Sterile Boro’ beaten by Frank’s Jaffas. Matthew beats all comers on Twitter.

10 Mar

One down, two to go. Brentford kicked off a potential season defining fortnight of games against promotion chasing sides with an emphatic 2-1 win over Middlesbrough. An own goal from Ryan Shotton (cheers) and a quite wonderful effort from man-of-the-moment Saïd Benrahma secured the points after Sergi Canos had also hit the crossbar aswell as having one chalked off by the officials. See also: Neal Maupay. All of a sudden the gap to ‘that’ zone in the table has closed to six points with an additional game on our rivals. Whilst points in the bag are better than games in hand, with the trip to Sheffield United and then the visit from now managerless West Bromwich Albion next up, destiny is very much in our control as the season builds to an intriguing denouement. 

Screenshot 2019-03-10 at 05.11.35

Sky cameras capture the winning moment

Where to even start with this one, though? It seems to be the perennial question as Thomas Frank and Brentford continue to astound the critics. And the fans. Honestly, who amongst us thought a win was on the cards yesterday? As much given the miserly defence of our hosts, the previous record against Middlesbrough or simply the fact that we were turning out in our beloved brown /orange away kit?

For the record – and I am going milk this one given the general amount of p*ss poor punditry on these pages – yours truly did note prior to kick off that: “Firstly, past form counts for nothing. Brentford may not have beaten Boro’ since our paths have crossed in this division but that was then and this is now. Players change and the squad we have now is not the one it was then. Results from seasons gone by count for nothing more than statistical niceties / horror shows (delete as applicable). Believing they are anything more is akin to suggesting that the colour of our away kit dictates performance. Jinx shirts? Never heard such nonsense.”

Those fortunate enough to be present were witness to a game where, for once, the results were born out in the stats that showed the Bees ending this one with 63% possession.

It’s not a figure I generally hold any credence with. If for no other reason one then get’s drawn into the Dean Smith ’deserved to win’ mentality when results don’t go the way you think. Balls in the back of the net are what count but at the same time, it’s always great to see domination rewarded. Moreso with Julian Jeanvier having to be replaced during the warm up ( I think that’s the third time we’ve suffered a player being subbed pre kick-off  in 2018/19  – hmm…) and then having gone a goal down within minutes of kick off. That, after Ashley Fletcher had capitalised on a defensive faux-pas to make it seem as though normal service would be resuming.

But there was to be no laying down by the Riverside. Quite the opposite. That confidence at home became more and more evident on the road as Brentford attacked with flare and continued the neat pass and move game that has become synonymous with Thomas Frank’s team. Eventually, the pressure told.

First up, the World Cup’s Henrik Dalsgaard ™ of Brentford caught George Saville with his pants down and fired in a shot that the aforementioned Shotton could only steer home. It’s always nice to get one over the ex and with Saville caught short, it was 1-1 with 70 on the clock.

Yet things got better. That man Benrahma continued his current hot streak with a contender for the March goal of the month competition. He started the move that saw Romaine Sawyers play a  sublime ball through the hapless Saville and football Friend. The World Cup’s Henrik etc etc etc squaring it back from the touchline to find the onrushing Benrahma as the Algerian raced onto the ball to guide it home. What a strike! What a move. He’s already in the running for February’s award (and there is still time to vote) but could already have a contender for March. As my good friends at Beesotted put it so wonderfully…. 

This is Brentford though. We don’t do easy. And sure enough, the substitution of goalkeeper Daniel Bentley (shoulder) with just under a quarter hour to go saw Icelandic youth international Patrik Gunnarsson make his first team debut. What a time and place to do it. What pressure for the 18 year old. Moreso with a buttock clenching 7(seven) minutes of storage time added at the death. 

Yet this is also Brentford, where there is nothing but confidence in what we do. Where Thomas Frank brought on Marcondes for Canos late on rather than try to close out the game. It was a move akin to the one he did against QPR and helped bring about the same outcome – three more points for the Bees. It was a level of confidence shown in our entire set up that was rewarded most wonderful. For me, Lars Friis nailed it at full time, as he tweeted:

There was as much to be read in comments after the game to show you just what a job we’d done. There was a welcome return on social media for the phrase #TeamsLikeBrentford . That most magnificent of exclamations as alleged ‘big club’ come unstuck against ‘little’ Brentford. I guess it’s been a while coming from Boro’ given our singular inability to beat them since paths have crossed but, like proverbial revenge, a dish very much best served cold. 

Middlesbrough legend Bernie Slaven was full of expectation going into this one but was brought down to earth with a bump at full time. His pre kick off tweet of: “Good Luck to Boro today against Brentford, No excuses  this lot have only had 1 away victory.” had to be considered somewhat at full time. On the plus side, he was magnanimous enough to admit “Majorly disappointing display + result from the Boro this afternoon – Brentford zipped the ball around with accuracy + intent and deserved  all 3 points.”

Unlike Tony Pulis – outplayed and somewhat out of he’s depth in the post match analysis where he moaned that, “We got off to a great start, then we should have had a penalty – one of three definite penalties…..Refs have to get those decisions right and how he’s got that wrong I don’t know. He has a clear view and that’s three definite penalties in a home game and we didn’t get any.

Awww. It’s Leeds United all over again. Still, That’s Pulis’s issue to get over. Brentford showed the never say die style that has epitomised performances since Christmas. That freedom to play football without fear of defeat or making mistakes (albeit, we’ll pretend Sheffield Wednesday never happened). Of having a head coach who enthuses confidence, to the point of making attacking substitutions in the final few minutes rather than attempt to hang on to slender leads. Contrast that to Pulis who pulled off Assombalonga at 1-0 up, removed their threat and ended up paying the ultimate price.

Next up is Sheffield United away. John Egan, Jack O’Connell and Scott Hogan all started The Blades 2-0 defeat of Rotherham United yesterday. Simon Moore was on the bench. Better the devil you know or a game that will be as tough as they come? Who cares. After the Boro’ performance, I’d fancy us to beat anyone. Jaffa cake kit or otherwise.

The spirit in our camp is stunning. We’ve seen the smiles on the players faces after home games. Thomas embracing the crowd at full time. Now that has been translated to about as big an away performance as they come. The highlights are up on Sky and deserve to be enjoyed. Even Matthew Benham is in fine form, deploying the 🎣 emoji in fine style as the subject of seat colours joking with supporters about, amongst other things, the seat colours at Lionel Road….

Screenshot 2019-03-10 at 10.59.19

I can’t top that. Roll on Tuesday…

Nick Bruzon

 

9 Responses to “Sterile Boro’ beaten by Frank’s Jaffas. Matthew beats all comers on Twitter.”

  1. simonsapper March 10, 2019 at 11:33 am #

    Well put as ever Nick – can’t wipe the smile off my face after yesterday. It’s a particularly good time to be a Bee!

    • nickbruzon March 10, 2019 at 11:36 am #

      Isn’t it just, Simon. I’m still grinning myself 🙂

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) March 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm #

    It was a special win yesterday, one that looked very unlikely after 6 minutes and that says a lot about the players and coaches. We no longer roll over to have our tummys tickled we fight like wild cats if we need to, other times we just purr with our passing. Right thats enough cat talk.

    To be fair to Boro it seems like it was only Pulis who was bemoaning the ref. Most Boro fans ive seen online have said they deserved to lose and wished they played like us!

    I wasnt there so was reliant on Twitter, Matt Murray and 2 mins of a live stream (most of which was Kamo injured), but it was clear to see we were purring knowing that we were dealing with such a poor and disorganised defence. Something i dont think we have ever said about Boro. We move onto Sheffield with maybe our 4th choice keeper in goal as reports say that Dan was in a sling after.

    Oh i dont really get what Benham was trying to do? Confused!

    • nickbruzon March 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm #

      I think Mr Benham was just enjoying that unique position of being owner/fan hybrid. The amount of crap he has taken over the years, despite all he has done, is staggering. Why not press a few buttons every now and again?

      • Hobbo March 10, 2019 at 10:44 pm #

        From fans old enough to know better Nick, hankering after the good old days, they would rather be hoofing the ball at a the bottom of div 4 fighting re-election no doubt?

      • newroadEnder77 March 11, 2019 at 3:51 am #

        mr benam must remember are istory whn makin dese plans

  3. newroadEnder77 March 11, 2019 at 1:10 am #

    mebe we can win at sheff an turn de clock back to de good old days

  4. Brighton Bee March 11, 2019 at 7:52 am #

    Brilliant performance to at last beat Boro. Really enjoyed it and I particularly liked Pullis’s comments – bitter or what? He and his team were out fought, out played and out thought.
    Ps as a Bees fan for over 50 years, I quite like the multi coloured seats

    • nickbruzon March 11, 2019 at 8:40 am #

      As do I. Don’t get all the fuss. If the place is full, who’ll see them anyway?

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