Tag Archives: Cheltenham

Dean’s Forss-Field keeps Cheltenham out as Forest await. Lionel Road delay sees extended life at Griffin Park.

29 Aug

Brentford ensured progression to the third round of the league cup on Tuesday night after victory over Cheltenham Town by the the odd goal in one, i.e. 1-0. It was as comprehensive a performance of build-up play as they come despite the solitary mark on the scoresheet. Only over complication in front of goal and a solid display from fan favourite Scott Flinders (who would have stopped just about anything coming at him, even a small child) kept the visitors in it until the final whistle. Yet with Nottingham Forest to come next in the league, perhaps the main thing was putting Saturday’s first Championship defeat (1-0 at Blackburn Rovers) behind us and marking a return to winning ways.

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Griffin Park always looking great under lights

Dean Smith was taking no chances on this one. The last thing we needed with a potato skin like this was his going ‘full Marinus’. Instead, the bench was chock full of first teamers whilst the likes of Chris Mepham, Nico Yennaris, Lewis Macleod and Said Benrahma all started alongside familiar faces Alan Judge, Josh Clarke, Tom Field and newboy Julian Jeanvier.  With Neal Maupay serving the second game of his three match stint out, Marcus Forss returned once more following his debut at Blackburn.

Indeed, it was French central defender Jeanvier who grabbed the game’s only goal, providing the final touch to a goalmouth melee just prior to half time. It was a strike that our performance had suggested was coming. Benrahma in particular enjoying the freedom of Griffin Park as the visitors sat deep and invited Brentford to come at them. Wave after wave of attack was repelled as our own pretty football was rewarded with everything but the finishing touch. Sometimes we don’t need to walk it in!

That said, final stats of 13 shots on target compared to none for Cheltenham tell their own story although it didn’t feel like that sort of game. Comfortable, yes. But without that second goal there was always the danger of being caught by the sucker punch equaliser. Had the visitors perhaps thrown the kitchen sink at it ten minutes earlier than the last knockings of a game they were always in,  there would have been a very real chance of taking it to those immediate penalties (no extra time here). But with a Brentford team including the combination of Forss-Field in the starting XI, perhaps there was never any danger of Luke Daniels’ goal being breached.

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Rare Cheltenham attacks were snuffed out

Still, we’re through and that’s the main thing. The draw for Round 3 is on Thursday evening at 7pm which is when all the Premier league’s top clubs, and also Arsenal, join in the fun. No doubt everybody will be hoping for a trip to an Old Trafford or Anfield. Perhaps a visit from Chelsea, Fulham or Manchester City. Instead, it’ll probably be Middlesbrough away.

Of more immediate interest is what Dean Smith learned about his side ahead of the visit from Nottingham Forest on Saturday. They are one of just three unbeaten Championship sides (see also: Leeds united and Middlesbrough) and now find themselves a point behind the eighth placed Bees as the table starts to slowly settle down. So who will Dean go with? The same XI as at Blackburn? A different option up top? Could he be tempted to entertain the return of Josh McEachran to his Championship team? How about Sergi Canos who must be chomping at the bit to get a run out in what will be the last game before international break? Whomever Dean picks, the Bees are likely to be facing infinitely more testing opponents. On paper.

Then again, on paper last night should have been a cake walk but Cheltenham contained us and almost nicked an equaliser late on. Don’t let paper or reputation fool you for a second. Goals are all what counts when it comes to winning games. Banging them in and keeping them out. A simple enough philosophy but all the pretty play in the world means naff all if you do get caught with your pants down at one-nil up. But we didn’t. We’re through and that’s the important thing. It was really nice also to see several familiar fan faces out and about in the second half – you know who you are if you are reading (unlikely, but..). It’s great that people retain that love for the Bees and always a mark of what the current regime are currently doing that they continue to inspire such passion amongst the fans.

These are exciting times at Griffin Park. We’ve had an impressive start in the league and are 90 minutes away from equalling our furthest ever league cup run (round four). We have a new home on the horizon, even if if our moving in date has been put back to the start of the 2020/21 campaign as was announced yesterday.  This is no surprise to anyone who has seen the, albeit impressive, work to date. Whilst the Lionel Road site is being developed at a rate of knots, we need to be realistic. Just look at the problems Tottenham now face as a result of trying to rush into their new home. You can read the full statement on Brentford official. No doubt more to come on this over the next day or so.

So one more full season at Griffin Park awaits once the current campaign comes to a close. Could it see top flight football? Who knows. Bring on Nottingham Forest this Saturday when we take the next step to discovering our football fate.

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Mark Fuller and Yoann Barbet do their respective things at full time

Nick Bruzon

Another cup defeat for Bees as Cheltenham – Charlton sees the night’s real winners.

10 Aug

Another season, another cup defeat. As Exeter City eased past Brentford to reach the second round of the EFL cup, Bees supporters were left with the scant consolation that at least we can concentrate on the league until January. Given some of the post match soundbites, I was half expecting to see that one put in an appearance alongside “We go again”. And elsewhere, Cheltenham Town produced the result of the evening against Charlton Athletic – in their programme .

Hey, at least we got to 90 minutes without conceding a goal. The ignominy of defeat coming with the solitary goal of the evening being tucked away late in the first period of extra time. Harlee Dean was quick to apologise, noting “It wasn’t good enough again. We didn’t create chances and we didn’t test their goalkeeper”, although he did go on to add that “I think as a defensive unit we were solid”…..

To read the rest of this article, season 2016/17 is now available for download on e-book in the retrospective: Welcome Home, King Jota (Brentford FC season review 2016/17)
 
Priced at just £1.99, all sales are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.

Likewise any sales from the previous titles – Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14), Tales from the football village (2014/15) and Ready. Steady. Go Again. (2015/16) – are also now going to the BFCCST.

Containing the least bad of the blogs from May 16 to May 17, you can pick it up, here. Its all for a great cause and,hey, you may even enjoy it…..

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The Sky cameras show our latest attempt at the unorthodox

 

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Nick Bruzon

Can we take advantage of today’s table top clashes?

14 Mar

Cardiff City today visit a Brentford team hoping to see if any breathing space can be found at the top of the Championship table. With the top four all on 66 points (and the next three breathing down their necks) something, finally, has to give as Norwich entertain Derby County and Ipswich Town travel to Middlesbrough. Championship leaders Bournemouth have the easiest task, on paper, as they welcome league whipping boys Blackpool.

To read the rest of this article, season 2014/15 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full. Containing additional material and even some (poor) editing, you can get it here for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme or Balti Pie.

Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, I need to make more space on the site for any follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further on.

Forget the horses and Cameron Diaz. There’s mascot news

11 Mar

I spent a lot of  yesterday on social media, principally looking for early news about Brentford v Cardiff City on Saturday. To be quite honest, if you aren’t into horses (I’m not) it was like a wasteland out there.

There was nothing but tips and Cheltenham. Lucky punters showing off about their winnings and unlucky ones moaning about how much a loser had ‘cost’ them (and I know I’m a pedant but you’ve lost nothing except your stake – money you never had can’t be lost).

As for Ruby…. It (or as it later turned out, he) was everywhere. At times it felt as though, impossibly, the Kaiser Chiefs were trending. You couldn’t move for: Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby.

Not only was it a horse fest, I then had to think about the Kaiser Chiefs

Not only was it a horse fest, I then had to think about the Kaiser Chiefs

Good luck to horse fans. It’s not my thing and, at a time when I really needed social media to keep me sane, the only nag related piece of entertainment came from John Inverdale. The normally open shirted, chest-wigged commentator had a bit “of a ‘mare” live on the radio. Or what he called ‘ a slip of the tongue’.

And then it happened. I’ve still not got over the news about Cameron Diaz and the revelations about her support (or lack of) for Brentford. However, it would seem we have a new name in the frame to make up the ‘fab four’ of famous fans alongside Dean Gaffney, Rhino from The Quo and Natalie Sawyer.

Could Diaz be replaced on the celebrity Bees montage?

Could Diaz be replaced on the celebrity Bees montage?

Comedian Michael Legge (@michaelLegge on twitter) isn’t, it would be fair to say, a football fan. However, he has undertaken the mission to ‘get into it” as part of a Comic Relief fund raising effort.

Not only has he now chosen the Bees as his team to follow but, on Saturday against Cardiff City, he’s going to be a mascot. Not donning the Buzzette costume but walking out alongside the players and, one would imagine, captain Jonathan Douglas.

Presumably appearing in full kit (there’s no finer sight than a ‘grown up’ non-player sporting complete football apparel on match day), this will be his first ‘league’ game.

We have a new fan

We have a new fan

You can read about Michael falling in love with the game of football whilst I’d also recommend a listen to his work on the Dave Gorman podcast (episode 127 – Knights in Shining Armour from 17/07/12 , feat. Hunter from Gladiators, being a particular favourite) .

Whatever your thoughts about adult mascots, this is all for a great cause and there is a just giving page available. I’m sure we’ll hear more about Michael’s visit in the build up to the Cardiff City game.

And there was me thinking the only comic relief on Saturday was going to be Russell Slade.

Russell Slade - has gone down in Brentford legend

Russell Slade – has gone down in Brentford legend

Can The Bees make it (lager) top against MK Dons?

29 Dec

Brentford had a brief taste on Boxing Day but with Wolves hosting Leyton Orient at Molineux today, something has to give at the top of League One.

Until Wolves wrapped it up in the 90th minute against bottom side Crewe and Late-on Orient also won at the death, Brentford had led the table for the first time this season. This is some progress from the twelve-point gap of a few weeks ago and, should the Bees win at home today, at the very least we will end the year in second place.

MK Dons are no mugs, of course. Their mid-table position disguises the fact that they have taken the full nine points on offer from the last three games. This also included doing us the favour of winning 2-0 at Wolves. Chuck into the mix the return of Karl Robinson, after last year’s bizarre incident

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.

“Nobody wants to see THAT”

28 Aug

As gloating goes, it really was missing the point somewhat. Walking into the office on Wednesday morning, I was rounded on by my West Ham supporting boss (whose team edged past Cheltenham 2-1) and a Gillingham supporting co-worker (whose team didn’t even make the second round), keen to try and rub it in about the League Cup result at Derby. To be honest though, I didn’t mind. It’s the biggest cliché in football that a side can now ‘concentrate on the league’ but the fact of the matter is, that’s exactly what I was thinking.

Listening to the slightly flat sounding commentary on Tuesday, I’d been quite convinced that Uwe had done the right thing with the side he named. It was a chance to test youth and squad players in a cup we had no realistic chance of winning, whilst avoiding any further injury to those likely to start at the weekend.

So why then, 24 hours later, does it suddenly feel rather hollow given it was a team selection I agreed with and a headache of a tournament we don’t need?

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.