Brentford came away from last night’s match with Huddersfield as comfortable victors in a 4-1 romp, but the inspiration from their second half masterclass potentially came from an unlikley source – Huddersfield’s Harry Bunn.
Bunn – who scored a well worked first half equaliser for the Terriers – decided to celebrate his goal by goading the Ealing Road and cupping his ear for a period of several seconds. He was eventually joined by his halfwitted partner in crime – James Vaughan – who motioned that the slightly bewildered home support should “shhhhhh” whilst wrapping his arm around Bunn’s podgy shoulder like a goading child in the playground.
It was an extraordinary gesture from a player who hadn’t even hit the radar of most Bees fans until that point in the game. There is no particular rivalry with Huddersfield and Vaughan and Bunn will, at best, have sparked recognition as a pair of jobbing footballers who had been released from Premier League teams in the past. On attitude, rather than ability, I suspect neither will play at that level again.
What Bunn, in fact, managed to do was spark the home support into life. The Ealing Road had been fairly quiet until that point, but we now had a pair of pantomime dames to jeer. And steadily the noise inside the stadium rose.
I’m sure the incident rankled with a number of the Brentford players too – a galvanized second half performance swept Huddersfield aside – and Bunn didn’t seem as keen to come and tell the Ealing Road the score when Jon Toral’s sweet strike whistled into the net in injury time to seal another memorable night under the Griffin Park floodlights.
It’s not the first time this has happened in recent memory. Alan Connell, a fairly popular player during his time at Brentford, behaved in similar fashion when scoring for Bradford in the cup a few seasons ago. Again the home support reacted and lifted the team to victory whilst Connell drifted off to non-league football. He’s playing for Havant & Waterlooville now.
We’ve had a number of similar moments with Jamie Cureton over the years too – another player who favours a cupped ear when celebrating a goal. To be fair to Cureton he has generally received a fair amount of stick from Brentford fans – I think the dislike is mutual.
I doubt we will face Cureton again and he certainly came out bottom in the last Battle Royale with Bees supporters at Dagenham earlier this season when he had to warm down on the pitch after defeat with his team mates rather than depart for the heated dressing room directly below the baying Brentford masses. Hopefully this still annoys him a bit.
And I need not mention the tight wearing Marc Bircham who’s extradordinary antics during a meaningless JPT game with Yeovil saw him subbed at half time before he got sent off. He retired from playing about a week later. Presumably his stockings were laddered beyond repair.
Opposition players are, of course, not alone in their moronic behaviour. A couple of our current playing staff have a penchant for needling travelling fans and I will never forget the dreadful collapse at home to Nottingham Forest where Stuart Nelson started needlessly taking the proverbial when Brentford were leading 2-0. The visitors rattled in four second half goals and Nelson was absolutely roasted by their support. It was humiliating for all present.
So thank you Harry Bunn for your efforts last night. Hopefully the three points will come in handy in our push for promotion this season. If you are ever in town again I’m very happy to buy you a pint.