BRENTFORD 2 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 0

Bill Hagerty admires Bees’ dismissal of Wednesday but regrets the goal chances that went begging

 

What a difference a year makes. Around this early stage of the season in 2017 Brentford were not quite halfway through what was to be a seven-match run without a win. And here we are jostling for position at the top of the table, playing slick football and looking as hungry for points as a dog with its nose pressed against a butcher’s shop window is for a string of sausages.   

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SOUTHEND UNITED 2 BRENTFORD 4

Stewart Purvis sees Brentford go through to the second round of the Carabao Cup

 

In the away end of the sadly rotting Roots Hall (the final ‘e’ has even fallen off the Welcome sign in the main entrance) two songs summed up this match and the two big selection decisions for Dean Smith before the next  game.

 

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STOKE CITY 1 BRENTFORD 1

Stewart Purvis sees the Bees dominate but pay the price for one mistake

As police motor-cycle escorts guided two double-decker buses full of Brentford supporters to Stoke station (they know how to treat visitors in the Potteries) the man in the next seat handed me his phone with a text  on it. 'The team to watch' was the message, apparently the judgment of a pundit on BBC Final Score. 

Who were we, proud Bees fans, to disagree but in truth it was a small consolation prize after the draw that should have been a win.We'd just watched our team outclass- no other word for it- a team of Stoke's premiership players, reinforced from other former Premiership clubs and with the return from loan of Bojan who once broke Messi's record as Barcelona's youngest player. No wonder they were the bookies' favourite for promotion but the noise on our bus and the one finger salutes from the Stoke fans we passed told who were the better team, and it wasn't the Potters.

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BRENTFORD 5 ROTHERHAM 1

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.

 

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BRENTFORD 1 WATFORD 2

Brentford 1  Watford 2 (pre-season friendly)

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?

 

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WYCOMBE WANDERERS 0 BRENTFORD 1

THE MORNING AFTER MATCH REPORT

 

Wycombe Wanderers 0  Brentford 1 (Pre-season friendly)

 

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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