Harlee’s the man as Scott and Romaine bisect Burton.

11 Dec

Brentford 2 Burton Albion 1 . It is a scoreline which, as ever, doesn’t even come close to telling the story of a game that the Bees could have won by more, probably should have won by more, but were ultimately grateful to end up wth three points in the back pocket and 11 players on the pitch.

Referee David Coote, a man Brentford fans may recall from last season when he incorrectly ruled out Jota’s winning goal at Fulham (for apparent offside) was at it again. A display that showed all the authority and decision making ability of White Star Line when they declared the Titanic seaworthy, even ‘official’ noted in their match report that his “Decisions throughout the afternoon frustrated many of a Brentford persuasion”.

And in a bizarre moment of handbags in injury time, his presence was almost perfunctory as he allowed the incident to escalate to a situation where any of several players, from either side, could have seen ‘red’ . Bees captain Harlee Dean stepping up to a situation where he was eventually surrounded by several irate Albion players whilst their goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin went at Romaine Sawyers like a drunken Morris dancer.


View from the Braemar – Albion seemed agitated

Ah yes, Romaine Sawyers. What a performance from that man. No wonder the opposition were upset. His through ball to release Scott Hogan for the opening goal was quite, quite delicious. If ever you want to see perfection in a pass then here it was. The midfielder taking half the Burton team out of the game with one, exquisitely timed ball that split the defence as cleanly as a if he’d taken an axe to a watermelon.

That Scott Hogan then finished with as cool a finish as we’ve come to expect was almost secondary. Such is the talent of the man and the expectation that surrounds him whenever he gets those runs right, most of Griffin Park (official attendance 9,035 – hmmmm – was somebody counting season tickets?) was already on its feet as he stroked the ball past Mclaughlin.

Even more incredibly, the goal came from a short corner. This is not a drill. I repeat. This is not a drill. Even more incredibly, the goal came from a short corner.

It was a case of same again later in the half as Sawyers repeated his earlier trick. Hogan ran on to it once more, only to see his wonderful lob beat the ‘keeper but bounce back off the post, with the crowd already cheering a second goal.

It would have been a strike to restore our lead as in between, we’d conspired to let Burton back into the game. Instead of turning the screw and taking one of several other chances (see also: Birmingham City), sloppy defending gave the visitors an early Christmas present. Despite our three centre backs, the marking was nothing shy of ‘schoolboy’.

Jamie Ward received a cut back from the touchline and, with nobody in about ten yards of him, was allowed to stroke it home from the edge of the box. Even then, it was shot which the normally reliant Daniel Bentley may feel disappointed to have let squirm over the line.

That said, one couldn’t help but smile at the noise from the director’s box when it went in. Such was the jubilation amongst the visiting dignitaries, who must be enjoying Championship life to the max. Here’s hoping they can continue a journey which, like Brentford, is nothing but wonderful. Who doesn’t like seeing a traditional ‘smaller’ club now given the chance to play with the big boys yet more than holding their own?

1-1 at half time and the visitors still very much in it. Parity didn’t last long though. That man Scott Hogan, again, finding the back of the net from a tight angle 7 (seven) minutes into the half as the rain began to fall.

But if that was skilful, his hat-trick goal was out of this world with yet another beautifully timed run, this time onto a long hoof out of defence. He sprung the offside trap perfectly, left former Bee John Mousinho floundering and rounded McLaughlin to make it 3-1.

Except, of course, he didn’t. Referee Coote deciding that somehow the goal machine had caused Mousinho to fall flat on his backside as the two raced for the long ball. It was a ridiculous decision and one which could have cost the Bees dear. It looked bad live but having watched the highlights c/o Sky (a version of which are also now available on BeesPlayer – below) I’m still not clear as to just what is alleged to have happened.

Oh, for the dulcet tones of Mark Burridge

Instead, we held on with Lasse Vibe and substitute Tom Field (how good to see him back on) also having very good chances late on. And with the dust finally settling on the aforementioned handbags (supporters at least grateful that it was Coote rather than than Stroud in the middle) that was it. Three points for the Bees and a job well done.


Turner’s pants as visible as his temper during the ‘handbags’

It wasn’t a classic performance but it was a win. Romaine Sawyers gave a quite magnificent two fingers up to the critics (metaphorically so) whilst Scott Hogan continues to astound. That said,  The Bees really should have put the game well out of sight whilst one wonders just what on earth Dean Smith would do without his talismanic striker.

Aswell as paying due credit to Romaine Sawyers, Harlee took to twitter to acknowledge the prowess of the big man up front. When even the club captain is saying this, the message is loud and clear.

Here’s hoping Mr Benham, our co-directors of football and Dean are taking note. It could be a long , painful January otherwise.


Nick Bruzon


11 Responses to “Harlee’s the man as Scott and Romaine bisect Burton.”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) December 11, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    You can only beat the team you are up against and that was certainly true of yesterday. We won, and rightly so, yet you feel if we were up against a Bristol City or Leeds than the result may well have been very different. Still it was most important to have a reaction to last week’s embarrassment with the result being more important than the performance.

    Good to see we went back to a back 3, after abandoning it last week for some unknown reason. Romaine was excellent and combined well with Hogan, the pass for the first goal was Pritchard-esque, yet no one outside of GP seemed to even notice it. So why did Smith bring on Lasse and push Romaine back into a deeper role when things were working so well? Romaine then went back to type, and surely bringing KK or Sam on would have been a better option.

    Also a word on Tom Field. Many questioned his substitution, yet his cameo was superb, and I would like to see him start at Bristol. Thats no slight on Barbet, who is my favourite player at GP and one who has massive potential, but I desperately want to see Yoann play at CB. Egan & Dean are very good, but Yoann & Andreas have the potential to be even better.

    Mr Coote. A ref I felt was OK, before yesterday. It became clear Burton learnt quickly how to play him. Go down at every opportunity and its more than likely he will give in your favour. We need to act on the words of our owner who has said we cannot compete financially so we need to find other ways to be smarter. Yet it was Burton who were acting the smarter yesterday.

    Oh and I got my second #BeeTheDJ played in the last 3 games. Saturn 5. All part of the campaign to get the record to Number 1 for Xmas! Thanks #BeeTheDJ for supporting the campaign!

    • nickbruzon December 11, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      BQ – spot on, as ever. Though Romaine was quite magnificent in the first half and it would have been wonderful to see KK in there too. My guessing is that after ‘that miss’ against Birmingham, Dean might have seen it a chance to get Lasse back on scoring form. Hmmmm.
      As for Tom Field, I’m surprised he hasn’t been given a start. Yet Dean has the problem of too many centre backs and he’s trying to fit them all in. Could give him an interesting decision against Bristol City but it won’t. He’ll go again with the same starting XI
      As for #BeeTheDJ. Well played,. I’m going for Shakin’ Stevens on Boxing Day. Just a shame Paul Weller hasn’t released a Christmas record – it would be a shoe in to be selected

  2. Gordonbankole December 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

    Sawyers’ ball for the first goal was exquisite and his two other assists excellent in the first half. However, he has got to be more consistent. He disappeared for a lot of the second half before second wind kicked in towards the end of the game; this is not what you want when you are up against it in such an intense league. And before anyone suggests it, I really object to the jeers he gets, fully appreciate skilful players and do not want a midfield of Eddie Hutchinsons – they just have to perform more often than Sawyers does.

    Talking of which, Josh MacEachran. I’m not sure we can carry a player who is only good for 10 or 15 minute cameos every so often. He faded badly in the second half.

    Woods and Yennaris had to step up to the plate yesterday and did so. This meant the midfield produced much more than we have seen recently; that said, they did not add to their goals column, which has got to be a major worry.

    Bjelland made a major schoolboy error for their goal and Bentley hardly covered himself in glory either – his confidence is not what it was.

    Field was a breath of fresh air when he came on, which is more than could be said for Vibe, who was worse than embarrassing in four different situations (the old cliché of ‘he can trap the ball further than I can kick it applied in two of these).

    I’ve always thought Mr Coote was a decent ref, but he had a shocker yesterday. The disallowed goal was a joke. He also seemed to spend the whole time looking for late tackles, either real or imagined. However, blaming him for the Jota disallowed goal at Fulham is ridiculously harsh, Nick – he has to go with the lino in that situation.

    Without Hogan we really would be struggling.

    Anyway, thanks to the ref it was a right old tense ending. I think it will have taken a lot of energy out of the team for Tuesday but we really need to push on after what was a pretty solid performance overall.



    • nickbruzon December 11, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks GB. A pleasure as ever and, likewise, consistently articulate. So many valid points in here – Tuesday night presents a whole new plethora of challenges…

      • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) December 11, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

        Its clear that when Lasse is brought on he causes havoc. Unfortunately, at the moment its not just for the opposition. I do feel for Lasse. Like Yoann, you can see how desperate he is to do well. His energy and determination is without question, but have we ever used him to his strengths? His success at IFK came as part of a front two. Yet, he has only had the odd opportunity rather than a prolonged spell as half of a striking partnership. I also cant help but feel his Olympic excursion has actually harmed his progression and has struggled to find any rhythm this season.

  3. Gordonbankole December 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    Ah – forgot to mention music.

    Well done on Saturn 5, BQ.

    However, what is that appalling tune we have just before the second half, the lyrics of which consist of ‘Come on’ and nothing else? It sounds like it is from the Sham 69 school with lyrics less imaginative than the infamous ‘No limit’.

    Shakin’ Stevens Nick – you must be joking. Please can Mr Gilham get out his Mike Oldfield Greatest hits with In Dulci Jubilo – reminds me of my first few years supporting The Bees in the mid-70s. Now that was a proper Xmas song, along with Stop The Cavalry (yes, yes, I know that it was no.1 in France in July of whatever year).



    • nickbruzon December 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

      I believe the second half walk out music is performed by the so called ‘Groover from Vancouver’ , Bryan Adams

  4. John December 11, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

    Any idea when Judgey will be back?…..if he does not play soon surely no one will buy him in January? Next couple of games are vital to the season ….. 4 points and should be middle table, lose both and pressure on!

    • nickbruzon December 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

      I can’t see Judge playing this year, let alone early next. He’s not even been close to the B team as yet. Don’t hold your breath. It was a nasty, nasty break 😦

  5. Gordonbankole December 11, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Is that like the so-called “Quiff from Cardiff” Stevens bloke?

    I’m not sure this awful thing is Bryan Adams. Unless I’ve got the wrong song of his with ‘Come on’ lyrics.



  6. michael ohl December 11, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    I am not sure what to think of Sawyers. His skill is undoubted , and the way he can dissect opposition defence really is something. And yet in the second half there were periods where he looked like a spectator, often watching the ball and waiting for it to come to him.

    All teams need a balance of skill and grafters. And I know its not pretty but in my view every team needs a “hatchet man”. The Bees midfield is too lightweight, so Sawyer’s lack of getting stuck in is more noticeable.

    What I do think about Vibe is here is one player who never gives up. He gets into the right positions, but he has lost his finishing knack.

    Like many I am perplexed by the substitutions and when they get made. And I really haven’t worked out what our tactics are.

    Still I enjoyed the game, and it was a welcomed win. At the moment, I am hoping we get to the 40 points or so required, sooner rather than later.

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