Brentford pulled a rabbit out of the hat at Ewood Park on Tuesday night to record what could go down at the end of the season as the most significant victory of their remarkable 2014/15 campaign.
The Bees were 2-1 down at half time. However, 2nd half goals from Jota and Andre Gray sealed victory for The Bees against a strong, dogged Blackburn outfit.
Mark Warburton put faith in Everton striker Chris Long – starting him up front in place of Andre Gray. And his confidence in the youngster paid off – Long scoring a tremendous equaliser for The Bees. Picking up a Tarkowski pass deep in the Blackburn half, Long powered towards the penalty area and let rip – the ball taking a deflection en route to hitting the back of the net.
But Warburton was not best pleased that once again, defensive inefficiencies almost cost us the 3 points. Blackburn went ahead after 6 minutes – breaching a dozing Bees defence with a direct ball to Rudy Gestede who finished well to power Blackburn into the lead.
Keeper Jason Steele then pulled off a tremendous save from Harlee Dean whilst Judge saw his free kick cannon off the crossbar. At the other end, Button was kept busy pulling off a fine save from tricky Blackburn forward Taylor.
With the clock ticking down in the 1st half, the Bees once again failed to clear their lines and Taylor nipped in to score a crucial goal dead on half-time. With over 65% first half possession, the Bees once again were failing to make their dominance count and were made to suffer.
Warburton didn’t mince his words at half time. He supposedly had an angry team-talk – pulling up his players up for their defensive errors.
And it seemed to have done the trick.
Brentford started brightly in the second half. But it was a moment of shep brilliance that really sparked the Bees into action. Jota picked the ball up deep in Brentford territory and went on a run on goal which was very much like Moses parting of the waves. Defenders just backed off him as he made a beeline for goal before he let rip with a shot that evaded the outstretched arm of the diving Steele sending the 500 travelling Bees fans ecstatic.
With Warburton ringing the changes, in came Diagouraga and Toral in place of Pritchard and Jota to firm things up in midfield. Blackburn meanwhile took off Gestede. At this point the Bees really upped their game, going a little more direct which seemed to confuse the Blackburn team somewhat. So it was no real surprise when Jota’s shot was parried by Steele straight into the path of Andre Gray who slid the ball into an empty net.
Brentford hung on for a famous victory – no less than they deserved.
Their never-say-die attitude was even admired by Blackburn fans.
“Disappointing thing was Brentford were a country mile from their best, gifted us leads yet still had gears to go through we cant dream of”
“Amazed though, at how Brentford can keep that kind of high energy and intensity up for 90 minutes”
“Brentford doing the double over us seems to have sparked some outrage on here. But they are the better team, with an astute manager”
In the post match podcast, fans said they felt that this could be one of the most important victories of the season.
Psychologically, with only 8 matches to go, Norwich, Derby, Ipswich, Wolves and Nottingham Forest would have been buoyed by the half time score. The pressure is now back on once again for all these teams at the weekend. The Bees, meanwhile, are hoping that losing to Doncaster on the final day of the 2012/13 season and Yeovil at Wembley coupled with gaining promotion the following year will have given us suitable ‘big game experience’ to be able to skilfully negotiate the next month.
From here on in, it’s the teams who finish the season on form who will be the ones most likely to win the prizes.
Brentford know what they have to do.
Saturday is now a huge match. Millwall at home on paper is a win all the way – setting up the Fulham match nicely. But Bees know any complacency will see us dragged back into the mire with Wolves and Ipswich snapping on our heels.
I have no doubt we’re as ready as we’ll ever be