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History will be made on Sunday when the first competitive game kicks off at the Brentford Community Stadium, as the Bees face Wycombe in the Carabao Cup.

After many years of talking about a new stadium for Brentford, plans to move the club anywhere from Feltham to Woking, and even the idea of a monorail, dreams of a new stadium have finally become a reality.

Like the planned farewell to Griffin Park, this special moment will sadly again take place without any fans present, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But at least the nation will get an early view of our new home, with the midday kick-off live on Sky.

Wycombe will be one of our Championship opponents in the new season, after they beat their local rivals Oxford 2-1 in the League One play-off final in July.

And with several popular Bees having gone on to play for the Chairboys in recent years – including current B team assistant coach Sam Saunders, they are fitting opponents to mark the occasion.

Sunday will be the sides’ first meeting since January 2012, and this season will be Wycombe’s first-ever in the second tier. They joined the Football League in 1993 and have spent 14 seasons in the third tier and 13 in the bottom one.


Wycombe have taken part in the competition since 1993/94, but in all that time have only passed the second round twice.

But the first year they did make some progress, they made a huge impact when as a League Two club, they reached the semi-finals in 2006/07.

An extra-time win over Swansea, a 2-1 victory at Fulham, and a penalty shoot-out defeat of Doncaster were followed by 1-0 wins at Notts County and Charlton, to set up a two-legged semi-final with Chelsea.

The first leg at Adams Park finished 1-1, but the Blues triumphed 4-0 in the second leg and went on to win the trophy.

The second occasion was two seasons ago when they reached round three – with the first two ties going to penalties, both at Adams Park.

They beat Northampton 7-6 on spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw and then Forest Green 4-3 after their match ended 2-2.

But in another home tie, they lost 4-3 to Norwich despite a 61st minute penalty from Sam Saunders.

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Gareth Ainsworth has lost his title of the Football League’s longest-serving manager to Simon Weaver of promoted Harrogate. However, while Weaver has been managing outside the League, Ainsworth’s reign is the longest of any club in the League at the end of last season.

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Gareth took charge at Adams Park in September 2011 after a brief spell as player-coach.

Two seasons later, he kept Wycombe in the Football League on the final day of the season, and the following year he reversed their fortunes as they lost in the play-off final to Southend, after achieving the club’s best-ever points tally of 84 to finish fourth. The League Managers’ Association named him their League Two manager of the year for that season as a result.

In 2017/18, Ainsworth clinched his first promotion with a third-place finish in League Two, before last season leading them into the Championship for the first time, via a 2-1 win over Oxford in the League One play-off final.

As a player, he was a midfielder and played in all four divisions in his career which took him to Preston, Cambridge, Lincoln, Port Vale, Wimbledon, Cardiff, QPR and Wycombe.


Games between Brentford and Wycombe often produce plenty of goals, so if history repeats itself on Sunday, fans watching on TV are in for a treat.

The clubs have never met before in the League Cup but have come up against each other in the League, FA Cup and Football League Trophy.

The first-ever meeting at Adams Park in September 1994 set the tone as Wycombe won 4-3.

We won 4-1 there in the Auto Windscreens Shield in January 1999, but in December 2001 came out on the wrong end of a thrilling 5-3 defeat – watch the highlights below.

We also lost 4-0 there the following season, but had won 4-2 in the FA Cup in Buckinghamshire earlier in the campaign.

Probably the best goal ever scored in Brentford-Wycombe encounters came at Griffin Park on Boxing Day 2007 – Glenn Poole’s amazing volley from a corner. It was the only Christmas cracker Bees fans could celebrate that day as the Chairboys earned a 3-1 win, but you can watch Glenn’s goal and the highlights below.

The following season, with both sides going for promotion from League Two, we shared six goals in a high-quality 3-3 draw at Griffin Park – highlights below.

And there were fewer goals when we met at the higher level the following season – the Griffin  Park encounter ending 1-1. Highlights below.

Sunday will be the sides’ first meeting for more than eight years, since a Gary Alexander hat-trick, and further goals from Sam Saunders and Toumani Diagouraga earned us a 5-2 win, despite replies from Dave Winfield and Ben Strevens.


Phil Catchpole, the BBC Three Counties Radio football commentator and host of the Ringing The Blues podcast  tells us how big an achievement Wycombe’s promotion was, how they plan to defy the critics in the Championship season and the secret to Gareth Ainsworth’s success.

Q – How excited are Wycombe about being the first opponents in a competitive game at the Brentford Community Stadium?

A – Fans not being allowed in will take the gloss off the occasion for everybody, but it’s always nice to be part of a bit of history.

Q – How seriously do Wycombe take cup competitions – are they likely to play a strong side or a mixture of first teamers and reserves/youngsters?

A – Bar a foray into the third round the season before last, Wycombe have a pretty dire recent record in the League Cup. They take the cups seriously, but they haven’t really had a choice as the club has had no reserve team or academy to rotate with. You don’t have to go too far back to find Gareth Ainsworth having to name himself in the squad to make up the numbers!

The current situation will dictate the line-up on Sunday and the game may well have the air of a pre-season friendly about it, as players will be looking to continue to build their match fitness. If you offered Gaz the choice of win in the first round of the League Cup or an opening day Championship victory over Rotherham, I think he’d go for the latter.

On a side note, if Wycombe do beat Brentford and are drawn at home in the second round, I’m not sure if their new Championship-level floodlights will have been installed by then…

Q – How big an achievement was it for Wycombe to win promotion last season?

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A – Absolutely huge. It’s the highest level that the club have been at in its entire 133-year history and the increased income that second tier football brings will be crucial in seeing the club through these toughest of times.

On the pitch, it’s a wonderful story of an underdog achieving against all the odds. Everybody was tipping Wycombe to be relegated from League One last summer, so to get promoted ahead of the much bigger clubs (in every sense) is remarkable.

There are people upset that the season was curtailed and PPG employed to determine the final positions, but the Chairboys deserved to go up after what had been a phenomenal campaign up to the suspension. Gaz was just as disappointed as Peterborough, Sunderland, Fleetwood and Oxford when the season came to a halt as he firmly believed that Wycombe had a real shot at automatic promotion, but in the end, he executed his play-off campaign superbly.

Q – Pundits and bookies have been tipping Wycombe to go straight back down to League One, but how do you think they will do in the Championship and can they defy the critics?

A – Being written off is nothing new to Wycombe, in fact they thrive off of it. The Chairboys will give it a real go in the Championship and I think it’s a free roll of the dice because everyone is expecting them to struggle. No-one appears to be chucking the cash around at Adams Park in a bid to survive at all costs and I think that most Wanderers fans agree with this policy. As a result, Wycombe will have by far the smallest budget in the entire division this term.

So far, their new signings add quality and experience to the team and they would still be huge assets next season if the club were to get relegated.

Also, some of the promotion money is being directed towards establishing a B team to help develop players and ultimately create revenue for the club in the long run. I think the model at Brentford has been looked at closely.

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Q – Gareth Ainsworth has done a great job at Wycombe in nearly eight years in charge – what is the secret to his success?

A – Time. The real benefit of Wycombe having no money in recent years is that when the club nearly got relegated out of the Football League, they couldn’t afford to sack Gaz after what had been a stinker of a season. Instead of a new name being unveiled, Gareth returned in pre-season a changed manager, having learnt the harsh lessons from the season before – and the rest is history.

One of his greatest strengths as a manager is that he understands what it’s like to be a football fan and he’s really pulled the club together. Gaz and Richard Dobson have also created a wonderful culture at the club too which was there for all to see at Wembley in July. There are no bad apples in the dressing room and huge significance is placed on training the mind as well as the traditional muscles.

Overall, Gareth’s charisma, optimism, work ethic and drive to improve himself and others has made him enormously popular with the players, but the secret maybe his lucky red snakeskin cowboy boots – WW have never lost when he’s worn them and they were last seen at Wembley.

Q – Ex-Brentford defender Darius Charles has made a remarkable comeback from injury to play a key role for the Chairboys – how important is he to the side?

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A – Darius is a hugely important figure at Wycombe, both on and off the pitch. He is a shining example to all of us about what can be achieved against the odds if you put your mind to it and work hard. On the pitch, Wycombe were much harder to beat when Darius was at the heart of the defence due to his leadership and calm head.

Q – Do you have any memories of previous Brentford-Wycombe games at Griffin Park or of any other games there?

A – I have many fond memories of Griffin Park, a proper old school ground which I will miss greatly. In particular, I remember the Chairboys being thrashed 5-2 a few years ago. Not a happy day for Wycombe, but Dave Winfield’s header was the first Chairboys goal I ever commentated on, so it will always be a special game for me.

Q – Finally are you able to give me a predicted line-up and formation for Wycombe?

A – 4-3-3


Grimmer  Stewart  Tafazolli  Jacobson


Pattison             Thompson

Horgan              Onyedinma



The match is being played behind closed doors at the Brentford Community Stadium (12 midday kick-off), but is being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football – broadcast details here.

Live audio commentary is available: on iFollow with Mark Burridge, Jonathan Douglas and Mick Cabble, on BBC Radio London Digital with Phil Parry and Steve Brown, with Billy Reeves also in attendance and on Talksport 2.