does give is perspective and hope for all Brentford fans.
Brentford (4-1-4-1): Moore; Logan, Craig, Dean, Bidwell; Kiernan (Diagouraga 59); Donaldson, Forshaw, Douglas, Forrester (Barron 75); Trotta (Saunders 79). Subs (not used): Gounet, Hodson, Reeves, Hayes.
Crowd: 4,615 (218 Brentford fans)
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