Beesotted’s Condorman looks back at a random selection of Griffin Park shenanigans that are eternally etched on his mind for little apparent reason:
Martin Allen`s big hoof
It was Allen`s first game and Brentford were in the mire, facing relegation to the bottom tier.. A 3-0 lead against the visiting Rushden and Diamonds – who due to poor traffic had come pretty well straight from pitch to coach – had dwindled to 3-2 as the visitors and their stupid haircuts pushed for an equaliser. As the ball went into touch, a visiting player stopped to pick it up for a throw-in, only for Martin Allen to welly it up the touchline as he urged his new team to sort themselves out. Mad-Dog picked up a ticking off from the referee but his team held on for the points and eventually escaped relegation. We had witnessed the first eclectic act of a deeply eclectic manager.
Loanee keeper goes mental
In December 2008 Brentford faced Bradford in a fairly run-of-the-mill league match. During a fairly unpleasant televised defeat at Barrow in the FA Cup the week before, Ben Hamer had been sent off, but Reading had kindly loaned us another keeper to use during his one match ban. The new custodian was Mikkel Andersen, a young Danish stopper who impressed during the game with some decent saves. When Marcus Bean slotted home in the 88th minute it looked like Brentford had stolen the points – only for Bradford to march up the other end of the pitch and equalise. However, as the Griffin Park crowd started to mutter about opportunities lost, up popped Nathan Elder to plunder all three points. The crowd went mental and Andersen topped the lot, celebrating as though Denmark had just won the world cup. The keeper went on to be a Cult Bee for about a year until he was a bit dirty for Bristol Rovers and everyone went right off him.
The anger of Scott Flinders
It was the last game of 2009/2010 and Brentford faced Hartlepool at Griffin Park. The visitors still needed a point to guarantee safety whilst The Bees were sailing towards a highly creditable ninth place in League One. Towards the end of the game two teenage supporters decided to stage their own fairly inane and definitely fuckwitted pitch invasion. With the Griffin Park stewards doing little about it, Flinders hustled the youngsters off the pitch, one falling to the floor as he threw him the final yard or so. Most of the home crowd cheered. However the appearance of another of the lad`s friends on the pitch was like a red rag to a bull for Flinders who grabbed the youngster and chucked him to the floor. Most of the home crowd stopped cheering and started booing and Flinders sprinted for the other end of the pitch as soon as the final whistle went like a big scaredy-cat. The draw for Hartlepool meant that Gillingham were relegated in their place – and Mark Stimpson got sacked – so good news all round really. Flinders is still with Harlepool and visits Griffin park for a bucketload of abuse once a season.
Mark Bircham – Pantomime Dame
Twas a slightly empty Griffin Park which witnessed Brentford host Yeovil in September 2008. “Starring” for the other team was former QPR hothead Mark Bircham, he of the dyed blue hair. Bircham was coming towards the end of his football career so most of the Bees fans present took great pleasure in reminding him of his age, his weight issues, and the fact that he was wearing tights on a fairly mild evening. With Brentford leading 2-0, Bircham popped up to whallop the ball home for Yeovil and decided to celebrate by wildly pumping his fists in front of the Ealing Road and shouting “You Rs” in reference to his days in Shepherds Bush. As the natives got restless, Bircham went into emotional hyperdrive, picking up a yellow card for a crude foul and generally looking likely to get sent off. He was withdrawn from the pitch at half-time (Brentford went on to win the game on penalties) and played only one more professional match, lasting just over an hour in a 3-0 defeat at MK Dons.
John Mousinho`s moment of mayhem
I feel slightly guilty for writing this one up but, for me, it was the moment that best summed up our football under Leroy Rosenior in the autumn of 2006. The incident occurred in the 1-0 home defeat in the FA Cup, the same game that Mark “Supermarket Trolley” McCammon had a goal disallowed for the visitors after it went in and out of the goal via the side netting. Mousinho, for his part, had been one of our better players that season, his athleticism and will to win standing out amongst a sea of dross from his team-mates. The crucial moment came when Brentford, already trailing to a Lewis Guy strike, finally put some sustained pressure together and won a corner in front of the Brook Road – full of home supporters at the time. The inswinging corner was only half cleared to the edge of the box, falling invitingly to Johnny M. “Hit It” we all cried, our desperate voices joined as one, sensing a rare moment of joy for the Griffin Park faithful. Unfortunately the ball bobbled up and Mousinho somehow managed to loop it over his own shoulder. Eager to make amends he turned and chased the ball, but his second heavy touch looped it backwards towards the half way line. Mayhem then took hold as a Doncaster striker, sensing a free run on our goal, also charged for the ball, only to be beaten by the now panicking Mousinho who inarticulately whalloped the ball into touch in line with the edge of our own box. Net result – our best chance of the game had resulted in a dangerous throw-in for the opposition. The cup match, which had briefly offered the potential for a brief moment of sunshine in a dismal period, proved to be Leroy`s penultimate match in charge.
Condorman (twitter @thecondorman)
So which incidents within games are indelibly etched on your own minds? Why not share them on the Beesotted forum