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Bristol City will arrive at Griffin Park on Saturday knowing that victory, coupled with an MK Dons defeat at Preston, will secure their safety in the Championship.

Even if it doesn’t happen this weekend, last season’s League One champions look likely to survive – and a lot of that will be down to new manager Lee Johnson, who has turned their fortunes around since arriving in February.

The Robins have been in the bottom seven for the entire season in their first spell in the Championship for three years – and manager Steve Cotterill paid the price when he was sacked in mid-January with the side 22nd in the table.

City had managed two wins in five games under caretaker-boss John Pemberton before Johnson took charge nearly a month later – with the new man watching the second of those victories at Charlton.

Since Johnson’s appointment, City’s upturn in form has seen them win six and draw one of their 11 matches to climb to 18th in the table – 10 points clear of the bottom three.

Their matches have been far from dull recently with a 6-0 hammering of whipping boys Bolton in the middle of March followed by a 4-0 defeat at Hull at the start of April and then an impressive 4-1 victory over play-off chasing Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday.

Despite those big wins however, City have a goal difference of -19 and only three teams have conceded more than the 64 goals which they have let in during league matches this season.

With the rebuilding of part of Ashton Gate last summer, more to follow this close season and season ticket sales for 2016/17 already topping 10,000, these are heady times at a club which spent four seasons in the old First Division in the 1970s.


It is eight months since our away game at Bristol City back in August, when our 4-2 victory put us third in the fledgling Championship table.

Jonathan Kodjia put the Robins ahead after only two minutes but Alan Judge quickly equalised. Aaron Wilbraham restored City’s lead and they then had Luke Freeman sent off before Derrick Williams turned a Judge effort into his own net to level again.

Second half goals from Andre Gray and Philipp Hofmann sealed the points for us.

Saturday will be the first time in five visits that Bristol City have come to Griffin Park on a Saturday as their previous four games in TW8 have all been on Tuesday nights.

The last of those was in January 2014 and a 3-1 win, with all the goals in the first half, kept us top of League One.

An early Aden Flint own goal put us ahead but within three minutes, City had equalised through a 25-yard screamer from former Bee Karleigh Osborne, who injured himself in the process of scoring and had to go off.

Alan Judge restored our lead midway through the half and Marcello Trotta ensured that we cruised to our 11th successive home win in all competitions and 10th in League One.

Our away game with City earlier that season came after the infamous dressing room lock-in at Stevenage and the comeback win over Colchester the following week.

In another Tuesday night game, this time all the goals were in the closing stages with Sam Saunders putting us ahead with a long-range 79th minute effort, which once again deflected off  the unfortunate Derrick Williams, and Clayton Donaldson doubling the lead.

Marlon Harewood scored his first City goal in injury-time but it was only a consolation as we climbed to seventh and the Robins stayed bottom and without a win in 21 games.

Take a look at what the fans said to Beesotted after the match.


Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has praised Brentford boss Dean Smith and the Bees’ playing style ahead of Saturday’s game.

He told Bristol City Player HD: “Dean Smith has done very well. He’s a very good manager and has fully deserved his move into the Championship.

“He does play a nice expansive game. Brentford are a good side, they’ve had three wins on the spin and they have got a lot of energy in the front part of the pitch.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re very economic with the ball to make sure that we break those lines and compete with them on a workrate basis because they’re probably one of the best, hardest-working sides I’ve seen in their front six section of the pitch.”


As mentioned earlier, Lee Johnson took charge of Bristol City a little over two months ago.

Johnson, son of Cheltenham manager Gary, played 199 games for the Robins in a six-year spell – with Yeovil the other major club in his playing career, which also took him to Watford, Brighton, Hearts, Derby, Chesterfield and Kilmarnock.

When he moved into management with Oldham in March 2013, he was the Football League’s youngest boss at the age of 31.

Two years later, he moved to Barnsley and he guided them to this season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final before immediately leaving for the City job.


Bristol City have used 30 players in the Championship this season and the only ever-present is centre-half Aden Flint, who has now started 101 consecutive matches for the club.

Striker Aaron Wilbraham had been involved in every match, starting 23 and appearing as a substitute in 17, until an ankle injury kept him out against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.

Top scorer Jonathan Kodjia, who has 15 Championship and one League Cup goal, and midfielder Marlon Pack have each also only missed one game.

On loan Stoke striker Peter Odemwingie has found the net twice in three full and two substitute appearances

On loan Bournemouth midfielder Lee Tomlin will be available again after recovering from a bruised shin

But goalkeeper Frank Fielding has been ruled out for the rest of the season after damaging ankle ligaments in an Under-21 match this week – so youngster Max O’Leary has been recalled from a loan spell at Kidderminster and could be on the bench.



Drinking in Brentford

For Bristol City fans coming to the game, you are probably aware there are plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming. Colours are fine and there is no ‘bouncer culture’ on the doors of our boozers – not yet anyway. All fans are welcome and most fans usually cite Brentford as their favourite away-day which we’re quite proud of.

As is etched in common folklore , there were four pubs around the ground until a few weeks ago – unfortunately one closed down to leave only three now. The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very very busy. The New Inn is on the other side is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal is the other option (The Royal Oak was the one that closed down).

Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) the  … The Globe (Windmill Rd) is the Beesotted fanzine main pub – a very friendly pub indeed. The other boozer is The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd)  – both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and 30 seconds walk from each other .. frequented by ‘away fans in the know’. Boro fans and Bees fans had one hell of a party before and after last season’s league match in both these boozers (despite us losing)- and The Plough (Northfields Ave – 1 minute walk from the tube) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields before making your way down to the ground (normally stopping off at The Globe and Lord Nelson en route on the Northfields pub crawl).

Easily the best way to Brentford is to go from Paddington to Ealing Broadway and then get the 65 bus from outside the station.

Alternatively get the E2 from the same place to Northfields, which is preferred by fans in the know as it has a decent pub crawl run on the way to the ground (Plough, Lord Nelson, Globe).

South Ealing has one posh pub en route that doesn’t really like football fans so we won’t even give it a mention here. It’s 20 mins walk from either South Ealing OR Northfields to the ground or you can get back on the E2 bus from Northfields or 65 bus from South Ealing for the five-minute journey.

If you end up coming via Waterloo and then Brentford station, there is also a pub right by it always referred to as … er …  the Pub by Brentford station.

For ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman can probably hold 15 of you at a push. The Brewery Tap is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit the brand new boozer One Over the Ait right on the river – beside the bridge. Great views over The Thames. It’s around 15 minutes walk to the ground from here.

There are loads more too. A quick Google search and you’ll find them all. There are many many more too if you have a look around.

Parking is pretty easy away from the ground going up towards and over the A4 Great West Road (ie. North) via Ealing Road or Windmill.