BRENTFORD 0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1

Bill Hagerty sees the Bees edged out with a sloppy performance that ended a three-match winning run

 

Huddersfield-born Harold Wilson, twice prime minister in the second half of the last century, is credited with commenting 'A week is a long time in politics'.  How true, as recent events have shown, but as those faithful followers of Brentford’s fortunes in the club’s last season at Griffin Park might wryly observe, three weeks in football seems interminable for those shackled to the topsy-turvy world of the Championship. 

Victors over Millwall – three goals in a blissful final ten minutes – Swansea City and Queen’s Park Rangers suggested that Thomas Franks side was finally on the up. Huddersfieldhaving put together a useful unbeaten run that lifted them out of the relegation zone, proved otherwise. Suddenly, the Bees are on the down again. Such are the vagaries of the game.

Brentford started well enough and after ten minutes or so a flash of Said Benrahma magic and his hastily blocked shot signalled what looked like the establishment of a marked superiorityThe Terriers’ defence (interesting fact: the first of that famous Yorkshire dog was bred in the Huddersfield area) looked stretched and at the other end if was half-an-hour before David Raya was required to do more than contemplate what might be on the menu for supper.

Frenetic and untidy, the game had little to offer in the way of spectacle other than Julian Jeanvier’s shocking pink boots, sadly reflecting some of the alarming passing that soon crept into the home side’s repertoire. 

Into the second half and a Benrahma shot that sped past keeper Kamil Grabara like a bullet, only to fly wide, and another effort, set up by a superb Ollie Watkins’ back flick, was saved. The visitors looked rattled and when new manager Danny Cowley made defensive adjustments from the bench it seemed they were concentrating on securing a point.

How wrong can one be? Round about the hour mark, a chain-reaction of defensive blunders saw Karlan Grant plunder his ninth goal of the season with a low shot beyond Raya’s reach. The home crowd, until then busy with chants of ‘Thereonly one Alex Pritchard’ in warm welcome for the former Brentford favourite currently languishing on the visitors bench (and destined to remain there)now urged on a Brentford attack that had been spluttering like a defunct firework.

Could Watkins, already ten goals in credit, rescue a point or two? No, as couldn’t Bryan Mbeumo, as busy as a worker ant but quicker, or even Benrahma, although during the six minutes added he bamboozled Grabara into starting a dive one way, only to brilliantly change direction to keep out the shot. 

That shut the door at the Last Chance Saloon and so Brentford reoccupthirteenth place in the division table, while Huddersfield continue an admirable resurgence by moving up to eighteenth.

Yet despite the on and off, but mostly on, swirling rain, the afternoon had begun so promisingly for all presentThe home crowd and a packed visitors’ enclosure behaved impeccably during a Remembrance weekend salute to the brave players and other staff of either club who gave their lives in two world wars. 

A minute’s silence, with not a peep from the 11.727 fans present, was flanked by the playing of The Last Post and then Reveille’ by a military musician resplendent in full and handsome uniformMost moving, it was, and many a tear was shed, although not necessarily the volume of weeping prompted by the sporting let-down of the following ninety minutes.

My mate Charlie, not known to mince words, doubtless spoke for many when he delivered his verdict. ‘RemembranceNo offence, but when it comes to the football, this was one to forget.

 

Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Jeanvier, Henry, Mokotjo (sub Valencia Castillo) Norgaard,Dasilva (Jensen)Mbeumo (Zaburek), Watkins, Benrahma.

Huddersfield Town: Grabara, Simpson, Elphick, SchindlerBrown (Hadergjonaj), Bacuna(Chalobah), Hogg, Kachunga, O’Brien, Grant, Campbell (Diakhaby).