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Beesotted contributor Jim Levack has been looking forward to Brentford’s meeting with Aston Villa forever. Having worked as a journalist on The Birmingham Mail, his knowledge of the city of Birmingham and its various teams is second to none. So how did he feel after Brentford came away with a well earned point from Villa Park?

When you leave a stadium as impressive and a side as celebrated as Aston Villa’s a little disappointed, it’s a mark of Brentford’s standing in the game at the moment.

But once you strip away the analysis and major talking points of the clubs’ first league encounter since 1947, that was undoubtedly the overriding emotion.

It was a point gained given the timing of the goal, but in a second half where Dean Smith’s side bossed possession, were more creative and pressed as a unit, it could easily have been more.

Living in the region and working alongside Villa fans, the game meant more to me than many – and I’m glad to say that on this memorable night we truly came of age as a Championship club.

With an average age of 23, players who feel part of a ‘family’ that includes its fervent supporters and a humility that comes with knowing where you’ve come from, this game was a watershed.

Brentford’s second half domination of a side that will inevitably take time to gel was sweet, but it was their patient probing and belief that if they kept doing the right things a goal would come, that thrilled me most.

Even if we’d lost, the performance was there. That matters more than anything else for a club in our position.

There was also no sign of our young side being overawed by the Holte End stretching towards the heavens as the footballing gods rewarded this exciting group with the goal their football deserved.

The reaction of the players and their ensuing twitter thanks to the supporters suggest that Brentford and their supporters come as a package, a team built on resilience and pride.

The message boards and digital sites of my former employer, the Birmingham Mail, focused on the Villa capitulation, choosing to ignore Scott Hogan’s perfectly good disallowed goal.

Few tweeters or journalists gave the Bees’ dominance after the break more than a passing mention, focusing instead on Villa’s various shortcomings. At best disingenuous, at worst slightly bitter.

But we are getting used to, and indeed almost revelling, in the fact that we are among the division’s minnows. A “pub team” and “tinpot” were among the more printable epithets being bandied around by Villa fans as they bragged of “lumping on at 4-1” before the game.

Ian Holloway has apologised for his “Brentford in regression” gaffe and credit to him for that, but Football on 5 insist on leaving us at the foot of the running order… which suits me just fine.

Not surprisingly the Mail waxed lyrical about the one that got away, Ryan Woods, who pulled the strings and was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch.

He will, no doubt, grace the Premier League one day but to my mind is still learning his trade like many in the Brentford side… and few could find a better place or manager to do that with than TW8 and Dean Smith.

There will be darker days ahead as there are in every season, but the unity between Brentford players and their fans that we saw at Villa Park will always remain.

Last night and the Brighton game were conclusive proof that we are now something I never thought we’d be – an established Championship side.

Respected too? Maybe not, but as the famous commentary once went “frankly, who cares?”

Jim Levack