Brentford made it 9 points and 9 goals from the last 3 games after beating Ipswich Town 3-1 at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon. Relegation is officially dead. Town’s promotion chances likewise. Sam Saunders scored a beauty and Lasse Vibe took his personal total to 5 in this 3 game period.
They’re the match facts but, frankly, they seem an after thought at the moment. All anybody in the Brentford family was talking about during and after the game was the horrendous foul on Alan Judge that saw the player receive almost ten minutes of on-field treatment before being stretched off with a reported double leg break.
The player’s immediate reaction and that of his team mates suggested this is a very, very bad one indeed. Yet, incredibly, Town’s Luke Hyam received nothing more than a caution from referee Phil Gibbs for the nightmare assault (I won’t dignify it with the words ‘challenge’ or ‘tackle’) that saw him flying at Judge before scything through the magician, studs up. The irony of Trevor Kettle being the fourth official was not lost.
Justice was eventually done when Hyam was shown red for a second yellow just before half time, this time for going at Ryan Woods like a petulant teenage thug. But by that point it was far too little, far too late for Brentford’s player of the season. His dream of playing in the Euro 2016 finals over.
To rub further salt into the wound, Mick McCarthy has been quoted as giving a quite scandalous response to Dean Smith’s suggestion that Hyam had been “a bit naughty” and deserved straight red.
The Ipswich manager’s reaction has already been doing the round of social media, garnering the obvious replies. “I’m disappointed if he’s said that. I don’t think it is. I think he’s won the ball. I’ve actually complained to the referee as to why it’s a booking if he’s won the ball. I don’t think it’s naughty at all. That surprised me and disappoints me if he’s said that, but we all have opinions”.
Let’s just hope that having had further time to review the footage and his own comments, McCarthy has a change of heart. It won’t make a bit of difference to what has happened yet to leave things like this will only leave further bitter taste to a quite awful incident.
The Brentford supporters, players and officials were unanimous in their support for Alan after the final whistle. Club owner Matthew Benham making a rare foray onto Twitter where he declared, “The challenge was very reckless and a clear red card, as was the one on @RyannWoods4”
I’ve got nothing else to say about the other stuff from today. No comments about BeesPlayer, no comments about the game and no comments about the league.
Instead, at the moment all I can do is think about Alan Judge. The prognosis at this juncture doesn’t read well but, at the same time, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
He has been consistently outstanding over the entire season (only David Button running him close for the end of year award, in my opinion) and his performances have rightly earned International call ups. He’s our leading scorer and not bad with the assists, either.
Fingers crossed Judgey, we’re all thinking of you.
Here’s to seeing you back in the red and white stripes next season.