SWANSEA CITY 4 BRENTFORD 1

Donald Kerr was among the disappointed Bees fans in the Liberty Stadium.

 

It’s difficult to know where to start with a report on our defeat in Swansea. Given that it was on BBC Wales, there can be few fans that weren’t either there at the Liberty Stadium or didn’t watch on television the grasp we had on the game weaken and disappear within minutes of the start of the second half. It was not merely that our composure and control, so evident for 45 minutes, seemed to evaporate, but that we started to make so many uncharacteristic mistakes, and make a poor situation much worse. Everything we did well in the first half we seemed to forget the minute we gave away the disastrous second goal, and, of course, the red card ended any hope there was that we might get back in the game.

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BRENTFORD 1 ASTON VILLA 0

Bill Hagerty sees Bees score a last-gasp winner to ruin Dean Smith’s return to Griffin Park.

 

How to describe never-say-die Brentford’s performance as they dumped play-off contenders Aston Villa on their optimistic back-sides: sensational, astounding, thrilling, breathtaking, magnificent, incredible? No, it was better than that.

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NOTTINGHAM FOREST 2 BRENTFORD 1

Stewart Purvis sees Brentford’s unbeaten run of ten games come to an end.

Yet another early defensive slip-up cost the Bees a game they could have at least drawn. Clear winners in the stats in every category but goals, Brentford started too casually and left the comeback too late.
Nottingham Forest are big into ‘70s and ‘80s memorabilia: a Brian Clough statue, a Clough highlights video before the game, signage round the ground recording the trophies they won until these came to a dead halt in the early 1990s. Now they even have memorabilia management, ‘Forest Legends Are Back’ red and white scarves are on sale to mark the return of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane.. One of the advantages of Keane’s return, goodness knows there must also be disadvantages, is a well organised defence that anticipated every Brentford move until Sergi Canós came on.

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BRENTFORD 3 BARNET 1

Bill Hagerty sees Brentford dismiss those other Bees to reach the fifth round in another exciting FA Cup-tie  

 

A lesson learned the previous Saturday, when Brentford conceded two goals inside seven minutes before regrouping to thrash Blackburn Rovers, is fundamental: get your retaliation in first. When rugby legend Willie John McBride came up with the phrase he was advocating early physical response against a ferocious South African side, but just as effective was the Bees’ more cultivated interpretation: score two goals before they do.

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BRENTFORD 5 BLACKBURN ROVERS 2

Bill Hagerty sees the Bees avert disaster and swamp a startled Blackburn on a memorable afternoon at Griffin Park

 

It was an honour to attend Sergi Canos's birthday party, even though the celebrant himself didn’t turn up until late in the proceedings. The Spaniard’s contribution was joyous after the most extraordinary chain of events saw in-form – so the statistics suggested – Blackburn go from heroes to zeros as the Bees came back from being sucker-punched twice in the first seven minutes. 

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BARNET 3 BRENTFORD 3

Bill Hagerty sees a firecracker of a Cup-tie in which Brentford’s battle with the other Bees ends in stalemate and a return engagement at Griffin Park

 

It ain’t over till it’s over, said baseball legend Yogi Berra, for it to be echoed worldwide ever since. And this action-packed, error-strewn Cup-tie certainly ain’t. Those other Bees, comfortable in their own, National League skins, made the 71-place, three-division gap between the sides look a nonsense as they earned the right to start all over again next week at Griffin Park. 

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ROTHERHAM UNITED 2 BRENTFORD 4

Stewart Purvis was one of the 606 Bees fans who had an unusually good day out in Rotherham.

 

Passengers on the last London train out of Rotherham on Saturday night looked somewhat startled as ‘We Won Away’ echoed through the carriages. It was explained to them that this was indeed an unusual event, in fact the very first time this season that Brentford supporters had cause for a celebration after an away day -283 days since the last one- a whole three points not to mention four goals scored away.

If anybody had dared point out that it was only against Rotherham- beaten five-one at Brentford in their first game up from League One- they would have been reminded that before this game the Millers’ record of just two home league defeats was the joint lowest in the Championship. 

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BRENTFORD 3 STOKE CITY 1

 

Stewart Purvis was among the fans and the scouts who saw the Bees at their best.

Almost five months to the day Brentford went to Stoke, outclassed them but only got a draw. This weekend they didn’t just go one better but a whole lot better, totally demolishing a team that were once favourites for promotion and who fielded no fewer than ten players with extensive Premiership experience.

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BRENTFORD 1 OXFORD UNITED 0

At Griffin Park Stewart Purvis has a vision of a frightening future which he hopes will never happen.

If you woke up the morning after this transfer window closes and found your worse nightmares had come true and Brentford had sold Chris Mepham, Romaine Sawyers and Neal Maupay you might wonder how what was left of the squad would get on? For 68 minutes this weekend we had the chance to find out. As Premiership and Championship managers and coaches are now prone to do when drawn against lower league opponents in the FA Cup, Thomas Frank rested some key players against Oxford United from the relegation zone of League One .

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BRENTFORD 1 NORWICH CITY 1

 

Bill Hagerty sees the Bees maintain a proud Bank Holiday record while putting the frighteners on Championship high flyers Norwich 

 

What a difference a New Year’s Day makes. Having never been beaten in a League match at Griffin Park when played on this date, Brentford produced a first-half performance as good as any seen this season. Norwich, perched in second place in the league table, were bamboozled. Any unbiased stranger would have been convinced that the home side, rather than the visitors, might be bound for the Premiership.

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