BRENTFORD 1 BRISTOL CITY 1

Stewart Purvis was among the biggest midweek crowd for 14 years who saw the Bees fail to hold on for a win.

What do you do when you arrive at your usual seat in Griffin Park to find Thierry Henry sitting in it. Shout ‘Thierry Henry stole my seat’? Maybe politely ask the people with him if they are in the right row. Fortunately this was enough to move the Arsenal and France legend into the right place in the Braemar Road stand. Suddenly everyone around spotted him and was asking ‘why exactly is Thierry Henry watching Brentford?’.
We then turned to the other  big issue at Brentford : are we better with 3 centre-backs plus 2 wing backs or the traditional four at the back. There was to be a sting in the tail that left us not much wiser about that too.
The Bees started with 4, Jansson and Jeanvier flanked by Dalsgaard and our own Henry, young Rico. Josh Dasilva replaced Mathias Jensen in midfield and Kamo Mokotjo kept the place he’d won at Barnsley. But this was not to be Kamo’s game, he was strangely quiet and was subbed in the second half. 
Most of the opening action was on Brentford’s left flank with Henry making lots of bold runs and Said Benrahma linking well with him without creating many clear cut chances. Sergi Canos ended up on the left too as he chased and retrieved an over hit corner but the Bees attack couldn’t force the ball home. 
For the second home game running David Raya prevented a goal when he faced a one-on-one attacker, this time it was City’s Kasey Palmer who was through after Rico Henry made a big mistake in the centre of midfield.
But in the second half it was the other goalkeeper, Daniel Bentley returning to Griffin Park, who was at the centre of the action. In the 56th minute Bees fans saw the worst then the best of their former goalie. He dropped a deflected cross, the ball fell to Christian Norgaard who struck it well only to see Bentley fly to the right hand corner to push it wide. There was more of Bentley to come later.
Brentford pushed on and Dasilva picked up a pass from Dalsgaard in his favourite spot, just outside the right hand corner of the penalty box. Regulars knew what was coming next, they remembered it from the B team game against Malmo, they’d seen it repeated at Millwall, probably Bentley knew too but could do nothing as the shot curled round him into the corner of the net. Cue wild celebrations. ‘Bentley,Bentley what’s the score’ sang the Ealing Road choir. 
Jensen who’d come on for Mokotjo was moving the ball around better and the Bees were calm as they defended their lead. Which is more than could be said for Bristol’s Jack Hunt as he retaliated against a Canos tackle with a sweep of the arm that sent the Spaniard cascading into the front row of the Paddock. Both were booked which seemed a bit rough on Sergi. Bentley consoled his old team mate.
Two minutes later Canos was subbed and on came Ethan Pinnock to strengthen the defence. It all seemed very sensible at the time but it just may have cost us the full three points. With less than 5 of the 90 minutes left to go, Dasilva did something silly on the right touch line. He tried to make a clever back heel pass when he could have let the ball run out. It gave possession to City who moved forward and struck a cross into the heart of the Bees penalty area. Extraordinarily there were three Bees centre backs on the pitch and none of them was anyway near Andreas Weimann as he headed past Raya. Henry was seen to be having words with Dasilva afterwards.
At the other end Bentley was making lots of good saves to stop Brentford from grabbing a late winner. When the game ended the former Bees keeper exchanged applause with the Ealing Road crowd and hugs with his old teammates.
Thierry Henry had slipped away into the night on the 77th minute, missing the equaliser but revealing that he was looking for a coaching job. Good luck to him.

Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Jeanvier, Henry; Mokotjo (sub Jensen 69) , Nørgaard, Dasilva ( Mbeumo); Canós (Pinnock ) Watkins, Benrahma

Bristol City: Bentley; Hunt, Moore (Eliasson) Williams, Baker, Rowe; Brownhill, Massengo ( O’Dowda) ), Semenyo (sub Diédhiou) ; Weimann, Palmer