Most of us would have sat down to watch the draw for the Fourth Round of the FA Cup and shared the suspense of waiting to learn who Brentford would face after knocking Oxford our in Round Three.
Having survived unpalatable away trips to the likes of Middlesbrough, Millwall and Bristol City, Brentford’s name was still in the hat towards the end of the draw, along with many of the big boys – but few of us would have been too gutted with a trip Barnet, especially if we avoid a banana skin. Although, according to this extract from an Evening Standard article, the fake Bees’ players weren’t exactly deliriously happy!
Barnet players were devastated when they narrowly missed out on a glamour tie against one of the Premier League’s big boys in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Some members of the squad joined supporters to watch last night’s draw at the Hive and they let out loud groans when they were drawn out at home to Brentford. One player threw himself to the floor in disappointment while others had heads in hands.
In the post Oxford game podcast I joked that the Bees always win the Cup when the year ends in a nine, however, the Cup ‘run’ has the potential to match that of 1989, when Steve Perryman’s Giant Killers fought their way to the Quarter Finals (Round Six) having seen off Halesowen, Peterborough, Walsall, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers, before bowing out at a packed Anfield.
I also remember the 5-5 League Cup draw between Barnet and Brentford back in 1991, shortly after Barry Fry’s side had entered the Football League. It was a remarkable match in which Dean Holdsworth helped save the day at Underhill with Brenrford eventually going through 8-6 on aggregate. Not to mention a shocking night at Griffin Park when Barnet blitzed us 6-3, but I can’t see history repeating itself score-wise in Round Four.
Obviously, coming in two rounds later than 1989 massively boosts your team’s chances of reaching the latter stages if the draws are kind, and without counting chickens, there are no excuses for not progressing past the fake Bees. Yes we must pay our respects, yes we must take nothing for granted, but we must go hard and at full tilt… learn our lessons from the demise of others and don’t fanny around with the starting XI.
We are not going down this season, we all know that, so a decent Cup run must become an objective. Just look at Burton Albion’s remarkable run in the League Cup, and Millwall’s Cup Final appearance in 2004… it is possible for Brentford to mount a genuine latter-stage challenge, which will in turn, raise excitement levels in a season that has thus far fallen way short of expectations.
So, let’s take the fake Bees very, very seriously, and be clinically professional on the pitch to ensure there’s no more ‘romantic’ Cup upsets at our expense.
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