Saturday 20th April 2013 will hopefully be a day that is remembered by many people in West London. Not necessarily as being the day that Brentford failed to take full points from already relegated Hartlepool. Not necessarily as being the day that Marcello Trotta and Harlee Dean actually had terrace songs dedicated to them. Not necessarily as being the day when Tom Adeyemi could have sealed all three points in the last minute if it wasn’t for that damned Flinders.
Hopefully, it will be remembered as the final away-day in Division 1 in what has been a most enjoyable and truly remarkable landmark season.
No matter what happens next week against Doncaster, where a win will see Brentford promoted and a draw will see Doncaster go up, there is no denying the progress that has been made this season both on and off the pitch.
The team has had it’s great moments. Two late goals against Swindon. The last minute equaliser against Sheffield. Going 1-0 then 2-1 up against Chelsea.
Then there have been disappointing moments as well. Hartlepool’s late equaliser at home. The two killer blows that Doncaster dealt us at their place when we completely dominated them for 90 minutes. Heartbreak at Yeovil and Carlisle.
But there is one thing that nobody can deny. Over the whole season, they have been fairly consistent. Every team has its ups and downs. Even Bournemouth, who got promoted at the weekend started on a down … Had a huge up … Then hit a very rocky patch .. But then came around the finish strait with a head of steam on.
For Brentford, they are undoubtedly very hard to beat. They don’t give up. Some people have complained that sometimes the tactics have been too cagey and maybe the team should go all out for it. Personally over the course of the season I disagree. Frustrating it may be sometimes as we always want our team to be winning every week but overall progress has been steady. Brentford have chipped away week in and week out but the momentum has always been forward-moving.
And over the space of 45 games, that tactic of ‘moving forward slowly and deliberately’ has got Brentford to where they are now – one win off automatic promotion. There is no Brentford fan who would not have taken that back in August.
Next Saturday is our cup final. Forget Chelsea and the Carlisle JPT Wembley game a few years ago. This is the one that matters. One final game. And Doncaster, despite having the best away record in the league, will not be looking forward to facing our hard-to-beat team in the Griffin Park cauldron on Saturday.
So I don’t in any way feel disappointed that Brentford didn’t finish the job up at Hartlepool. Saturday was a great day. Every Brentford fan who made that long journey up North enjoyed their day out immensely. And there was a real feeling that, even though we failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck, we know they’re never going to give up until the very very end. Because that’s exactly what this new Brentford does. The point at Hartlepool was just one more step in Uwe’s steady deliberate march to the Championship..
So onto the game. The Bees were forced to make changes after Tony Craig’s and Clayton Donaldson’s suspensions – Kev O’Connor and Marcello Trotta stepping up to the plate – and looked slightly sapped of energy after their exhilarating midweek match against Sheffield Utd. Apart from chances from Bradley Wright-Phillip, Reeves and Trotta, it was Hartlepool who really took the game by the scruff of neck and Simon Moore had to be on-point to keep The Bees on level pegging.
With 24 minutes on the clock Logan makes a mistake. Hartlepool score a goal and suddenly the Bees pick their game up. Flinders pulls off a remarkable save from Douglas. Trotta picks up a loose ball after Hodson pings the clearance back into the area and turns and shoots. Bang! Goal. The 562 Brentford fans, including one banana, behind the goal go into raptures. The Bees were back in the game and start to dominate – Douglas, Trotta and Diagouraga all going close for the Bees.
Fans were tentative at half time. They knew that The Bees were not at their best. We missed the running of Donaldson. Uwe rang the changes during the 2nd half with Adeyemi, Forrester and El Alagui all brought in to turn the game but, despite Bidwell, Forrester and Adeyemi going very close it wasn’t to be and the game ended with the spoils shared.
So it’s onto Saturday at Fortress Griffin Park. No doubt it’s going to be a nerve-wracking 90 minutes which could see us facing an extended season. But lets look on the bright side. This could also be our ‘Birmingham moment’ – when in 1992 they had the champions trophy up at St Andrews ready to present it to The Blues on the last day of the season when we actually won it. If Bournemouth lose by two goals and we beat Doncaster 6-0 we’ll win the league.
You laugh?? Come on … keep the faith. You Bees
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders; Austin, Collins, Hartley, Hartley; Walton, Baldwin, Humphreys (Rutherford 77); Franks (Horwood 83), Monkhouse; James. Subs: McHugh (gk), Luscombe, Sweeney, Hawkins, Boagey.
BRENTFORD: Moore; Logan, O’Connor, Dean, Bidwell; Hodson (Forrester 57), Diagouraga, Douglas, Wright-Phillips; Trotter (El Alagui 75); Reeves (Adeyemi 65). Subs: Forshaw, Saunders, Dallas, Gounet.
Crowd: 3541 (562 Bees)
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[soccer-info id=’21’ type=’results’ highlight=’722||Brentford’ /]