It doesn’t take a genius to realise that this Saturday is likely to see our largest away following of the season as Brentford travel to Fulham with close to 5,000 fans backing the Bees. QPR’s tiny away end makes any chance of a similar attendance impossible whilst Brighton and Hove Albion saw the intervention of Sky TV put a huge spanner in those works last night.
But we can only start with Craven Cottage. It’s now (at the time of writing) just over 48 hours until we head up the road towards Fulham with Brentford fans hoping for a repeat of last season’s league games.
The 2-1 win at Griffin Park was exciting enough. A dominant Bees side fell behind, albeit via a defensive faux pas, before Harlee hit a late thunderbolt to level things up. And then it all went crazy. The pressure built until Jota did his thing and secured all three points in the last minute to send the Bees fans wild.
It really doesn’t get any better than that. Except, of course, it did. With the Bees on a roll who needs reminding of what happened in the away game? Nobody, but it doesn’t mean we won’t do it !
A single match goal of the month competition ensued as Stuart Dallas (2), Alan Judge and Jota all found the back of the net and Fulham ended up on the wrong end of a 4-1 demolition.
It was, undoubtedly, THE away performance of the season. The chance to steamroller your local rivals in their own back yard sent Bees fans’ home ecstatic. It was one that still has me smiling even now.
I could wax lyrical on this for paragraphs but we all know what happened. And it was marvellous. Stuart Dallas hitting his second and celebrating on his knees in front of the Brentford faithful will stay with me for the rest of my life, whilst that scoreboard, reading: Fulham 1 Brentford 4, said it all.
But the excitement of the weekend has been slightly tempered by the fact that the away game at Brighton, originally scheduled for 6th February, has been moved forward for a Friday night TV game. As with Fulham, that was one of the great adventures last season with a large travelling contingent bearing witness to another away win – albeit the 1-0 was a lot tighter than the performance at the Cottage.
Jon Toral’s unmissable open goal (which he missed with the ball getting tangled up under his feet) was another memory I’ll carry with me although, thankfully, it didn’t cost us. Likewise, there is just the all round good fun of a day on the coast and Brighton’s cracking stadium.
But the gods of TV have pointed their fickle finger at us and spannered the fixture list. With Brighton flying high and the Bees storming up the blindside, it’s no surprise but still a disappointment as a sure fire ‘away’ trip is now coming very much into question.
I’m not going to overly complain. It’s frustrating, for sure, but I can’t see we get any choice in the matter. It’s all part of playing in a higher division and, had we got to the Premier League, would probably have been twice as bad. It’s just a shame that we won’t all be able to watch it live.
But Sky sponsor the division and pay for the TV rights. We all know what that means and, sadly, on this instance it is the (non-armchair) supporters who suffer.
Still, that’s one to worry about down the line. For now, we’ve got Fulham approaching at a rate of knots and, frankly, attention is better spent focusing on that one.
If it’s even half as exciting as last season then it promises to be a Christmas cracker,
And finally, belated best wishes to West London’s Premier Journalist and all round sport fanatic, Tom Moore, who celebrated yesterday. No ‘Last Word’ meant I couldn’t pass on my greetings at that point.
Happy Birthday, Tom. And I hope the Bees bring you all the best on Saturday.