With Rotherham dropping points against Bradford, the ball was firmly back in Brentford’s court to reinforce their automatic promotion credentials with a win against playoff-chasing Swindon.
It was one goal that decided this match. Unfortunately, it was one goal that would rather be quickly forgotten in TW8 as a defensive mix-up gifted Swindon the opportunity to nab all three points.
This was never going to be an easy game for the Bees. With Swindon losing against Carlisle, this was their last opportunity to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive.
And with a lively Trotta back up front leading the attack, the Bees could consider themselves unlucky for not being ahead in the first half as he had a number of half chances to put the Bees ahead … while Douglas also hit the bar.
But it was a fantastic penalty save by David Button after McCormack brought down Alex Pritchard (McCormack accusing his ex Swindon colleague of cheating after the match after seemingly going down too easy) and a soft goal for Swindon which ended up became the talking points of the first half.
To be fair to Brentford, in second half they didn’t relent – still taking the game to Swindon who were happy to back off and let the Bees attack. Even when Forshaw was sent of for two bookable offences, like in the Orient game, the Bees actually upped their game looking likely to get an equaliser.
But it wasn’t to be and Brentford now have to look forward to the arrival of Preston on Good Friday cheered on by 1600 fuelled-up bowler hat wearing potty supporters on their annual Gentry Day day out.
The reality is the result was a disappointment but not a travesty. The game was set up for a draw and Brentford gave away a silly goal. One point would have done us nicely.
Mark Warburton was encouraged by the fact that the team did a lot of things right during the match despite the fact they didn’t actually score.
However, the stats continue to show a slightly more worrying trend reminiscent of pre ‘Stevenage-gate’. 53% possession produced ten Brentford shots to Swindon’s five. However, only one of those shots was actually on target.
Fact: Brentford have now played over 360 minutes away from home without scoring a single goal.
Are we being neutralised? Not this weekend. Swindon played an open game of football so we can’t blame defensive opposition.
Is the importance of every game causing nerves within the team and subjecting them to silly mistakes? Possibly. That’s natural though
Are we in need of a big game with a big atmosphere to really get the fans and team firing? Probably. Orient was the last game with a proper fiery atmosphere. Rotherham didn’t have that buzz in the stadium despite being on fire. Neither did Sheffield who were looking forward to their trip to Wembley. Preston and possibly Franchise FC games should be totally different as there will be a bit of needle and Brentford normally revels in environments like this.
The Bees need six more points to guarantee promotion assuming Orient and Rotherham win all their games. The reality is three or four points will probably do it.
So realistically we have to rely on our home form to cross the finish line. This is less of a worry as do we have the best home record in the league. But when do Brentford ever make things easy?
Assuming Preston don’t come to park the bus, their attacking style will suit us. Preston still have an outside chance of automatic promotion and they banged 6 goals in on Saturday so putting up two banks of four walls shouldn’t be part of their game plan.
Even without the suspended Forshaw, we should have enough quality in midfield to beat Preston. Diagouraga has come back into the fold from his loan spell at Portsmouth and is playing with a newly found energy and passion. Dallas is looking lively and is due a goal soon. Judge, Douglas and McCormack are made for games like this.
Many Brentford fans pinpointed Franchise FC aka MK Dons on Easter Monday as our big day out months ago. Wolves are at home to Rotherham on Friday and are away to Orient on Monday (KO 12.15pm live on sky sports) so this set of fixtures tees our game up nicely.
Without stating the obvious, by the time the teams kick off at Franchise FC aka MK Dons on Bank Holiday Monday, our future will be a lot clearer and Brentford will know exactly what they will have to do.
But before then, the boys just need to go out and grab all three points off Preston.
Now go on Brentford …. do the job