Bill Hagerty welcomes Bees storming to top the Championship table in first game of the new season

Brentford 5 Rotherham 1

England didn’t hang about winning in a spectacular finish on the third day of the first Test match against India, leaving plenty of time for a pint on the way to Griffin Park for Brentford’s season opener.

‘Trouble is,’ mused my mate Charlie, ‘how are Brentford going to compete with that for class and excitement and not leave us with that old anti-climatic feeling?’

Answer: they could and indeed did, dismantling their Yorkshire visitors with a performance that almost eradicated from memory last season’s dismal beginning – five defeats and two draws in a seven-match run. After all, that was then and now is now.




Bill Hagerty sees the Bees gift Watford two goals to give Premier League visitors a fortunate victory


The last pre-season friendly before the start of the new season was anything but, or so it seemed after half-an-hour when Romaine Sawyers and Watford’s Argentinian midfielder Roberto Pereyra engaged in a personal pushing and shoving contest – a decidedly unfriendly incident. Only to be expected when the Bees meet the Hornets, said my mate Charlie, and one that earned a stinging rebuke from referee Gavin Ward.


But this turned out to be the only unpleasantness in a lively, competitive game that Brentford – the better side for most of the 90 minutes – should have won. Sadly, a cluster of wasted chances and two embarrassing defensive errors saw the home side slide to a disappointing defeat. Now where have we heard that before?





Bill Hagerty watches the Bees work hard but get scant reward against League One returnees Wycombe


With memories of a spectacular World Cup still fresh, a spectator’s return to domestic football promised to be no more exciting than the usual pre-season friendly. But, hey, this was a pre-season friendly that occasionally sparked into pre-season hostility. The home side, patently still celebrating their promotion, crackled with energy. Brentford, realising this was no stroll in Adams Park, responded in kind. 


Dean Smith’s eleven for the first half looked promising, with Luke Daniels – the lone survivor for 90 minutes – grabbing his chance to challenge Daniel Bentley between the posts, and new signing Ezri Konsa, an authoritative six-footer bringing welcome height to the defence.


The bench was uncommonly crowded, this being a substitute-friendly fixture, so much so that the sight of players jogging the touchline to the corner and back signified nothing except a probable shortage of seats. Ryan Woods, not listed on the team-sheet for unexplained reasons, remained an enthusiastic dugout spectator throughout.


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