Bees blunted by Blades and random ref but what a celebration.

31 Mar

It’s a point closer to the play offs for both teams as a day that saw two controversial dismissals ended with Brentford and Sheffield United drawing 1-1. It was a day that ended with Daniel Bentley winning his personal battle with former Bee Clayton Donaldson as two great stops late on kept us alive. Bristol City, whose own last gasp equaliser at Barnsley gave hope to Birmingham City, are next up in what promises to be a real six-pointer at the right end of the table. With just 7(seven) games to go and the gap to the play-offs 7(seven) points, the chance of a spectacular climax to the season is still there. Just.


Brentford entertained Harchester United at Griffin Park on Saturday

What can you say about events at Griffin Park where there was a very real danger of having to call out the Coastguard? Well, if the Middlesbrough game was made uncomfortable for the supporters thanks to the snow, this time around it was Biblical levels of rain. Somewhat appropriate for the Easter Weekend and what was still, mostly, a very Good Friday.

Those who took one look at the torrents heading their way and bailed out of coming to this one did, at least, have the consolation of staying dry behind their computers or in front of the TV as it lashed down from the warm up to the post-match handshakes. The water was already spraying up off the surface as Yoann Barbet stroked home dead ball after dead ball in his pre-kick off routine. Conditions didn’t get any better.

By the time we got down to proper business, you could have launched a flotilla down by the Braemar Road touchline. Flo Jo in particular, perhaps ruing one second half challenge that left him soaked through in the quagmire. But if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Pack it up and go home. Not that there was anything particularly hot about yesterday, the first half especially.


View from the Braemar – Flo ended this one soaked through

That opening period being a somewhat tepid affair that saw even ‘angry dad’, my most favourite amongst those fans who sit around us in the Braemar Paddock (what genuine passion and enthusiasm that always stays the right side of ‘family’) remain silent for the vast majority of that opening period. The linesman on the near side saved the usual telling off that his performance so often warrants.

How things changed when the teams came back out after half time. There was vigour. There was gusto. There was the late arrival of Mrs Bruzon, delayed due to transport debacle. And as such, there was the customary goal for the opposition that her presence so often heralds.

If lucky pants, shirt and not shaving on a winning run work for some supporters, she’s almost the opposite. There have been several moments of what we shall simply call ‘unfortunate timing’ over the years. Within minutes of taking her seat, Sheffield United had taken the lead. A deflected effort from Chris Basham beating Daniel Bentley to make it 1-0. It spurred Brentford into life.

Yet, if Mrs B is somewhat of an albatross at times (in a footballing perspective), young Harry is the opposite. “Daddy. If we score a goal, will you lift me up?” he asked as play resumed.  Little more than ten minutes later, he was being raised aloft as Welsh international Chris Mepham (how good does that sound?) made it all square. His left footed drive from 12 yards out was followed up with the most incredible knee slide across the sodden surface.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 08.11.49

Chris Mepham leads the celebratory charge

Talk about enjoying the moment of his first goal in league football. Yet who could blame him? What a wonderful season it has been for a player plucked from the B-team to the Bees first team. And from there to his national side.

It’s no wonder he celebrated as he did. For once, the horrific conditions aiding the cause There are plenty of tweets doing the rounds of this one. Take your pick. They’re all brilliant.

Yet if the goal was a moment of ecstasy, we were bought crashing back down to earth with a sickening bump moments later. With most supporters watching the celebration, over in the goal mouth referee Jeremy Simpson had taken umbrage with visiting goalkeeper Jamal Blackman lashing out at Ryan Woods. He was red carded yet, likewise, so was our own ginger Pirlo.

Having seen one version of the footage, I’m at a genuine loss as to why we’ve been penalised. Perhaps something was said to the ref or perhaps he had a better view. Perhaps he simply made the mistake that Woody’s subsequent reaction suggested. Who knows? Dean Smith told the waiting media after the game that he hadn’t seen the incident as yet. Perhaps on review he’ll then appeal.

It was a game changing moment. From Brentford pushing, it was United who once more gained the ascendency. Simon Moore was brought on between the sticks to join Clayton and Jack O’Connell as three ex Bees playing for the visitors. Yet it was Daniel Bentley who proved to be busiest from that moment on. He was the man responsible for us gaining the point which has kept faint play-off hopes still alive.

As Dean Smith would note in his press conference, “Nothing has changed. It is still must-win. The less games you have left then the less likely you are to make the Play-Offs if you don’t win games. We have gone four without a win now. We have played very well in two of those games and should have got something. We have to turn that around very quickly now on Monday.

So where do we go from here? Will the Bees appeal? Do we have any hope of the play-offs? A win at Bristol City is a must if that is to happen. Should we be content with aiming for a fourth successive top ten finish? Something that would, in itself, be an incredible achievement for a club with our history and budgetary challenges relative to our rivals.

When you have the likes of Sunderland (whose incredible 4-1 humbling of Derby County was THE result of the day) and Birmingham City tripping each other up at the bottom, it shows yet again that size, reputation and spending prowess count for nothing if you can’t do it when the ref blows his whistle.

Brentford couldn’t quite get the win yesterday. But given all that was going on, I’m well happy with a point.

Roll on Monday.


Where’s Karl Fletcher?

Nick Bruzon


13 Responses to “Bees blunted by Blades and random ref but what a celebration.”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) March 31, 2018 at 9:34 am #

    As one who ducked out of this one, I had the internet feed with the excellent Paul Walker commentating. What struck me most was yet another below par performance. Too many passes going astray, being over elaborate in the final third and relying on Bentley to bail us out. Nico, Kamo, & even Sergi adding very little at the moment. Clarke just not fitting that LB role. Dalsgaard gives the ball away too often & gets beaten cheaply. Egan being caught out positionally. Maupay in the side because there are no other options. Thats why we have to appeal Woods ridiculous red card. Im not just saying that through red tinted specs. I thought the right decision had been made with Sergi’s & Romaine’s red cards, but this one was farcical by an over petty referee. For the record, I thought Blackman should have only got a yellow. We so need Ryan for the next 3 games, without him I think we would struggle to get that win bearing in mind how others are playing at the moment.

    • nickbruzon March 31, 2018 at 9:41 am #

      Well said BQ. A wonderfully astute analysis and spot on re Woodsy’s ‘red’. If we are to have any chance of Dean’s big finish we need him in the team.

  2. Rob Cooler March 31, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

    Come on guys you must have Brentford blinkers on. Brentford lucky to come away with a point and Ryan bitch slapped Blackman before the big lad retaliated both should have been yellow carded but in today’s game not surprised it was red.

  3. Beesfan March 31, 2018 at 5:59 pm #

    I have to say we were quite lucky to grab a point yesterday. Definitely indebted to Dan Bentley. As for Ryan woods it does look like he might have​raised his hand, so if one goes they both do.
    On the bright side, maybe no one will want to sign him now!

    • nickbruzon March 31, 2018 at 6:55 pm #

      Thanks BF. Fair’s fair (although here’s hoping you may be right if he is, indeed, forced to serve that 3 or 4 game sentence)

  4. andy c March 31, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

    Very average ref .Our goalie shouldn’t have pushed the player in the face and your player did actually raise his hand to our goalies face albeit only slight contact and we all know what happens when you do that.We should have won with the chances we had,but it’s been like that for a while now. Great day out in london though.Would have taken a point before the match.

  5. aussiebee53 April 1, 2018 at 4:31 am #

    Silly of Woodsy to raise his hand and I think Blackmans retaliation condemned them both to a red. At least they both did not fall to the ground as if hit by a pick handle. An appeal would be fruitless.
    We have had a red in each of the last two games and I see we have Keith Stroud as ref for our next game !!! gives us every chance of bringing up a hat-trick

  6. Stephen Dockery April 5, 2018 at 8:30 am #

    Not much of a mention for Gary monks flying bluenoses then. Great performances from Dean and Jota at Bolton. Ah well suppose you will have concentrate on your OWN team Nick.

    • nickbruzon April 5, 2018 at 9:27 am #

      Congratulations, Stephen. Birmingham aren’t, currently, in the relegation zone. Happy now? Although with that run in I wouldn’t bet on the situation lasting

      • Stephen Dockery April 5, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

        No Nick I think now Jota and Dean have got used to playing for a decent sized club we’ll be fine.

  7. HerzyBee April 6, 2018 at 3:34 pm #

    Perhaps Mr Dockery needs to glance at the league table…

    • Stephen Dockery April 6, 2018 at 6:44 pm #

      Don’t mess with the peaky blue noses

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