Brilliant Bentley, play-offs, clappers and a special guest in the programme. What an afternoon.

30 Apr

Well, that was some afternoon. Brentford travelled to Fulham where a point was probably a fair result in a game we were lucky not to have gone in three or four down at half time but which ultimately ended 1-1. That they didn’t win will be the least concern for our hosts . With Leeds United going three down at home to Norwich City before eventually managing a point, those results mean that barring a staggering swing in goal difference, Fulham have reached the play-offs and we’ve another trip to Elland Road. And off field, did anybody pick up a copy of the match day programme…..?

First up though, congratulations to Fulham. Yes. It has to be said. A full house at Craven Cottage saw a cracking game of football as the hosts set out to ensure Leeds couldn’t catch them. What happened was as afternoon that will go down as on of those ‘I was  there’ days – for both sides.

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A full house saw a great game in a wonderful atmosphere

Easily one of the best teams to visit Brentford this season (Fulham, not Leeds), Saturday saw them come flying out of the blocks as they looked to get the win they needed to secure a play off spot. With Brentford on the back foot and being carved open for fun, it was only a matter of time before the first goal. Tom Cairney grabbed it after eight minutes and that was, surely, the cue for the floodgates to open?

With the Bees rocking, chance after chance came. Floyd Aite in particular firing so very high and so very wide when clean through. A second goal would have probably been fair on the balance of play but possession, stats and chances count for jack if you can’t put them away.

And sure enough, goal of the season contender Nico Yennaris stepped up. An interchange of passes with Konstantin Kerschbaumer saw the sweetest of finishes into the far corner on the diagonal from just inside the box.
1-1 and the Bees took the noise up another few decibels.

And a good thing too. The goal, obviously, but the even louder support for an already vociferous away following. Anything to drown out those infernal clackers/clappers. Those things that, if you check out the video highlights (and Sky Sports have their version up now), sound like hundreds of charity buckets being rattled.

But with Brentford having hauled themselves back in to it, charitable donations seemed to be the order of the day. How goalscorer Cairney didn’t restore Fulham’s lead I still have no idea. He was left totally unmarked, and I mean totally, 8 yards out but could only guide the inch perfect cross well wide of the goal. Daniel Bentley wasn’t even forced into a save.

Moments later, another chance. Referee Darren Bond awarding what seemed, at the time, a totally innocuous penalty against the Bees. The ball had been crossed in and was pinging around the middle, going nowhere, when he pointed to the spot.

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View from the stand. Penalty – obv

Even watching it afterwards, Yoann Barbet does make contact with Stephan Johansen but only as the ball had been delivered into the heart of the crowded penalty box.  Generous would seem very much the verdict on this one.

Step up Tom Cairney with another chance to let Fulham retake the lead. Step up Daniel Bentley to do his thing quite magnificently and show just why he is up there as a serious, serious contender for player of the season. Diving low to his left he not only pushed the ball clear but then made the bravest of second saves as he threw himself amongst the onrushing boots and onto the ball.

Yessss!  The away fans erupted. Again. The clackers were drowned out. Again. Fulham had seen another gilt edged chance spurned. Again. Daniel Bentley, you beauty.

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View from the stand – Brilliant Bentley does his thing

And with that, half time. Checking the scores saw Leeds United 3-1 down and as good as out. Despite our best efforts in the second period, both teams had really given their all and it couldn’t match the pace of the first. The highlight being a debut for Zain Westbrooke who, along side full backs Tom Field and Josh Clarke really marked a positive embrace of those who have come up from the youth set up and B team.

Sure enough, with the 90 played out and Leeds United all but shooting themselves in the foot, the hosts were happy enough to stroke it around their defence and settle for a point. Brentford fans stayed to applaud the players off (Lasse Vibe, Yoan Barbet and KK amongst those handing over their shirts and really taking in the moment – do we need to read anything into this?) before going off to settle for a pint. The fans, not the players.

Off the field, two moments of real note. Firstly, Matthew Benham taking to Twitter. Always a good thing when this happens, he put the kibosh on any prospect of Lionel Road Clackers.

Like Goal Music, another thing that will have to reside in the drawer labelled : Do not open. Ever.

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And secondly, forgive a bit of self-indulgence.

Back in January, my hitherto unseen identical twin brother Brian Guest saw a tweet from Fulham, looking for home supporters to participate in the ‘Your Club’ section of the matchday programme. This could be amusing (he told me) and applied. One thing led to another and along with a photo of Brian sporting the Spall ’87 Brentford away shirt, a series of tongue-in-cheek answers were submitted. Surely this would never get past the editor?

But it did. Brian’s selection was swiftly confirmed, “A while off but appropriately enough, for the Brentford game”.

Seriously? Had they actually read the answers?

A reminder of the 4-0 defeat at Brentford.  Mention of the recent 4-1 home hammering administered by Stuart Dallas, Alan Judge, Jota et al. The Intertoto Cup – prestige and honour.

It went on. The wonderful Michael Jackson statue appeared. The Pizza Hut shirt. The Richard Osman / Pointless ’joke’ –  something that should contractually be met with tumbleweed these days.

Surely somebody would then look at this and rumble it? Surely?

But no. Before even reaching the Cottage, one Braemar Road observer (and fellow fan of the World Polo finals – thanks!) had already been in touch. It had got through. Commentator par-excellence Mark Burridge then took to Twitter advising likewise. And on reaching the Cottage, there it was (part of which you can see below).

Big thanks Fulham. Seriously. The game may have ended 1-1 but all three points to the Bees off the field.

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Nick Bruzon

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4 Responses to “Brilliant Bentley, play-offs, clappers and a special guest in the programme. What an afternoon.”

  1. Gordonbankole April 30, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    Dear Nick

    As you say, an enjoyable afternoon at the Cottage. After a difficult first half (but what an excellent goal) we acquitted ourselves really well in the second, and credit especially to Tom Field and Clarkey for really upping their game when they needed to.

    I have to disagree with you about the penalty, though. Very similar to the one we got last week, with Barbet clattering into the guy late. Definite penalty for me.

    I don’t know whether our favourite Fulham correspondent Jay will be on here at any point, but his postcode awareness campaign has clearly had little effect on his own fans, who (to paraphrase without expletives) were singing that they, unlike Brentford, were the kings of West London. No suggestion of outdated county boundaries which we were all a part of anyway in the first place.

    As for the programme spoof, you’d never get that kind of thing happen at Brentford. Except when Eric White was in charge and printed a series of outrageous articles from a Mr Alf Lucas from Guildford.

    That said, I suspect you’d struggle to get that kind of thing past the current editor!

    Regards

    Gordon

    • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) April 30, 2017 at 9:04 am #

      Morning Gordon
      Tarquin is still not basing his argument on what a bored postman with a dodgy knee did in his lunch break many years ago?

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) April 30, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    I wasnt at the game but was listening on BeesPlayer. More on that later.

    It is impressive to see how far we have come in the space of a few months when we get good results like this away to one of the best teams in the League. It does give me so much hope for what we could be capable of next season with 3 or 4 new signings in the summer. It was also amusing to see the Fulham player on Channel 5 struggling to give us any credit despite the prompts by Lynsey.

    Nick what genius to have that feature in the programme. Firstly to disguise yourself as a Fulham fan and get away with it, despite not calling yourself Sebastian. I am guessing the Fulham editor cannot understand blatant irony. It must have given many a Bee a good laugh to read all that pre-game. Has to be one of the highlights of the season.

    BeesPlayer. Pre-match sounded so weird with whatever the Fulham fans were doing with their cackers. It sounded like some Soviet era dancing display was going on. In fact I thought we were about to hear the indie disco classic ‘Those Were The Days’ by The Wedding Present (kids ask your hispter dad about that one). Also, I wish they wouldnt have the high pitched commentator on. He is quite possibly the worst commentator in history. Makes BeesPlayer almost unlistenable. Adds nothing of any value to proceedings and makes Alan Partridge seem professional

  3. Gordonbankole April 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

    Dear BQ

    Good to hear from you on here as always.

    I suspect the postcode obsessive is reluctant to come on here as he knows that he is going to get it ripped out of him because of those stupid happy-clappy things his tribe were issued with – one of the most pathetic sights I’ve seen from football supporters since I started in 75.

    Secondly, who is the high-pitched individual you’re referring to? The description of tone rules out the programme editor and Terry Evans for starters!

    Regards

    Gordon

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