Brentford 2, Newcastle 4

Ready or not...the 38th and final match of the season  Third season: One more time! Last game of the season and come half-time the GTech Stadium was bathed in misery. Trailing 0-3 to a Magpies side still in with a slim chance of booking a European berth for next term, the Bees must have been thankful the relegation nightmare was over. Only Nottingham Forest had separated them from the relegated trio in the drop zone. But then, as so often happens – to Brentford, anyhow – that same team emerged after the break as if they had been issued with a magic wand. The goals deficit looked more like a challenge than a prison sentence; the visiting players regular human beings rather than superstars from the planet Invincible. And so it was until thirteen minutes or

Brentford 0, Fulham 0

It promised to be a London derby of thrills (Regulión v Castagne)... Third Season: Double dishwater Flashback to a year ago, when Brentford travelled to Anfield with high hopes of beating Liverpool in their own backyard. After all, the Bees had beaten them 3-1 at the Gtech Stadium earlier in the season and were nestled at number nine in the Premier League, having already been victorious over both the Manchester clubs as well as Chelsea, Thomas Frank and his team were on a roll. Liverpool didn’t oblige that day by handing the Bees another win, Mohammed Salah – who else? – scoring the game’s only goal, but the visitors produced a spirited performance and to retain their ninth place come season’s end. Brentford had properly arrived in football’s top fli

Brentford 2, Sheffield United 0

Image above: Ever-involved Maupay takes a tumble Third Season: Win at last At last! Having put together a small but respectable list of drawn games, Brentford managed to collect three points from a desperate Sheffield United, who finished the afternoon at the GTECH Stadium even more firmly cemented to the foot of the Premier League. Bad luck, United. But the Bees’ success catapulted them into fourteenth in the table. Okay, they had slipped to fifteenth by the end of the weekend, but this was a cataclysmic event for an injury-shredded squad whose recent poor form had begun to convince all but the most diehard fans that relegation was either just around the corner or, maybe the corner after that. It is by no m

Brentford 0, Brighton & Hove Albion 0

One for the camera: Yarmoluik attempts to squeeze through the Brighton ranks Third Season: Clean sheets times two At the end of a gruelling match, when neither side managed to establish superiority, Thomas Frank was to observe, wisely, ‘If you can’t win, don’t lose.’ Those fans travelling from the Sussex coast in the hope of a positive result for their favourites appeared not to agree with the home chief coach’s sanguine view. Excitement was high on their menu and go hang the cost, which was not exactly dish of the day for the Bees. ‘Boring, Brentford’ chanted the visiting fans, and in case anyone missed the subsequent message, they continued to broadcast their mantra: ‘Boring Brentford’. Those more interested in obtaining a point or several

Brentford 1, Manchester United 1

Image: Brentford FC Third Season: New dawn? A new dawn has broken, has it not? Okay, Tony Blair said it first after the Labour Party’s general election victory of 1997, but it can be argued that Brentford’s magnificent performance against Man United was equally for the record books, and that despite only one goal being scored by the home side and one point – precious that it was – rewarded for their evening’s work, those who were present will never forget the occasion. The Bees quite simply dismantled a famous side whose last game had been a 4-3 Cup win over Liverpool. Statistics in this game, collated by the BBC, revealed such as 31 shots for Brentford against 11 for MU. And 84 touches in the opposition box to a mere 15 for United? What about corner

Brentford 2, Chelsea 2

Third Season: Magic moment Head coach Thomas Frank was gushing in his praise following a second-half thrilling performance by his makeshift team. Understandable, for Brentford dominated play for every minute at the Gtech Stadium other than that when Chelsea scored an equaliser against the run of play to hand the visitors a precious point. How about the first half, do I hear you ask? Well, would it be all right if we didn’t discuss the first half? It wouldn’t be all right? I see. So here is a brief résumé – composed from Brentford’s point of view – of a little over 45 minutes: Yoane Wissa had a shot blocked by Chelsea goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic, Zanka cleared a goal-bound ball when Mark Flekken was beaten all en

Brentford 1, Liverpool 4

Images above: Pre match nerves: with so much at stake even Buzz look pensive; Roeslev puts the boot in; photographs Liz Vercoe Third season: No mercy Mersey Some you win and some you lose and sometimes one or two or three other competitors can, without trying, form a cabal. Hence Manchester City played Brentford at the Gtech Stadium just a fortnight after Liverpool rolled into town and now will meet Thomas Frank’s team again on Tuesday of next week, at the Etihad Stadium. Meanwhile Arsenal, having edged the Bees out 1-0 at home last November are poised to entertain them at the Emirates three weeks from now, when several key Bees will still be suffering from injuries that have blighted the club’s progress this

Brentford 1 Manchester City 3

De Bruyne lines up an attacking triangle with hat-trick-scoring Foden on the left and newly returned Haarland Third season: City bounce back Great, scintillating football for the first 45 minutes, with a splendid goal and every hope that the Bees could pull three much-needed points from what has developed into a troublesome second half of the season. But, as all Brentford faithful supporters know, one shouldn’t count their points before the final whistle, and even then it’s worth double-checking in case the opposition scored once or twice when we aren’t looking. The opening of the game, once the Bees realised they were not playing the big bad wolf, just one of the best sides in the game, saw the Gtech scratch-eleven responding with gumption and do-or-die en

Brentford 3 Nottingham Forest 2

Bringing ultimate versatility: Ivan Toney relishing being back centre stage Third Season: Welcom back Ivan Thomas Frank made no secret of what he hoped to get from the game: Ivan Toney to score and the team to win. Too much to ask? Not really, especially as Toney was on the scoresheet at 19 minutes to equalise Forest’s three-minutes opener. It wasn’t any old goal, of course. Toney was playing his first match following eight months’ suspension (266 days, actually, since Nottingham Forest lost 1-2 at the Gtech). Toney scored that day also – a free kick not dissimilar to his comeback strike, except that was from even further away from the goal. This time it was also controversial, causing some of the Forest camp to howl when Toney moved the ball slightly

Brentford 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

The always agile Lewis Potter Third Season: The Cup underfloweth Question: which is the most painful – losing 1-4, or hanging on for a 1-1 draw? Clue: the draw was achieved, if that’s the word, after the opposition had a player sent off after just nine minutes. Answer: Don’t ask! Or simply seek the opinion of any of the Brentford faithful who turned out in the hope that their team would take revenge on a Wolves side that delivered a drubbing at the Gtech Stadium in the last home game of the season. Surely early-season promise could not evaporate at the determined hands of the Molineux men?  Or the Crystal Palace squad, which won 3-1 the week after? Is this the second of the rapid hat-trick against Brentford by Wolves (put February 10 in your diary if a glu

Brentford 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 4

Wolves arrived with fangs bared Third Season: The Wolves at the door It never rains but it pours – and it certainly did when a reinvigorated Wolves side dropped by to contest the Bee’s final home game of the year. Struggling to find eleven players with plenty of first-team experience, Thomas Frank did the best he could, avoiding selecting any passer-by who looked injury-free and up for a kick-about. But even his spirit must have been dampened. Residual damage to nine or ten regulars may have made his job nightmarishly difficult, but then nobody said it would be easy. Even the much-improved Wolves’ squad could not have dreamed that Brentford would help them out when the going got really rough. Nathan Collins, for example. One of the few first-team regular

Brentford 1, Aston Villa 2

Charades: Janelt and Ghoddos act out "force field" Last home game before Christmas, Sunday 17 December So much for Christmas cheer. Those supporters, home and away, who ventured to the Gtech Stadium to watch some classy football from the Bees and their high-flying Midlands visitors must have wondered whether tin hats were required when the game exploded into a bad-tempered display of petulance and scuffling. What triggered the troubles? Could it have been a foolhardy flying tackle by Ben Mee, which resulted in a yellow – no, hang on a minute – a red card, reducing the Bees to ten men after 71 minutes? Never a red card, was Thomas Frank’s view. Or perhaps the simmering became an open fire when referee David Coote failed to award a penalty as Neal Maupay r

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 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