Book ’em, Danno. Not today. But if anybody knows where we can get a pizza…?

18 Sep

Well wasn’t that the game that had it all? A 5-0 win for Brentford. Visitors Preston ending the game with just 10 men on the pitch yet, for once, this wasn’t the fault of referee Keith Stroud. A hat-trick for Scott Hogan, taking him to 13 goals in 12 Championship games. Another clean sheet and the Bees into the play off zone. A current goal difference of +8 now only bettered by Newcastle United of all our league rivals.

Yet the final score of 5-0 wasn’t as apparent as it might have seemed at one point. Preston more than matched Brentford team who were, perhaps, suffering some tired legs following Wednesday night’s exertions at Aston Villa. Likewise, I’d imagine the first team didn’t get back to Griffin Park until Thursday – whether due to an overnight stay or simply the horrendous gridlock caused by the M6 closure that blighted just about every road user.

Yet, as seems to be the theme these days, it was Scott Hogan who gave us the lead and Dan Bentley who was on hand to keep the visitors at bay. Hogan’s first goal, seeing the striker run onto a wonderful ball from Romaine Sawyers (having his best game in a Brentford shirt) that split the Preston defence and left him clear to cut in from the left and slide it under the advancing ‘keeper.

1-0 at half time and Brentford just about deserving of a lead. Yet after a somewhat staid start to the second half (in which Bentley was the busier ‘keeper and made one absolute stunning save – check that beauty out on the highlights reel) things suddenly accelerated.

Scott and Dan grab the headlines but Romaine and Harlee also shone

Harlee Dean made it 2-0, drilling home from a long corner with, perhaps, the help of a slight deflection. It was a goal that prompted exuberant celebrations and no more so than from ‘man with the mic’ Peter Gilham. His announcement for goal sponsors Siracusa stopping just short of reading out the Italian restaurant on Brentford Lock’s phone number.

And then it all went bonkers. With Preston having made all their substitutions, injury to Marnick Vermijl meant it was 10 against 11 or, in real terms, boys against men .

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View of the terrace. The pressure builds in front of a packed home end

It’s often said that it is harder to play agasint 10 men than 11. A cliche trotted out when a red card is administered and the impacted team have to try and contain the opposition. I’ve never understood why having a man advantage isn’t seen as more of an, erm, advantage. Well this time it was.

Three goals followed in a three minute spell. Hogan running on to a suicidal back header to make it 3-0 on 84 minutes before substitute Josh Clarke did all but get the fourth on 85. His cross into the box turned in by Chris Humphrey although, at least, Peter Gilham gave the youngster credit as “The last Brentford player to touch the ball”.

But it was the fifth, just moments later, that earned the match ball for Hogan and the biggest cheer form the Griffin Park crowd. Again, it was Sayers involved. The midfielder delivering a beautiful through ball that, along with a neat touch from Josh McEachran, sliced open the Preston defence as easily as a diner cutting through a freshly prepared pizza, served direct from a wood fire oven.

The crowd went crazy. Peter Gilham went that close to reading out the dessert choices. The whiff of brackets was in the air.

Whilst 7(seven) would, perhaps, have been pushing the boundaries of expectation, who wasn’t ecstatic with a 5-0 humping? Chairman Cliff Crown was in buoyant form at full time, talking to all and sundry outside The Griffin for a good hour at least.

The other shock of the day was Keith Stroud. I can only imagine what the odds on more goals than bookings would have ben before kick off? Yet the notorious man in the middle was in as good form before kick off as our chairman had been at full time, stopping to talk to supporters after performing a somewhat elaborate warm up routine that was part Jane Fonda, part line dance.

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Keith leads the line. Dance

And the game itself saw just two yellows shown. His lowest total all season. That said, the second was delivered with his customary ‘flourish and turn’ delivery. Infuriating to receive; wonderful when given to the opposition. As one Braemar Road resident noted, “He’s like a footballing equivalent of cricket’s Steve Bucknor” – the arm is raised in one, fluid movement and no amount of imploring will change the decision.

Actually, fair play to Keith. He had a very good game. The only people left disappointed were those who had taken part in Kitman Bob’s pre-match game. “Stop letting the game flow” noted one observer. Part tongue in cheek, part hoping for a chance to win that Emmanuel Ledesma shirt.

The only real down side was our own Big Bee Radio not being nimble fingered enough to play the theme tune to Hawaii-5-0 on the way out. Instead,

For once, this kit nerd would have been happy if Keith had taken note.

On a day that saw Beeplayers co-commentator Marcus Gayle make it three wins from three  when sitting along side Mark Burridge (who one can only presume now has the big man handcuffed to a radiator – metaphorically speaking), these weren’t the only omens falling into place. Last season’s black ‘third’ top is the current ‘lucky shirt’  whilst my own son is still to see us lose. In three seasons.

Testament to his own talismanic quality or simply a sign of how hard a place Griffin Park is to visit for our Championship rivals ? As we saw on Wednesday at Aston Villa, the old girl is definitely at the other end of the palatial spectrum yet it is something which very much plays to our advantage.

Next up at home are Reading, next Tuesday. Until then its a trip to Wolves on Saturday. No doubt buoyed by their own win at Newcastle United yesterday, it promises to be a corker.

I can’t wait.

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How many goals did we score?

Nick Bruzon

 

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6 Responses to “Book ’em, Danno. Not today. But if anybody knows where we can get a pizza…?”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) September 18, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    5-0 did very much flatter us, but what rang true was Hogan’s ability leading the front line. Superb forward work, with at the other end Bentley just incredible. Beesotted posted after the game that they would consider Bentley as being Brentford’s greatest keeper. I would not argue with that at all. Similarly to Szczesny, you just dont believe the ball is going to hit the back of the net, and when it does, your surprised.

    True, Keith Stroud, restrained himself from doing his usual Dr Strangelove performance, but his reputation for blowing his whistle every time someone makes contact is something the Bees seemed very aware of. Many times we seemed to go down quite easily with the minimal of contact and as true as night comes after day, Mr Stroud would blow for a free kick. Makes you wonder if the backroom team do video analysis of refs too!

    Also I noted an odd resemblance between Keith Stroud and Norman Wisdom. Not just looks or height, but his walk. You watch next time, as he strides forward, elbows swinging, leaning slightly forward with oversized steps. Im not kidding!

  2. Gordonbankole September 18, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    Very good summing up by Mr Q as ever, so I won’t add anything on our display other than to say our subs were excellent and gave the team a bit more impetus.

    However, a few things from yesterday and elsewhere:

    1. If you want a laugh, have a look at our friend Simon Hateley’s (pub team man) Twitter feed. He’s gone off on one again after Villa’s away point at Ipswich yesterday. He really is a very angry man. Pity his poor wife or cat – it must be a right bundle of laughs in that household.

    2. I very much enjoyed the Stroud dissent booking. Referees are rightly clamping down on this yet players seem to be very slow in getting the message. Total stupidity from their bloke and the sheer inevitability of the card was very entertaining.

    3. Why did he change his mind when giving that corner in the second half? He was surrounded by most of their team (which I thought was meant to result in a booking for all concerned) and suddenly changed his decision. Was it a case of ‘they who shout loudest’ or was there another explanation?

    4. So that’s three fire drills in a week then. Very impressive performance. Old Larry Grayson took some flak from those who remained at the end. Bet he was happy to ‘shut that (dressing room) door’ afterwards and escape them.

    I’ll get my coat

    Regards

    Gordon

    • nickbruzon September 18, 2016 at 10:54 am #

      Wonderful from the pair of you. Thanks both !!! 🙂

    • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) September 18, 2016 at 11:21 am #

      Stroud was possibly consulting with Mr Grimsdale as it seemed Wisdom-esque confusion reigned.

      Simon Hateley. After calling me a jellied eel eating twonk in the week, to which i replied that I preferred mash, it seems that his own team are now twonks. Surely the trials and tribulations of Simon Hateley are worthy of a new ‘hilarious’ sitcom. Well it cant be worse than Rovers on Sky!

  3. Gordonbankole September 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    Dear All

    I have now watched the club’s video of the game.

    If the bloke who shouted “FFS” as Sawyers delayed before playing the crossfield ball prior to the first goal would like to come forward and explain himself, I would be very pleased to hear from him.

    Sawyers has disappointed me in previous home games (giving the ball away when we were under the cosh), but he showed his strengths yesterday and I am pretty disgusted that people are getting after him for keeping possession and spreading the play (before – in point of fact as Brian Moore used to say – creating a fine goal).

    Big dose of humble pie needed, though I fear we might be waiting a long time before he eats it. Presumably he would prefer some “run around everywhere and kick people” midfielder to take his place.

    Come on FFS man, do the decent thing and admit you were wrong.

    Regards

    Gordon

  4. John September 18, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

    Yesterday’s game reminded me very much of the Wolves home game a few years ago when we went 1 up and then the game, as before the first goal, remained very even until goal 2, then the floodgates opened.

    I too moaned about Sawyers in previous games and even this match, as when live at the match his effort seemed lacking on a number of occasions. However, having watched the highlights it is clear his involvement in the goals was vital. Hopefully he is finding his feet and a goal would surely raise his confidence further.

    We are living on a knife edge with Hogan and if he was to get injured we have no backup. Let’s pray he stays fit and who knows where this team can go. Goalkeeper, defence and midfield look good with backup, as shown with subs yesterday.

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