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Brentford travelled to St James’ Park hoping to follow in the footsteps of Huddersfield and Wolves – both taking three points of Newcastle in their own back yard.

But a combination of The Geordies doing their homework, Brentford giving them far too much room to play and poor defending saw the Bees come unstuck – finding themselves with a mountain to climb after being two goals down in the first 20 minutes of the match.

This wasn’t the Brentford that we have seen as of late. The team that dealt with Brighton effectively. The team that demolished Reading and Preston.

Admittedly, we ‘started slowly’ once again – just like we did in the Brighton and Villa matches. However, this time we were well and truly punished for it. Clarke scored Newcastle’s 1st in the 11th minute and it was all downhill from there really.

The 3000 travelling Bees were boisterous – getting behind their team from the get-go. But the wind was well and truly taken out of their sails on 16 minutes when Dwight Gayle scored Newcastle’s second goal – after good work by player of the match Jonjo Shelvey.

Two well worked goals gifted to the opposition.

Brentford are normally so tight in defence and play that pressing game so well. So why did we give Newcastle so much space was a question that was asked over and over in the post-mach podcast from the pub?



Yes Newcastle was a teal full of Premier League players. But it doesn’t really help your case for getting anything on the game the game if you give them so much time and space on the ball.

The fact is, Newcastle went into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead. But it could have been much much worse for The Bees. Jonjo Shelvey was having a tremendous game for Newcastle. He was everywhere and the instigator of much of their creative play. It could easily have been four or five by half time and Brentford will have been grateful to have gone into the half only two down.

Any chance of a comeback was killed off four minutes after half-time when Gayle scored his second goal. Toon were now cruising. The Bees hit back with a little spell. Every team gets a purple patch. Half way through the half, a well worked free kick was Sawyers flicking the ball on for Hogan to score – another thumbs up for the new set piece coach who seems to have given the team a new lease of life in the set-piece area.

But that was about as good as it got for The Bees really as Newcastle finished the game 3-1 winners.

Dean Smith remarked after that match that “a lack of concentration and a lack of discipline” cost the Bees and he highlighted the fact that there was a lot of pace in Newcastle team “Which made it hard to go and press as high as we would have liked to” – something that the Brentford side still misses if we have to be honest.

On the positive front, most Bees who travelled to Newcastle enjoyed their trip despite the result. A great city with a super friendly fans who appreciate their football, love their team but also have manners – respecting the travelling support.

All in all, lessons learned for Brentford. Newcastle showed us there is a huge gulf between the top two sides in this division (of which Newcastle surely will be one) and the rest of the chasing pack. Yes they may drop points here and there. But you can see here is a quality and confidence in Newcastle – without necessarily the arrogance. And that counts for a lot in this division.

It means that they won’t take Burton for granted. Or Rotherham. And it means they will do their homework on Brentford rather than presume they will just turn up and steamroller our little Pub Team – unlike some other teams in this league (and I tried to write an article without mentioning Villa .. so I won’t).

Now it’s back to the grind for the Bees and important that they pick up some form over the next few games to set themselves up nicely for more important business – the forthcoming QPR and Fulham battles. After last season’s Loftus Road shambles, Dean Smith and the Brentford team have some serious making up to do.


Billy Grant