Another home, game another clean sheet and another three points. Brentford moved up to 6th place in the fledgling Championship table with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest coming hot on the heels of Saturday’s 2-0 scoreline when Ipswich Town were the visitors.
It was a tense game, second half especially, and a demonstration that once again stats count for little when it comes to match analysis. Forest ended the game with 57% possession, 5 shots on target to our 4 and double the amount of corners. Yet Brentford bagged the most important one – balls in the back of the net.
Despite Forest’s domination, Scott Hogan’s goal on the half hour was the difference between the two sides. At least, on paper. The striker finding the back of the net at the second attempt following a great save from Stephen Henderson in the Forest goal. The visiting ‘keeper also denying Lewis Macleod as part of the same move before the Griffin Park goal machine fired home to get off the mark for the season.
Just prior to this, Hildeberto Pereira (who looked a real handful and a proper unit) really should have scored as he found his way through the Bees defence but pulled his shot just wide of the post with only Dan Bentley to beat. It was a sign of things to come.
Forest will have been kicking themselves all the way home after failing to at least equalise in a second half they dominated to a level that put one in mind of the Great Britain Olympic cycling team. Pressure built and chance followed chance as Dan Bentley did everything in his power to keep the visitors at bay.
Nomoreso than in the final moments.With Nottingham Forest down to 10 men following a second yellow card for Damien Perquis, it seemed the danger had passed as the game entered its denouement. Then Dan Bentley showed just why so many clubs had been after his signature and why Brentford were happy to cash in on David Button when Fulham came knocking.
With Britt Assombalonga clean through and the net beckoning, it had goal all over it. But the visitors hadn’t reckoned on Bentley. What a save. What. A. Save !
The relief was palpable. The joy unrestrained. The Bees had snatched victory from the jaws of a draw (hmm, does that work?) as our new number one rose to the top of the popularity charts.
If was a deserved end to a cracking night between the sticks. David who now? Forest may feel that morally they deserved at least a draw (Lewis Macleod’s wonderful effort onto the crossbar after great work from Josh Clarke being the only real notable chance from the second half) but football is as much about keeping them out at one end as putting them in at the other. Besides, the record books will simply show that Brentford beat Nottingham Forest 1-0.
Three other points of note from the night. First up, the gantry. I hadn’t appreciated just how wide it is. That said, the club have made clear their reason for having had no choice but to do this although our comms (or lack of ) in advance of this being the real kicker. On the plus side, perhaps there will now be ample room for Ian Moose and his packed lunch when it opens fully.
The catering obsessed journalist having to find space in Marcus Gayle’s shadow last night (although I’d imagine it is a considerable one). That said, at least he’d have been close to the pies at half time.
Fair play to Marcus, too, for donning our wonderful new home shirt.
Next up. Leo Sayer. Yes. Leo Sayer. The diminutive pop star was spotted in The Griffin after full time where, of course, none other than Billy Grant caught up with him for Beesotted. You can catch that podcast now to hear his thoughts.
Finally, the Olympics. Has Billy Reeves started some huge ‘in joke’ at the BBC ? Whenever there is a major football tournament, the England team usually engage in that hilarious routine of dropping song titles or some other similar subject into their press interviews. How we laughed. Until they crash out within a week.
But it seems that,perhaps, the BBC Olympic broadcasters are now trying something similar. I thought I’d heard Gabby Logan slip one in and then, last night, with Jason Kenny having won gold in the keirin event Clare Balding said it.
Loud and clear. “Denouement”.
Coincidence? Or some secret game inspired by Billy ? In the history of broadcasting, nobody else in the BBC has ever used the word so seamlessly as the mellifluous BBC London man. Yet now it has appeared twice in just a matter of days.
What next? Usain Bolt crossing the meridian line? Russian athletes asked to go with the doping official for tea and a wee?
I’ll have my ears peeled for the next four days. Until then, here’s the other Billy (Grant) with Leo.