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Brentford were dumped out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle thanks to a decent performance by Walsall and a below par one by a much-changed Bees team.

After a week of transfer speculation, I guess it was no real surprise to learn that Tarki, Toums and Judge would be missing from the starting line-up, however, Judge was at least on the bench and came on for the second period.

A large away following, who clearly took pleasure in insulting their former manager all afternoon, were further buoyed by some impressive displays by several players who are on our club’s radar this transfer window, and it is likely that we could be seeing one or two of them making the step up by leaving ‘the loyal club’ Walsall and heading to West London in coming weeks.

A Harlee Dean header that went wide with the goal at his mercy, a string of fine saves by the Walsall keeper Neil Etheridge, plus a plethora of poor shots that went wide of target after good approach play, meant we couldn’t cancel out The Saddlers’ opener, which came at the end of fine move – Sam Mantom’s curling shot from outside the box beat David Button all ends up. I’m sure that the Bees’ video analysts will be pointing to missing tackles in the build up to the winner, as well as some terrible shooting by the home side.

It was a frustrating afternoon, and although the Bees arguably created enough chances to clinch a replay at least, especially towards the end when we upped the tempo, but few could argue that, on the day, Walsall deserved the win and were far more up for it than the home side – which is surprising to say the least.

The match will be very quickly wiped from our memory banks as we look ahead to a vitally important and busy week ahead – two of the Championship’s top teams are in town – and we need to raise our game again and put this, and unsettling rumours behind us.

Dave Lane

If you missed the Brentford Director of Football Phil Gilles talking to Beesotted about the transfer window plus more, check here