HULL CITY 2 BRENTFORD O

Stewart Purvis huddled into a corner of the KCOM stadium with other Bees fans to see yet another Brentford away defeat.

 

A severe weather warning had been issued with snow expected in the Hull area, Brentford were on a winless away run that went back eight months, many fans including the leaders of the faithful Beesotted crew had decided that an away day to East Yorkshire a fortnight before Christmas was one they could miss. The forecast was not good for the Bees football or weatherwise. Well it didn’t snow but just about everything else that was predicted happened.The fans who trekked in the rain from the city centre to a windswept stadium were prepared for more disappointment and that’s exactly what they got.

Thomas Frank gave Jeanvier his first starting berth at centre-back since September by resting Konsa.  Mokotjo was in for McEachran as the Head Coach opted for a more defensively minded defensive midfielder. Kevin O’Connor took his new place as number three among the first team coaches.

Brentford started the brightest with Benrahma going close after four minutes. The away end fans were encouraged enough to sing about all those long out of date Northern stereotypes. The state of the fishing industry got a more topical Brexit mention. 

In recent weeks Brentford’s Danish World Cup international has emerged as the man most likely to be blamed for defeat and the word about him must have spread north. The Hull programme highlighted that Henrik Dalsgaard would have to face Polish international left-winger Kamil Grosicki who impressed in the Premiership during Hull’s days there. After just 12 minutes the Hull winger caught Dalsgaard slightly out of position, cut inside and mis-hit a shot at goal, Bentley went down to his right, the ball went to his left and Fraizer Campbell just had to tap it home. Eight minutes later Grosicki went past Dalsgaard again and tried to curve a shot around Bentley. The keeper could only parry it, Campbell buried it.

Bees fans now know to expect bad news in sets of three and the countdown began to what seemed the inevitable 3-0. It nearly happened on 27 minutes when Campbell had yet another chance but this time Bees were spared a trio of disasters. Thomas Frank, normally a constant patroller of his box, sought occasional refuge in the dugout from the weather and the score.Then Nico Yennaris was put through on goal by an interchange with Watkins only to fire it straight at Marshall.

In a set of extraordinary second half stats, Brentford had 76% of possession and more of everything else, passes, corners, free kicks-mostly Benramha trying to repeat that special one against Swansea- and goal attempts, but that Yennaris shot was to remain the only one on target in the whole match.

Frank conferred with Kevin O’Connor and Brian Riemer and tried various options as it got colder and wetter. Odubajo came on for Dalsgaard who took a revealingly long time to realise he’d been subbed. Mokotjo was replaced by Canos as Frank tried moving Watkins into the middle behind Maupay and Dasilva came on for Yennaris.

‘Thats why you’re going down’ sang the Hull fans as they saw the chance to leapfrog above Brentford in the table. ‘We want our Brentford back’ sang the away fans, mourning the form that once took them to the upper reaches of the Championship. In the middle of September we were second in the league, by the middle of December we’d fallen to three points above the relegation zone.

At the end a drenched and drained Danish head coach came over to salute the travelling fans. ‘Frank Out’ came the response from some of them.

Chris Mepham looked a disconsolate figure as he walked off at the end. Two days after he made an emotional contribution to the memorial event for the late Rob Rowan the centre-back said in an interview that this was a tough time for everyone associated with the club but ‘if we don’t keep the belief we’ll just keep going down and down the table’.

 

Hull City: Marshall, Kane, Elphick, Mazuch, Kingsley, Bowen, Henriksen, Batty (sub Fleming), Grosicki (Stewart), Irvine, Campbell (Keane).

Brentford: Bentley, Henry, Mepham, Yennaris (Dasilva), Maupay, Watkins, Mokotjo (Canos), Sawyers, Benrahma, Dalsgaard (Odubajo), Jeanvier.