Brentford 3, Luton Town 1

One down, three to go, Yarmoliuk hares through the Hatters Hat’s off to Bees Having been given a dusting by Liverpool and then edged out by Arsenal, the Bees were patently determined of getting back to winning ways. They need not have worried. Last season qualifiers for the Premier League, The Hatters – so named because of the town’s history in the titfer trade – have been struggling since its start and their visit to the Gtech Community Stadium did nothing to suggest happier days were imminent. The first half saw Brentford dominate the visitors, creating a string of chances without converting any of them into goals. Early on, Bryan Mbeumo came close, firing a shot past a post. Sadly, this has not been exactly a rarity in his game, but the paucity of Luto

Brentford 3, West Ham United 2

Players and fans salute the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal's Last Post Hammers’ bubbles burst Three matches, three victories, nine points – that’s all it took to see the Bees emerge from the doldrums into Premier League sunshine. Following a three-nil limbering up against Burnley – even the presence of celebrity Alastair Campbell couldn’t disguise the Lancashire club’s deficiencies – followed by the courageous 2-0 turnaround against Chelsea, the Bees resumed their pattern of invariably getting the better of the pride of East London. On this occasion they managed it with a much-needed goal by Neal Maupay, who hadn’t scored a PL goal since last September (for Everton) and must have been thinking he’d lost the knack. He has played well in his

Brentford 3, Burnley 0

Image above: Burnley's Roberts before his second yellow card Third Season: Singing in the rain ‘Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink’, said my mate Charlie as Brentford’s secured their first victory since 19 August to the accompaniment of torrents from the skies. It could have been worse: had the clouds decided to join the afternoon action nearer the kick-off, a flotilla of small boats might have been required to rescue the players and match officials from a flood. As it was, the Bees found some of the form enjoyed in promising performances at the beginning of the season, most satisfying a 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage. But that was then and now was now, when supporters were busy calculati

Brentford 0, Arsenal 1

Image above: Brentford v Arsenal, Wednesday 27 September 2023; still from YouTube video EFL Cup: Third Round Following a dismal performance against Everton, Brentford set out to re-establish themselves as a power in the Premier League. The fixture list dictated they would have to take on Arsenal in a third-round tie of the ELF Cup to achieve such lofty ambition, but hey, who said it would be easy? Not Arsenal, that’s certain. Head coach Mikel Arteta fielded a starting line-up that lacked some of his squad’s more glittering talents but still presented a lesson in slick passing that made the home team – only a couple of changes from the Everton game – look like… well, look very much like the same bunch that had been unceremoniously thumped 3-1. Aaron R

Brentford 1, Everton 3

Off to a bad start with Schade injured in the warm up Third Season ... Second Defeat The first omen of the day arrived in the match programme, where Alex Lawes warned that beating struggling Everton might not be as straightforward as form and the League table suggest. Then, in the warm-up, Kevin Schade took a tumble and received treatment on the pitch before disappearing at a limp towards the dressing room. Uh, oh! If one was to count the devastating injury suffered by Rico Henry at Newcastle, this made a hat-trick of bad luck (a quartet if including the renewed injury problem of Ben Mee), which as anyone’s superstitious mum would tell them, signalled potential disaster. Never doubt the foresight of those superstitious mothers. When the football got underway

Brentford 2, AFC Bournemouth 2

Image above by Liz Vercoe Third Season: Last gasp catch-up The good news is that the Bees’ unbeaten record in this fledgling Premier League season remains intact. The bad news is that missed chances and a collection of defensive errors meant only a late, late show of Bryan Mbeumo’s undoubted talent enabled them to pocket a point. For the uncommitted fan, there was much to admire in this late summer contest at the Gtech Community Stadium. Bournemouth, with only a point gathered from the three games played prior to this one, offered a lesson in immaculate passing that often had the home defence scuttling about like headless chickens in their own penalty area. Brentford, meanwhile, scored an early goal, conce

Brentford 1, Crystal Palace 1

Image above: Celebrating Kevin Schade's goal; picture Brentford FC Third Season: Honours even There were two outstanding incidents in a match that rarely excited – one of those encounters that linger in the memory for no more than a few minutes. The first surprise was a ferocious cloudburst that sent many supporters of both camps scurrying to the back of the stands. The second was a Brentford goal that may well figure highly next May in TV viewers’ polls to decide the best of the season. First, the rain, which drenched thousands without any of them realising the irony following the delay in starting the first game if the new season – no water was to be had anywhere in the stadium or the sky. Fortunately, Kevin Schade’s goal was so grand that all memory o

Brentford 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2

Henry returns as fast and furious as ever Third Season: Here we go again! As I was saying before being rudely interrupted by the cricket season, what a terrific campaign Brentford conducted in finishing ninth in what was only their second Premier League experience. Was it a footballing flash in the pan? And can it be repeated, or even improved upon, in the months ahead?  Read on for the highlights of a 2023/24 debut, during which these questions were not necessarily answered but gave us a hint or two. But first, to set the scene, a few quirky pre-match points – quirky because we are talking Brentford, after all. The matchday programme, for example, in which the squad lists on its back page did not include their shirt numbers. Confusing for those who don’t

Brentford 1, Manchester City 0

Goalkeeper Raya, team captain for the day, v City's Walker Second Season: Glorious Finale So near, but oh, so far. Brentford would have to beat the Premier League champions, and then Spurs and Aston Villa lose, for them to be leapfrogged into a position that would deliver a place in next season’s Europa Conference League. With manager Pep Guardiola allowing some of his key players having a rest day and others to sit on the bench, the Bees duly delivered. Spurs and Aston Villa duly didn’t, both achieving last-day victories. But were the home side, and the Gtech Stadium home crowd, disappointed? Not a bit. The post-match celebrations of ninth place in the League, and now the only team to have beaten City home and away during a spectacular season, might easil

Brentford 2, West Ham United 0

The team lead out the future generation of fans and players... Second Season: Stand-in Superstar The afternoon began with a shock: Ivan Toney was not in the starting line-up. Worse, he wasn’t in the list of substitutes either. Woe was almost tangible among the home side’s supporters. But not to worry – the sorcerer’s apprentice was on hand to spearhead the Bees’ late-season bid to finish ahead of West London rival clubs in the Premier League table. Especially Fulham! said my mate Charlie. Bryan Mbeumo’s undoubted talent has too often been hidden by the wizardry of Toney, his up-front partner and football professor when they trained together. Against the Hammers, it was left to Mbeumo to run the show, with Yoanne Wissa and Kevin Schade as his willin

Brentford 2, Nottingham Forest 1

When push comes to shove: Kevin Schade wins the ball Second Season: Late, Late Show This report of a remarkable match needs to start with five of seven dramatic added minutes. Brentford’s history is littered with do-or-die moments, when victory was snatched from the jaws of a draw, and this was a prime example, when a smash-and-grab goal from Josh Dasilva wrecked Nottingham Forest’s day and quite possibly consigned them to the Championship next season. Dominating the game for most of the second half, registering 69 per cent possession and eight shots on target to the visitors’ three, the Bees went into the extra time like a bunch of marauding pirates. Forest, to their credit, fought valiantly to stem the tide, until substitute Josh Dasilva appeared to be

Brentford 1, Aston Villa 1

Image above: Frank Onyeka and Rico Henry driving forward Second Season - It's Football! It was a heart in the mouth moment, especially for 21-year-old winger Kevin Schade. Stand-in goalkeeper Robin Olsen having spilled the ball as Schade bore down on him, the Brentford winger ran clear and – horrors! – clipped the ball wide of a gaping net. Poor Schade. Until then he had been contributing his height, speed and ever-improving technique to a three-man attack that saw both Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo benefit enormously as the winger caused havoc from the right flank. Lucky Olsen. Having replaced Emiliano Martinez when the first-choice keeper and World Cup-winner was taken ill at the interval, he survived the

Brentford 1 – Newcastle 2

Image above: Brentford v Newcastle United Second Season - Goal glut and gloom A South Coast spectacular – six goals, with the Bees never behind – augured well for the remains of the eight-day fixture jam that could see them climb close to the Premier League’s top half-dozen. The Brighton experience on the first day of the month proved yet again that Brentford can live with the best – no April Fools they. Goals from Matthias Jensen, Ivan Toney and Ethan Pinnock seemed likely to be enough to capture the three points at the Amex Stadium; until Alexis Mac Allister snatched a last-minute penalty to even the score, that is. And, sadly, it was a prelude to two disappointing encounters against division high-flyers, each of which saw odd-goal defeats for Brentf

Brentford 1, Leicester City 1

Post warm up, Toney leads  Second season: points go missing Picking up where they left off – unbeaten at home since last October – the Bees remained in eighth place in the Premier League table after entertaining the team they came from behind to twice equalise in their first match of the season. Only a point behind Brighton and Liverpool, well that isn’t bad. No, but it isn’t what the Bees’ faithful wanted, or expected. Three points from a team languishing in the lower reaches of the division would have seen Brentford reaching sixth spot, with the possibility of competing in Europe next season still more than a dream. The truth is that Leicester deserved to go home with a point in the bank, even though Leeds United’s win at Wolves meant the Foxes

Brentford 3, Fulham 2

Image above: Bees v Fulham: it's the big one Second season: Derby delight What a season this is constantly proving to be. Unbeaten in a dozen matches, the Bees can look back on the dismantling of most of the Premier League front runners, starting with Manchester United in the second game of the season. Okay, 4-0 doesn’t look quite so glamorous following Liverpool’s 7-0 thrashing of United – currently third in the table – but let’s remember that Brentford beat the other Reds 3-1 in January – and that was without the injured Ivan Toney. There’s more, including a 2-1 victory

Brentford 1, Crystal Palace 1

 Image above: Josh Dasilva in defence Second Season: Hard Cheese By Bill Hagerty After dealing satisfactorily with the League’s big cheeses, Brentford set out to dispense with one of the mature, but not fearfully so, cheddars. Manager Patrick Viera’s south Londoners have had a cracker-barrel of a season so far, but twelfth spot in the table and thirteen wins or draws against nine defeats suggested overall tasteful performances, rather than ones with a ferocious bite. How wrong can one be? Constantly looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone, Palace are

Brentford 3, Southampton 0

Images above: Aaron Hickey joins the starting 11, Captain Christian Nørgaard takes early control Second Season: Saints all at sea Funny game, football, in many ways. We have earlier discussed how teams riding the crest of a wave can suddenly plunge into the doldrums. Or vice versa. But how about the strange case of Southampton, a side that looked doomed as it lost one Premier League game after another but found form to do well in both of the major cup competitions. Having beaten Manchester City on their way to the quarter-finals of the EFL trophy, the Saints fell at that hurdle when N

Brentford 2, Bournemouth 0

Image: Warm up for pundits and players alike Confident but humble, that was head coach Thomas Frank’s description of his team’s attitude after they had eased their way into eighth place in the Premier League table. Confident? With Ivan Toney back in the side after his short injury lay-off, the Bees shook off a familiar hesitant start to dominate opposition beset by nervousness born of languishing just a point away from the relegation zone. Humble? Certainly there was little swagger and few frills evident as they ground out a win at a rain-swept Gtech Stadium. As always, late kick-off fixtures such as this have a glamorous sheen, especially when dark has fallen enough to make the floodlights display prior to the teams taking to the field emphasise a grand occasion

Brentford 3, Liverpool 1

Second season: onward and upward What a game, what a result, what an occasion! Don’t be complacent – by the time you read this, Fulham and Brighton will have played catch-up games that if won would see them leapfrog the Bees. In the meantime, seventh place in the Premier League table is the stuff dreams are made off throughout Bus Stops in Hounslow. Brentford’s run of form began just before the World Cup hiatus when Ivan Toney scored twice for a 2-1 win at Premier League champions Manchester City. Soundly beating Liverpool at the Gtech Stadium can be considered every bit a fine achievement, especially as this time out they were without Toney, nursing a leg injury suffered at West Ham that relegated him to a seat in the stand. Many of those also watching were fearful

Brentford 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2

Images above: Brentford celebrating after a goal; photographs Will Hagerty Second Season: Back to the Future The sky was blue and so was the away strip of the visitors. Christmas had been celebrated and Boxing Day action beckoned. All was right at the Gtech Stadium, with sunshine helping to set the scene for the resumption of activities. Now, where are we… Seven weeks since kicking a ball in anger, the Bees set out to resume where they had left off. A big ask, considering their 2-1 demolition of Manchester City was probably the most notable away victory in the club’s history, but a demand they answered splendidly for five minutes over an hour. It took that long for Brentford to establish a two-goal lead and Spurs – slow starters who have turned overcomin

Brentford 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Image above: Come on you Beeees! Big, Bad Wolves Sorry to report, but precious little happened in the first half at the Gtech Stadium. Josh Dasilva shot wide, Ivan Toney received a sweet cross from Bryan Mbeumo but failed to capitalise on it, Matthias Jensen developed a left-leg limp and was replaced by midfield bright spark Mikkel Damsgaard. That sort of thing. All very ho-hum, with the only diversion from the drab football goings-on being a noticeable quirk among the Wolves players, which demands rolling about on the ground – whimpering in pain, or so it seemed – whenever despatched there by an opponent. So let’s forget all that and concentrate on a second period that provided a couple of goals, some crackerjack attacking and defending incidents and en

Brentford 0, Chelsea 0

Image above: Before the match How refreshing to see two gentlemen coaches respecting one another and two teams battling ferociously, but mostly fairly – not a punishment card in sight – to draw a thrilling match at the Gtech Stadium last Wednesday at the end of which nobody could seriously dispute the outcome. First, the camaraderie between Brentford’s Thomas Frank and the recently appointed Graham Potter, of Chelsea. Before kick-off they shared a pitch-side microphone to swap compliments about each other and their opposing teams. The warmth Brentford fans feel towards Frank is well known throughout the Premier League – ‘We’ve got super Thomas Frank’, sincerely, if somewhat tunelessly sang the home crowd – and Potter, with a reputation already establis

Brentford 2, Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Image above: Thomas Frank said: "Bring your scarves" Two more for Toney What a terrific way to say sorry. Following a 1-5 drubbing at Newcastle the previous week, the Bees swarmed all over the south coast tourists to hoist themselves up to eighth in the Premiership. (okay, perhaps for only a few days, but you get the message). Coach Thomas Frank had publicly ticked off his side for their lacklustre showing at St James’ Park, calling for a quality performance to compensate the loyal fans who had given their customary supercharged support after travelling to the north-east. An error-littered defeat demanded no less. Which is why the first overture light show to illuminate a Premier League evening game at the Gtech Stadium this season may have lifted the spiri

Brentford 0, Arsenal 3

Bees outgunned The day started so splendidly. Prolonged applause as the two teams took to the pitch. A respectful hush during the silent tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth (apart from one moving murmur from a puzzled young voice). A bright start from Brentford, with an Ivan Toney header from a Rico Henry cross arriving too close to keeper Aaron Ramsgate, but an indication that the Bees meant business. And then just after the quarter-hour the visitors had to go and spoil everything when a header brimming with finesse from William Saliba converted Bukayo Saka’s corner. David Raya desperately scooping the ball away after it had crossed his goal line was immaterial. From then on, the Gunners took control. Passing of the highest quality constantly put Brentford under pressu

Brentford 5, Leeds United 2

Image above: Brentford fans at the Brentford - Leeds match, 3 September 2022 Revenge is sweet ‘Looking at strikers on form, Harry Kane is number one, but there is not a better one after him other than Ivan Toney.’ So spoke Thomas Frank and a host of commentators and pundits following the Brentford hotshot’s hat-trick against a Leeds side revitalised by some buying and selling and a rethink of their playing strategy. First things first: what is the new plan introduced up there in Yorkshire that has been introduced by Leeds United’s head coach, Jesse Marsch? Well, according to Jesse Vertical Play dictates that as soon as you win the ball, you are looking to get a shot on goal. You are looking at a matter of seconds before the ball is in the box or around

Crystal Palace 1, Brentford 1

Above: photograph; Brentford FC New season: too close for comfort Falling behind and having to play catch-up is a sequence established by the Bees in their first game of the season, when they almost squeaked a victory over Leicester. Memorable, it was, too, but this late escape – the third in five League games – was possibly one too far, no matter that temporarily left them comfortable in tenth place. Those of us who followed the match on live TV, rather than braving the depths of south London, saw a keen contest, in which both sides threatened the opposing goal only occasionally d

Brentford 1, Everton 1

Above: photograph; Brentford FC Second season: close call There is a dressing room superstition, it is rumoured, that the Brentford starting line-up will not set foot on the pitch until skipper Pontus Jansson has trotted out ahead of them. Fanciful? Maybe so, but if true the absence of Pontus may have explained the home team’s inability to convert a hatful of chances when Everton came to call at at the Gtech Stadium. The Bees should not have lacked confidence, having claimed a point at Leicester and then, with myriad changes made before and during the Carabao Cup second-round 2-0 vic

Fulham 3, Brentford 2

Image above: Captain Pontus Jansson leads the warm up Second Season: London rivals edge out Bees Saturday morning and all is well. The transport strikes do not impede the 21,000-and-a-bit supporters heading to and from Craven Cottage. The sun is shining. Brentford, having drawn at Leicester and walloped Manchester United, are sitting pretty at third place in the Premier League. So what’s the worst that can happen? We found out after 44 seconds, when a marauding Fulham surged into Brentford territory and Jay Stansfield, making his PL debut, rattled the crossbar, leaving David Raya scampering and Bobby De Cordova-Reid pouncing on the loose ball to guide it home. Image above: 1-0 down and Mbeumo and Wissa fight to defend The Bees seemed bemused

Brentford 4, Manchester United 0

Image above: Heads you win: a great first half to be behind the Brentford goal Second Season: United they fell It was one of those rare afternoons that will stick in the memory; that you can’t wait to tell your children about and, if you haven’t any children, to get some. Not at all typical of Brentford if you review the ups and downs – oh, those heart-breaking downs – of its history, but a stand-out achievement in what may well be the start of a golden spell. But that’s enough hyperbole. Here are the facts. An inspired second-half Bees’ performance that gained a point at Leicester City the previous week had whet the appetite for more, especially as United brought with them to the Community Stadium Christian Eriksen, a Brentford hero until recently

Leicester City 2, Brentford 2

A New Dawn? As if it hadn’t been a bruising season that saw his squad finish an honourable thirteenth in their long-awaited return to football’s top tier, head coach Thomas Frank reminded them on the eve of the next challenge that, ‘Every team has top quality, tactically and technically.’ This in his programme note for the final friendly match, limbering up for the impending 2022/3 season, when a welcome Bryan Mbeumo goal sent the Spanish Copa del Ray winners, Real Betis, home to Seville with nothing to show for their trip other than a tourists’ view of the newly named Gtech Community Stadium. As for the Bees, and their coach, they must have regarded the friendlies as satisfactory limbering up for the serious business due to commence on 7 August. Which takes