This victory for the Bees against Chesterfield at Griffin Park
this afternoon brought to a conclusion a momentous week for the Bees.
It has seen them progress to the Third Round of the FA Cup, the Area Semi Finals of the LDV Vans Trophy, and a place in the Second Division Play Off positions. For a side who are amongst the youngest in the League, and given little chance of Second Division survival by even some of their staunchest fans at the start of the season, it is a magnificent achievement as they move on to their last match before Christmas...the away match at Loftus Road. But while Christmas may have come early for Brentford, for the experienced Chesterfield side they must look back on this match as what should have been. For having conceded an early goal to the Bees, after just five minutes, they were back on level terms within eight minutes and looked more than capable of turning things around totally. It was as if the normally vociferous Bees fans felt the same way such was the lack of atmosphere during the opening forty-five minutes. However a second goal for the Bees just two minutes after the restart in front of the noisy Brook Road End was the catalyst for what was to follow.
Chesterfield, who had already had three players booked during the opening 45 minutes, totally lost their discipline while to their credit the young Brentford side refused to be drawn into the strong-arm tactics. The visitors proceeded to collect more cards (not of the Christmas variety) which resulted in a final total of seven players being cautioned, two of whom were sent off (one for 2 yellows, the other as a straight red). The opening goal followed a loose challenge from keeper Carl Muggleton on Kevin O`Connor outside the area in the 4th minute. He was rightly booked for the challenge and while Kevin was off the pitch following treatment (what an odd rule that is that the recipient of an illegal challenge has to leave the field), Stephen Hunt stepped up and fired the free kick home low into the left hand corner of the net. Justice had been done!
Eight minutes later and Chris Brandon twenty yards out fired home just beyond the reach of the airborne Paul Smith. Game on! The second and what proved to be the decisive goal, came in the 47th minute. It followed the second of two quick corners for the Bees. Stephen Hunt laid it back into the path of O`Connor and he whipped in an absolutely superb cross which required Rowan Vine to merely touch home from a couple of yards out. A picture book goal. Chesterfield were reduced to ten men on the hour when Rob Edwards received a second yellow card and they went down to nine men with ten minutes remaining when Steve Blatherwick was shown an automatic red for a challenge on Stephen Evans. Ibu Sonko had incurred the Bees solitary yellow card in the 68th minute.
But following Chesterfield's reduction to nine men, it was a case of Brentford storming forward and the woodwork and players blocking every attempt. The final whistle signalled the Bees first League victory for six weeks and more importantly their return to the top six.
Bees: P Smith, Dobson, Sonko, Marshall, Somner, Rowlands, J Smith (Fullarton 51), Evans (McCammon 86), Hunt, O`Connor, Vine. Subs not used: Julian, Williams & Frampton. Attendance: 5,151