MILLWALL 1 BRENTFORD 1

MILLWALL 1 BRENTFORD 1

As a cold wind blew around the empty Cold Blow Lane Stand- normally the home of Millwall’s noisiest fans- the Bees recovered from a bad start to earn the kind of away draw that we used to let slip. As soon as the game started it seemed that Rico Henry had an injury problem and after only three minutes he went to ground, was taken off and Dominic Thompson came on at left back. With second choice right back Mads Roerslev already out for a couple of months the worry must be that Brentford will be down to just two specialist full backs  -Dalsgaard and Thompson- for the busy schedule of league and cup games ahead.Thompson went on to pick up Brentford’s only yellow card  as he faced a challenging afternoon against Millwall wing back Mahlon Romeo. 

As the Bees were reorganising their shape and before Thompson had even touched the ball Millwall’s Mason Bennett (one of the infamous Derby duo in that 2019 car crash) led their press, targeting Pontus Jansson. Bennett came away the winner down the left with Pontus in his wake and Pontus’s right red boot in mid air as the centre back scrambled to recover. Bennett’s cross found Jed Wallace who headed past Luke Daniels. As the ball went into the net Pontus’s red boot lay lonely on the edge of the box, he would later switch to a pair of black boots.

Ivan Toney was determined to score his first goal for the Bees and get his new club back into the game. After 8 minutes he shot wide and on 20  minutes he looked certain to score when a cross came over from Henrik Dalsgaard but Shaun Hutchinson pushed him over. Toney took the penalty and considering the pressure on him was remarkably calm as he rolled the ball past Bialkowski.The only other noticeable chance in the first half was when Romeo (son of the music producer Jazzie B of Soul II Soul) let fly from outside the box and hit the post. At the other end Bryan Mbeumo led a breakaway but to the annoyance of two spare colleagues in good positions he trusted his left foot from far out and for once it let him down.

In the first few minutes of the second half the Bees came close to what would have been a match-winner. A nice dummy by Toney set up Sergi Canos and his cross looked to be heading for a Josh Dasilva tap-in but Malone got there first to clear it.Then Daniels avoided Millwall getting a match-winner by tipping over another shot from Romeo. On 73 minutes Said Benrahma came on for the first time this season, as a sub for Canos, and he put over a good cross that could have led to a goal. 

After the game Ivan Toney said ‘Listen, If you can’t win, don’t lose and we did that today’. He thought the Bees had the better chances and could have stolen it at the end. He had shown more of the range of skills that first attracted Brentford to him; strong running for 90 minutes, some deft touches and lay-offs, a powerful defensive header. Thomas Frank said Ivan was growing game by game and what he liked was Toney’s  physical output, his constant pressing, his link-up play and his movement. 

In defence credit again to Ethan Pinnock, unbeatable in the air and the saviour of the day with more than one clearing header. Other good news; Christian Norgaard put in his usual good performance without getting his usual yellow card.

Now Fulham at home in the Carabao Cup.

Millwall: Białkowski; Hutchinson, Cooper, Pearce; Romeo, Leonard, Woods, Malone (sub M. Wallace); J. Wallace, Bradshaw (Mahoney), Bennett (Böðvarsson)

Brentford: Daniels; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry (Thompson); Dasilva ( Jensen 79), Nørgaard, Marcondes; Mbeumo, Toney, Canós (Benrahma)

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WBA 2 BRENTFORD 2 (Brentford win 5-4 on penalties)

WBA 2 BRENTFORD 2 (Brentford win 5-4 on penalties)

In a game of 13 penalties, 3 within the regulation 90 minutes and 10 in the penalty shoot-out which followed immediately, this Carabao Cup third round game was effectively decided by the first penalty to be missed. With the score in the shootout at 4-4 David Raya, back in his familiar starting berth, faced the highly rated Grady Diangana. A dive to Raya’s right and a firm push were enough to keep the ball out and consolidate his reputation as a shot-stopper. It was a great way to celebrate his 50th game for the club and his captaincy for the night. Of course it still required Brentford to put away their fifth penalty to win the tie. Christian Norgaard stepped up to face David Button, formerly of this parish, and put the Bees through to face Fulham or Sheffield Wednesday next week in the final 16 of the Cup.

With Mads Roerslev out for up to two months with an injury he got playing for Denmark’s Under-21s, Brentford’s only way of resting Henrik Dalsgaard for these Cup games is to switch Rico Henry to right back and play Dominic Thompson on the left. In midfield Thomas Frank rested Josh Dasilva and Christian Norgaard on the bench, starting with Shandon Baptiste, Jan Zamburek and Emiliano Marcondes.

In last season’s Championship games Brentford managed to take 4 of the 6 available points off WBA but somehow couldn’t manage to overtake them into second place. At the Hawthorns last year Brentford were by far the better side but could only draw. In this game the first half was a mirror image, the Bees were better than the Baggies but couldn’t get a lead. In a bright start Rico Henry made a great run, Tariqe Fosu had a chance, Mads Sorensen threatened with his long throws, Sergi Canos fired over and Emiliano Marcondes hit the post. Charlie Goode put over a great long diagonal pass which the Bees officials in the stand christened ‘Barbet-esque’. 

In the second half a ten minute spell produced four goals, no fewer than three of them penalties. First up Robson-Kanu got away from Sorensen and was brought down by Dominic Thompson. Robson-Kanu took the penalty himself, rolling it gently down the middle as Raya took off in mid-air to his left. From the kick-off play soon moved to the other end where Sorensen was now forward on the left. He crossed a long ball and Goode, utilising the Ethan Pinnock technique of heading it back into the box, set it up for Marcondes, back to goal, to perform a perfect overhead kick straight past Button. It was the goal of the night, in fact it was the only goal of the night in open play. Now Albion attacked and when Goode bundled over Edwards, it was another penalty chance for Robson-Kanu. Another roll down the middle, another Raya dive to the left. The score, at 2-1 to WBA, didn’t reflect the overall balance of play and Thomas Frank decided the game was still there to be won.

He brought on his top midfield duo, Josh Dasilva and Christian Norgaard, and immediately the Dane was everywhere, breaking up WBA play but it was Dasilva who started the move that led to an equaliser. Ivan Toney, who’d also been brought on as a sub to play alongside Marcus Forss, fed it to his strike partner and Albion defender Cedric Kipre brought him down. Forss took the penalty himself but none of this gently rolling stuff from Marcus, he thundered it straight into the net past Button. At the other end Raya made a great save to keep the score at 2-2 and take the game to penalties. When his turn came Forss again unleashed a thunderbolt and Toney, Dasilva and Fosu all took their penalties well before Norgaard clinched it.

In two Carabao Cup away games, a less than full strength Bees team have faced a Southampton side of Premier League starters and an Albion side of squad players and been the better team on both occasions. Who says they can’t make it a hat trick against Fulham if that’s who’s next in the fourth round, the first time Brentford have got this far for a decade.

At the end of this game the celebrations were modest and Thomas Frank went over to talk with unused WBA sub Romaine Sawyers, the captain he admired so much at Griffin Park. All very Brentford.

West Bromwich Albion: Button, Peltier, Kipré, Ivanović (sub O’Shea), Townsend; Harper, Field; Phillips (Diangana), Gallagher, Edwards; Robson-Kanu (Austin)

Brentford: Raya; Henry, Goode, Sørensen, Thompson; Marcondes (Toney ), Baptiste, Žambůrek (Dasilva); Canós (Nørgaard), Forss, Fosu.

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BRENTFORD 3 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

BRENTFORD 3 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

For the Carabao Cup victory at Southampton Thomas Frank had started with, amongst others, Marcus Forss, Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu. For this, the first league match in our new stadium, he brought all three on as subs (for Ivan Toney, Emiliano Marcondes and Sergi Canos) and while they were on the pitch two of three Brentford’s goals were scored. So Brentford’s Head Coach has some intriguing options for the two games this coming week, away at WBA in the Cup and away at Millwall in the Championship, as he works out his best starting side.

For this game which Peter Gilham called ‘the start of a whole new era’ Luke Daniels kept his place in goal with David Raya on the bench. For Huddersfield Alex Pritchard was on the pitch and in the stands was another returner to Brentford, former Bees CEO Mark Devlin now with the Terriers, getting his first look inside the stadium that was talked about so much during his stint at Griffin Park. Having disposed of the Cowley brothers Huddersfield’s new head coach is Carlos Corberan, who was Marcelo Bielsa’s interpreter and shouter-in-chief at Leeds while the man himself watched from his upturned bucket.

The story of the first half was whether Ivan Toney was going to get his first goal for Brentford in his third start. After 15 minutes some good interplay with Josh Dasilva put him through on goal but keeper Ben Hamer, last seen watching Said Benrahma’s worldie go round him at Derby, managed to scramble it away. Another fifteen minutes later came a much clearer chance for Toney -so clear you wondered if he was offside- but he shot wide. Huddersfield had a few chances, hitting the woodwork after a smart free kick move but they were also picking up injuries and two players had to be subbed in the first half. Christian Norgaard picked up his second yellow card this season.

As Brentford prepared for a corner just before half time Kev O’Connor was heard shouting  a code name for a move’. When the corner went long to Ethan Pinnock in his customary position in mid-air by the far post it became clear we may well see and hear a lot more of those calls this season.

Coming up to the hour mark with Pinnock having delivered some fine defensive work to prevent a goal, some uncomfortable possibilities were beginning to loom into sight. Would this be a ‘deja vu all over again’, a repeat of last year’s home game where one Huddersfield strike was enough to take the points. Could it be that Brentford would not win within 90 minutes in any of their first three games at the new stadium, thus setting up a ‘curse of the new stadium’ narrative.

Which is when Rico Henry came to the rescue. Starting from mid-way down the left in his own half he began a run. He laid it off to Sergi Canos who cleverly slipped it though the legs of his marker and into the path of Rico who was screaming for the return ball and galloping down the left as only he can. He took it to the edge of the box before moving it inside to Josh Dasilva who was in plenty of space. Just as he had at Southampton last week he sent the ball straight into the corner of the net for this the first league goal at the new stadium.

Around the 70th minute came two substations -Forss for Toney and Fosu for Canos . The momentum picked up further. Bryan Mbeumo created the next goal when he refused to give up inside a crowded box and slipped it to Forss who had stood back from the melee to create space.Then Mbeumo himself hit one of those left foot rockets into the corner of the net.

‘What a great goal’ shouted Brentford owner Matthew Benham from his seat in the stand. Who would disagree with him? 

Brentford: Daniels; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Marcondes, Nørgaard, Dasilva (sub Baptiste); Mbeumo, Toney (Forss), Canós (Fosu )

Huddersfield Town: Hamer; Pipa, Stearman, Schindler (Crichlow), Toffolo (Brown); Hogg, Bacuna; Diakhaby (Campbell), Pritchard, Koroma; Mbenza

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SOUTHAMPTON 0 BRENTFORD 2

SOUTHAMPTON 0 BRENTFORD 2

Two great goals and an impressive all round performance took the Bees to what became a comparatively easy Carabao Cup second round win over a full strength Premier League team playing at home. Southampton had made only one change from the team that played Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Bees fielded a customary Carabao Cup mix of Championship starters and squad players. But on the bench their choice was limited to just 5 possible subs rather than the usual 7   because a positive COVID test on a player in the B team match earlier this week meant that those involved in that game were self-isolating.

Of those starting for the two sides, the biggest contrast was Danny Ings and Che Adams, two Premier League strikers, up against Mads Bech Sorensen and Charlie Goode, who last season were two League One centre backs.

It was Brentford who started brightest with Mads releasing no fewer than three long throws that troubled the Saints defence. Their goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was involved in a series of scrapes, crashing into Tariqe Fosu and getting a booking, relying on a defender to clear off the line from Bryan Mbeumo, missing a corner but saving from Tariqe and Bryan again. Saints best chance came when they hit the post and Luke Daniels grabbed the rebound. Had that gone in this could have become a very different game, but as it was Brentford responded with two goals before half-time.

The first came from a corner taken by Mbeumo. As it came over from the left the figure of Christian Norgaard could be seen flying through the air, rather like Peter Pan on a wire in a pantomime, and completely unmarked. He met the cross perfectly and it crashed into the net for his first goal for Brentford in a competitive game.The second also came from the left when Fosu turned inside and slipped the ball forward to Shandon Baptiste. Rather than pass to Marcus Forss in the box he crossed it deeper to Josh Dasilva who was all set up to direct it powerfully past McCarthy.

Southampton Head Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl went down the tunnel at half time in a right strop and his mood wasn’t much better at the start of the start of the second half when Daniels saved a header that was looping in, Goode stopped Ings scoring and Ward-Prowse put one over the bar. In comparison Thomas Frank was the calmest man in this particular house, the 32,000 St Mary’s Stadium which one member of the Brentford delegation thought was the quietest venue we’d played at behind closed doors. The Southampton officials were noticeably silent as their team made few inroads against their lower division visitors.

Brentford held their shape very well and relied on counter-attacks. But they were also confident enough not to retreat too far into defence, Thomas Frank could be heard shouting ‘Stay High’. Goode and Sorensen never looked out-classed, Charlie showed his power in the air, but there’s work to be done on his distribution. Baptiste looked a good and more muscular replacement for Mathias Jensen and Marcus Forss ran for 77 minutes but for me the best player on the pitch was Bryan Mbeumo, likely to be the only survivor of last year’s BMW attack. We’ve grown used to him either fading or being substituted in the final quarter, a touch of COVID in the run-in was possibly a factor, but in this game he was at full power in attack and defence for the full 90 minutes.

After the game Thomas Frank talked of Brentford’s ‘tactical flexibility’, explaining that knowing of the Saints’s preference for pressing he had switched to a longer ball policy and it had paid off with both goals originating from those tactics.

One of the Brentford delegation wondered afterwards ‘when did Brentford last win two League Cup games in succession?’. ‘When we were last in the third round’ came the answer. WBA away are up next .Then came the news that owner Matthew Benham’s other team, Danish side FC Midtjylland, had won  as well, in the qualifying third round of the Champions League. That means they have a place at the very least in the Europa League and one more win will take them into the Champions League. Not a bad night’s work for Matthew’s men.

Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stevens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Romeu; Tella (sub Obafemi 84 mins), Ward-Prowse, Redmond (Djenepo); Ings, Adams (Long)

Brentford: Daniels; Dalsgaard, Goode, Sørensen, Thompson (Henry); Baptiste, Nørgaard, Dasilva (Marcondes); Mbeumo, Forss (Dervişoğlu), Fosu

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BIRMINGHAM CITY 1 BRENTFORD 0

BIRMINGHAM CITY 1 BRENTFORD 0

On last year’s opening day in the Championship, in the first game of the final season at Griffin Park, the Blues beat the Bees with their only shot on target, a header from outside the box that looped past David Raya . This year’s opening match saw Brentford again lose by a header, this time past Brentford’s number two keeper, deputising for an ‘injured’ Raya. This was not the freak result of last year, Birmingham earned their win but Brentford had more chances and with better execution should have won it. 

Meanwhile Raya’s agent, Jaume Minell, was telling the Spanish sports paper Marca that ‘Arsenal have tried to make a proposal to Brentford, which for the moment refuses to negotiate since the player has a contract in force until 2023. The footballer, however, wants to get on the train of the Premier League’. The departure of Arsenal’s number two keeper Emi Martinez for Aston Villa will have only increased the rumours that Raya is going to catch  that train.

If Raya is now in the ‘going?’ category, then Said Benrahma -also not in the squad today- seems to be in the ‘almost gone’, Ollie Watkins definitely having ‘gone’. So this was a day to be looking ahead to how the rest of Brentford’s squad, reinforced by the arrival of Ivan Toney up front, will cope without them.

Birmingham City have had their own high profile departure with 17 year old midfielder Jude Bellingham gone to Borussia Dortmund. New Head Coach Aitor Karanka has made signings such as his Boro faithfuls George Friend and Adam Clayton plus experienced Spanish wide player Ivan Sanchez. And Karanka started 19 year old local Zach Jeacock ahead of a more experienced goalkeeper. Two former Brentford players signed in one of Harry Redknapp’s last big splurges- Harlee Dean and Maxime Colin – are still at St Andrews, joined by Jon Toral who had a loan spell at Griffin Park. 

There was a setback just five minutes into the game. Christian Norgaard started what looked like a promising move in the centre circle, slipped it to Mathias Jensen beside him but instead of kicking the ball his fellow Dane connected with an opposition boot. Immediately he went to ground in pain, after treatment he went off but on his return he immediately began to hobble and had to withdraw. He was replaced by Emiliano Marcondes.

Birmingham signalled their intentions when Luke Daniels had to make a good save after Bela shot from the edge of the box. The Blues’s other main intention was to single out Christian Norgaard, Denmark’s Man of the Match against England this week, who became a marked man in every sense. Referee Tony Harrington took a lenient view of these tactics, a blatant late tackle  on the Bees play-maker caused a crunch that could be heard in the stands but apparently didn’t deserve a yellow card.

Norgaard and Josh Dasilva were impressing at times in midfield, Josh hitting the post after a characteristically powerful run forward, and there were nice touches further upfield from Sergi Canos standing in for Said Benrahma on the left flank and over on the right from Bryan Mbeumo, playing his best half for some time. It was Mbeumo who set up Dalsgaard for a run and collected the return ball but blasted it well over. It wasn’t quite the open goal some thought, there were plenty of bodies that might have blocked an on-target shot.

There were fewer chances for Birmingham, thanks to Pontus Jansson blocking Toral and Toney heading off the line. Defensive headers are said to be one of his skills. Seven minutes before the break Brentford could have done with them when a corner came over from Sanchez. The Bees were very focused on the tall men the Blues pushed into the box but it was one of the smallest, Jeremie Bela, who ran in unmarked to angle the ball past Daniels into the corner of the net. 

Just before half-time Norgaard was again in the wars, this time as he and Harlee Dean both went to head the ball in the box. Christian came off worse, the replay suggested it had been a firm but fair challenge by the former Bees centre-back.

The second half repeated the pattern of the first, the Bees made more chances and hit the woodwork again. The familiar free kick routine of a high ball to Ethan Pinnock and a cross box header fell to Canos back to goal but his overhead kick hit the crossbar.  Then a good Canos cross created chances for Marcondes and Toney but both were beaten away by the young keeper Jeacock. Dasilva played a great ball for Mbeumo but there was nobody to put away the cross. 

Birmingham made more robust tackles and some were even punished in this half. Adam Clayton tried to rugby tackle Dasilva and when at first he didn’t succeed he tried again, finally felling the midfielder.  A Blues fan tweeted  ‘Adam Clayton playing scrum half’.

Brentford went two up front with Forss joining Toney and Fosu taking over from Canos on the left. There was one final chance when a corner seemed to be heading straight for the flying forehead of Pontus Jansson but his header went down into the ground and bounced over the bar.

‘We dominated but we couldn’t score’ said Thomas Frank afterwards. ‘We had the chances but we didn’t take them’ according to Henrik Dalsgaard. 

One incident near the end summed you the game for this observer. A battle cry of ‘three points’ echoed across the main stand as a Birmingham player urged his colleagues to achieve their first victory since February. For their fans this win was a big deal, for Bees fans it felt like a return to an ordinary Brentford away defeat. Few will regret they weren’t able to come on the away-day.

 

Birmingham City: Jeacock; Colin, Dean, Friend, Pedersen; Šunjić, Clayton; Sánchez (sub George), Toral (Crowley ), Bela; Jutkiewicz (Gardner)

Brentford: Daniels; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Jensen (Marcondes (sub Fosu 78 mins)), Nørgaard, Dasilva; Mbeumo, Toney, Canós ( Forss)

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BRENTFORD 1 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 1 (4-2 on penalties)

BRENTFORD 1 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 1 (4-2 on penalties)

The overwhelming sense among those who were able to attend today was that it wasn’t supposed to be like this. A fantastic new stadium, a team full of players eager to impress the manager in the enforced absence of those on international duty or in that horrible transfer window limbo, and opposition still full of their success last season, but no spectators. It was bad enough at Griffin Park but the awareness of what our fans were missing was only intensified in such glorious surroundings. But, with that context, we kicked off with every expectation that, even with a few key players missing, we should have enough to win this game.
We’ve had a fairly poor time in the early rounds of the Carabao Cup in recent years but it is always a chance to see how those on the fringe of the first eleven are developing. A step up from pre-season friendlies but very much the last step before the serious stuff starts next week. Of those in the squad, most interest was probably in the new striker, Ivan Toney, but with Charlie Goode partnering Ethan, and Dominic Thompson’s inclusion forcing Rico to move to a less natural side,  it might also be a test for the back division.  Jan Zamburek has done enough in his cameo performances last season to deserve a start, but there was some apprehension that while the midfield would be technically superior to any opposition, it might lack the physical strength of Christian and Josh da Silva. And, of course, the bench had to include a couple of the newer B team recruits, with Paris Maghoma and Fin Stevens stepping up. It must be very encouraging for these younger players, particularly Fin perhaps, to move so quickly, in his case from non league football, to inclusion in a first team squad.
To the game itself, it followed the pattern that one might expect, with Brentford dominating possession, not perhaps with the confidence or fluidity of the latter stages of last season, and Wycombe being strong and well organised in defence, and favouring the long ball to the very competitive and combative Parker up front. We might have moved the ball more quickly than we did, and although we created a few early chances, we often didn’t make the best decision in the last third. However there was no doubt as to the better side throughout this half, and some of the balls being sprayed from one side of the pitch to the other were marvellous and forced Wycombe to keep on their guard. Sergi was a constant threat and followed up his impressive performances in pre season with another strong ninety minutes today. Dominic Thompson looked comfortable and seems to be improving with each exposure to first team football, and, on the other side, Rico showed no signs of discomfort in that unaccustomed role. All three of the central midfield trio showed glimpses of their huge ability but Wycombe pressed them closely, too closely on a number of occasions, and snuffed out all but a few dangerous moments. Ivan Toney has not played competitive football since March but, on this showing, he promised much, even if nothing quite came off for him. He seems a bigger physical presence than Ollie, and he was almost as active and effective in our own box defending set pieces as in the opposition’s.
The opening goal, when it came on 32 minutes was the result of yet another tackle by the industrious defence, but this time being penalised by the referee, much to the disgust of the perpetrator. He must have been even more upset when Jensen floated a beautiful cross to the far post where it was met by Ethan, who headed it strongly into the net off the near post. It was no more than we deserved and it seemed to take the pressure off all round. For the rest of the half, Brentford had a few more chances on goal as a result of quicker passing movements whereas all Wycombe’s chances, one in particular forcing a good save from Luke Daniels, were from set plays. The stats at the end of the game suggested that all four of Wycombe’s shots on goal came in the last twenty minutes but the impression of those watching was that Parker was a threat throughout the first hour and came close a couple of times in the first half.
The home team emerged from the break as if rejuvenated and quickly forced Wycombe on to the back foot. It seemed as if Thomas had encouraged them to be even more positive than in the first 45, and to move the ball more quickly. And then, perhaps as a result of this more energetic start, Gape made a hurried challenge on Jan Zamburek, and the referee had produced the red card so quickly it took many of us by surprise. Those watching on TV had the advantage over the attendees of several replays and, while there may not have been any malice in the tackle, the player certainly seemed to go over the ball and caught Jan badly on the ankle. The big screen showed the game throughout but we were spared any contentious incidents and so had to take it on trust that the red card was deserved. The small Wycombe contingent were inevitably unconvinced.

So we settled down to the rest of the half, a full 40 minutes of it, with the full expectation of more home goals. Surely, given our dominance of possession so far, we could manage the game out. And we did create more chances, the best of which was an effort by Sergi, cutting inside from the left wing and curling a fabulous shot which shaved the outside of the far post, reminiscent of Said’s great goal against Derby in the run in. Ivan continued to harry the defence and Jensen and Emiliano, until his substitution on 72minutes by Shandon Baptiste forced Wycombe to chase the ball all over the pitch. And then a calamitous mistake, only a minute after that substitution saw Wycombe equalise. The error came from the most unexpected source, as Ethan didn’t put enough force into a pass across the penalty box,  Kashket seized on it and set up Horgan for a shot high into the net. This seemed to unsettle the hitherto confident Bees, notwithstanding their slightly lacklustre performance after the early fast start to the second half. And Wycombe would have doubled their tally were it not for a good save by Luke Daniels. More subs were made by both sides, Marcus Forss coming on for Tariq, and Joel Valencia for Dominic, but to no avail. The addition of three minutes by the referee seemed rather at odds with the number of subs and a couple of injuries, as well as some frustrating slow play by the opposition goalkeeper, but I don’t think any of us were persuaded that a few moments more would change the score.
We don’t make it easy for ourselves, and even when Wycombe missed their penalty, Jensen, who was later awarded man of the match by Sky contrived to hit the back row of the East Stand with his effort. However, a save by the excellent captain for the day, Luke Daniels, and a powerful drive from Marcus sealed the win eventually. We had won our first competitive game at our new home and we can now welcome back our international travellers and approach next Saturday with more wind in our sails. This performance was not one of our best but it suggested that those waiting in the wings are stronger than in previous seasons and that we’re in for another exciting ride.

Brentford: Daniels; Henry, Good, Pinnock, Thompson (sub Valencia); Marcondes (Baptiste), Jensen, Žambůrek; Canós, Toney, Fosu (Forss)

Wycombe Wanderers: Allsop; Grimmer, Stewart, Charles, Jacobsen; Gape; Wheeler (Onyedinma), Bloomfield, Freeman; Samuel (Horgan), Parker (Kashket)

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