Brentford walked away from the County Ground Swindon with three points and a huge smile on their faces after a thoroughly professional display saw them not only contain their league one promotional rivals bit also hit them with a goal on the break.
The game started off tight with both teams holding their own, Swindon opting for a high tempo passing game which the Bees defence did well to contain. However, the first chance of the half fell to Clayton Donaldson whose shot from 25 yds was parried away for a corner by Swindon keeper Folderingham.
The half went on with both sides struggling to get any clear breakthroughs – end to end stuff with no real penetration. Jonathan Douglas was booked after clattering a Swindon player and looks to miss the Sheffield United game after his fifth yellow card of the season.
As half time approached, Swindon had their first clear chance – a 20 yd shot from Chris Martin brought a brilliant flying save from Moore who parried the ball away for a corner. A few minutes later, a goalmouth mellee saw the ball dinked into the box right into the heart of the Brentford defence. It was hard to see what happened from the away stand but the ball seemed to bobble all over the place, the Brentford defence putting in great efforts to block Swindon’s efforts on goal with them eventually putting the final shot wide – a let off for the Bees.
A few minutes later, a good move by James Collins sees him turn and shoot bringing out a fantastic reflex reaction save from Simon Moore. The referee blew for half time just as Swindon were looking to turn the screw a little and the Bees fans felt a slight pang of relief.
The second half started very similarly to the first with no one really getting a breakthrough and the game remaining rather tight.
That was until brilliant work by Logan, who has had gone from strength to strength as of late, who crossed to Paul Hayes who in turn pulled off one of his trademark dink/knock-ons to Clayton Donaldson who has a clear run in on goal and smashed the ball past the keeper from 10 yds or so. Cue huge celebrations in the away end.
The goal in fact caused so much excitement, there was an outage in the @beesotted match commentary twitter feed with the twitter-printer unfortunately remaining silent for the rest of the match. A good way to sign out for the evening though.
Swindon then made a few substitutions and decided to change their style of play … resorting to hoofing the ball upfield and trying to gain the advantage that way. This really played into the hands of the super tight Brentford defence. Forrester and Saunders came on to add a bit of spark to the Bees and did a great job in keeping the pressure on ensuring Swindon didn’t get back into things. Simon Moore wasn’t really tested for the rest of the game and the Bees were able to see out a ridiculous 5 minutes of additional time to win the match.
Credit has to go out to Tony Craig as not only does he have two first names but he was a colossus in the centre of defence winning header upon header and marshalling the super solid Brentford defence to another clean sheet.
Overall Uwe got this game spot on and the team was extremely professional in their approach to this match and could have come a cropper if they didnt keep things tight in the first half.
The fans were also on fine form, singing hymns of survival for QPR manager Mark Hughes in between getting right behind the team. Reports we had from some Bees enjoying prawn sandwiches in the Swindon executive boxes was that the noise emanating from the Brentford terrace was heartwarmingly thunderous.
Needless to say, Paulo DiCanio had some sort of hissy fit with Uwe Rosler as full time approached but was man enough to admit after the match that Brentford came their to do a job and were professional enough to have done Swindon up like a right kipper. He then returned to the dressing room to allegedly give the hair dryer treatment to one of his wingers whose performance he was massively unhappy with.
So Bees have now amassed 32 points, sit in 8th place and are only one point off 3rd position so it really is game on now. Stattos amongst you would be interested to know that compared to the Andy Scott promotion season (2008/9), after a similar 19 games we have just 2 less points than we did then (we had 34), we’re currently in 7th position (as opposed to 4th then) and we were on equal points with the 3rd place team then (Shrewsbury).
The most encouraging thing is we’ve started to pick up some good results away from home finally. December was when our run kicked in for the promotion season to take us into the automatic promotion spot for new year so if Santa would like to throw a few goodies down the chimney this year, let one of them be a mirror to reflect our Xmas form from 2008/9 … and a fourth striker.
Bring on the Sheffield!