Brentford’s final away match of the 2013/14 season will not be one to live long in the memory.
The season has had many unforgettable moments, with promotion to The Championship secured, but defeat to Colchester United in Essex will not be one of them.
The Bees were comprehensively beaten by a Colchester side needing the points to ensure they stay in Sky Bet League One.
The home side scored from two set pieces around the half hour and then added a third before half time.
Stuart Dallas’ goal, his first for Brentford, brought the visitors back in to it but Colchester scored a fourth in the second half to make it safe and Alan Judge saw a penalty saved late on as The Bees final away game ended in defeat.
The game started at a frenetic pace with Colchester harrying all over the pitch.
The home side were playing at breakneck speed, pressing Brentford and trying to force mistakes.
It was end-to-end in the first ten minutes and both teams had chances.
Colchester had the best when a clever flick released Jabo Ibhere in behind the Brentford defence but the striker fired wide with only David Button to beat.
Dallas missed the target with an early header and a low Judge cross was cleared deep in Colchester territory.
Judge then had a shot blocked before the game entered a bit of a lull.
It appeared Brentford had weathered the home side’s storm and started to have the better of things.
A powerful free kick from Jonathan Douglas was turned away by Colchester goalkeeper Sam Walker and when the midfield player broke away down the left soon after, his cross just eluded Marcello Trotta.
At the other end Button made a good low save from a Freddie Sears shot but the game appeared to be in Brentford’s grasp before Colchester struck.
The first goal came just before the hour mark from a free kick.
Brian Wilson delivered it from the inside left channel and Marcus Bean stole in to nod home from close range.
That was the start of a crazy two minutes where Colchester took the game away from The Bees.
Button saved from Sanchez Watt and then rushed out to save from Gavin Massey 20 yards from home.
However, Ryan Dickson delivered the resulting corner from the right and Alex Wynter rose to power home unmarked from eight yards.
Brentford were rocking at that point but looked like they had started to work their way back in to the game as the first half drew to a close.
Douglas was unable to turn a lofted Judge pass home and Clayton Donaldson curled a shot just over as they looked for a goal.
But the next one came at the other end.
It came from another corner from Sears, which was met by Alex Gilbey, Tony Craig cleared deep in his own penalty area but when Watt looked to make something of the loose ball, referee Mark Brown adjudged he was brought down by Alan McCormack.
Sears took the spot kick and lashed it down the middle as Button dived to his left.
Brentford needed a goal before half time to have any chance and almost got it when a Judge cross appeared to be heading for Dallas before Dickson headed away.
Brentford’s goal did come in stoppage time – McCormack delivered a cross from the right, Donaldson knocked it back, Douglas dummied and Dallas smashed in from 20 yards.
Brentford started the second half on the front foot, looking to out the pressure on the hosts.
Dallas had a volley blocked and Donaldson shot wide on the turn in the early stages.
Colchester sat deeper and deeper, inviting Brentford forward.
The Bees played most of the first section of the second half in Colchester territory without being able to get the goal to make life difficult for the hosts.
And then Brentford gave Colchester another goal.
A long ball forward left James Tarkowski facing his own goal, he failed to get enough on his header back to Button and Sears nipped in, he rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home.
Button saved a low Watt effort as Colchester sought a fifth and substitute Crag Eastmond shot wide.
Brentford should have pulled one back with 13 minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty.
Judge controlled a Tarkowski pass, cut inside Wynter and was hacked by Gilbey to give Mr Brown little option but to point to the spot.
Judge stepped up to take it but his low kick was saved by Walker to his right.
Walker then saved a Crag shot but Brentford’s hopes of getting anything from the game had gone.
Watt lashed over at the death and a Judge shot was blocked before Mr Brown brought the game to as close and Colchester took the points.
Colchester United: Walker; Wilson (sub David Wright h/t), Wynter, Eastman; Dickson; Bean, Gilbey (sub Vose 79 mins); Watt, Sears (sub Eastmond 70 mins), Massey; Ibhere
Subs (not used): Cousins, Morrison, Drey Wright, Szmodics
Bookings: Sears (62 mins)
Brentford: Button; McCormack (sub O’Connor 84 mins), Tarkowski, Craig, Yennaris (sub Clarke 81 mins); Judge, Douglas, Saville; Dallas, Trotta (sub Adams 59 mins), Donaldson
Subs (not used): Lee, Reeves, Diagouraga, Grigg
Bookings: Saville (70 mins) (tenth of season)
Attendance: 6,400 (2,343 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham