The morning after the night before.

23 Jul

Where to even start? What a soul destroying end to an incredible season. A punch to the stomach that even after sleeping on it, feels awfully numb. For sure it’s hurting now, Brentford fans, but we are still in this. We’ve now got a two-legged play-off semi-final with Swansea to look forward to. The dream of Premier League football is still on. We’ll just have to take the long way around. This, after our 91st minute defeat by Barnsley consigned the Bees to third place in the table. That’s still an amazing achievement but with West Bromwich Albion drawing at home to QPR, destiny would have been in our hands.

Alas, not. The chance was unable to be taken on an evening spent sitting in our friends’ back garden on Brook Road South, watching on TV but all ears on Griffin Park. Hoping against hope to hear the cheer from Peter Gilham that would have signified a goal before the tv footage caught up. It is a cheer that only came once – and we were so busy running around the garden in excitement, singing at the top of our voices, that I’ve still not seen Josh Da Silva’s 73rd minute equaliser. It is one that will now need to be repeated on Wednesday when Swansea visit for the second leg.

I’m already past caring about the facts of our 2-1 defeat. We don’t really do match reports at the best of times and it won’t change anything raking through the bones of this one. I’m sure the players are hurting as much as the fans. For a beautiful moment in the first half we were there. For a more incredible period we had the last quarter hour to get the one goal which would have seen us reach the top flight, assuming things stayed the same at The Hawthorns. QPR somehow levelling things up at 2-2 in their game with West Brom. 

Pressure built. Excitement mounted. The clock moved on way, way too fast. And then, on 91, the most almighty cheer from Griffin Park. Yesssss. What a time to get it. We’d done it. Odd that Peter hadn’t announced the scorer but perhaps he’d been overcome with the emotion of the moment. This one we weren’t going to miss and we ran back indoors, just in time to see Barnsley players celebrating their late, late winner. Oh. Ahh. Move along, nothing to see here. It was a winner which, combined with other results, means their Championship survival is assured. 

Heartbreaking. A son in tears the likes of which I’ve never seen before. A season and a week that promised so much, over. For now. But to remain upset (an understandable emotion) won’t help Thomas Frank and his team. It overlooks the fact of our highest league finish since the 1930s. It ignores the simple truth that we are still alive. We are still in this one. We’ve still got our second bite at the cherry. We’re still in the play-offs. 

That’s where we face Swansea, who hit the top six late into the evening. Their 4-1 win at Reading, combined with Nottingham Forest going down by the same scoreline at home to Stoke City, means it is the Swans who make it by virtue of a quite remarkable goal difference swing. One has to feel for the fans at The City Ground. If we’re feeling it today just imagine what they must be going through. 

It was news that put a smile back on HB’s face this morning. He’d been truly worried about the prospect of facing them. As much for footballing reasons as the fact that they broke Sergi earlier in the season.

It’s brief today. No need to pad it out with all that good stuff about picking ourself up and getting back out there. West Bromwich Albion have gone up so congratulations to them. Our turn is next. We know how good this team are. How stunning they have been this campaign. Now it’s down to Thomas Frank to recharge his players and remind them what they are good at – winning football matches.

See you on Sunday when it all starts again.

Nick Bruzon  

5 Responses to “The morning after the night before.”

  1. jonathan July 23, 2020 at 8:18 am #

    Be positive Nick. We have had our best season for over 70 years. We have enjoyed watching fantastic games at Griffin Park and last August we would have bitten off anyone’s hand who had said that we would be in the play-offs. I have enjoyed watching football played by The Bees such as I have never seen for over 65 years of watching Brentford.
    I am looking forward to next season whichever division we play in.

  2. ROY BOLTER July 23, 2020 at 8:39 am #

    Same with me watched the Bees for 75 years, saw them in 1947 I was 5 dont remember much except ridging on the crossbar of my dads bike ,Im sure our day will come, we are still in the game, keep the faith…come on u beessssss

  3. Rod Davidson July 23, 2020 at 9:18 am #

    Failure comes as second nature to Brentford. Perhaps this excellent crop of players don’t realise how many times we have have had to suffer the rubbish of not fulfilling our dreams.
    Doncaster Rovers and the Trotter penalty with our own player’s distraught sitting on the pitch while ‘they’ all went mad with delight. Well it happened again last night !
    Do they know about the only team to use the winning dressing’ room at the Millenium Stadium, and then go on to lose. Do they know about the Wembley visits when we have been beaten each and every time- God knows how many times it is now- Wigan Athletic, Yeovil Town etc…etc.
    Do they realise that saying a goodbye to Griffin Park and all the vacant souls that wander around the place – from Joe James, Jim Towers, Ken Coote and every single fan from yesteryear- DEMAND A WIN IN OUR FINAL HOME GAME.
    So here is your chance. Kill off our taboos once and for all. Win away at Swansea, WIN AT HOME IN OUR FINAL GRIFFIN PARK match. And WIN AT WEMBLEY.
    Stir your hearts for one final effort, give every ounce of your soul to achieve this goal.
    You are a great team – be strong – be determined – be committed and be aware.
    History awaits you !

    • Rob Walker July 23, 2020 at 10:29 am #

      Amen to that!

  4. Paul Klein July 23, 2020 at 1:57 pm #

    Absolutely spot on… there’s no point in dwelling on what could have been. We have a third opportunity to be promoted so let’s be positive until it’s over one way or the other. We also need to be honest with ourselves that if after three opportunities to secure promotion we still haven’t succeeded then we’ve just not been good enough this time.

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