Match Reports

The battle of Griffin Park

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Town?s hopes of automatic promotion were dealt another blow on Saturday, when they slumped to defeat against a very average looking Brentford side.

As in the first meeting between the two sides this season, it was obvious that there was no love lost between the respective players and almost from the start of the game, the animosity bubbling under the surface threatened to boil over.

Town had to field a makeshift strike force of the lone Gary Taylor-Fletcher in the absence of the injured Booth and the suspended Abbott and their lack of cutting edge was made apparent as the game wore on, by their inability to muster any decent, threatening goal attempts throughout.

However, Town started slightly the brighter without really troubling Bankole in the Brentford goal.

The first real incident of the game led to a sending-off for Brentford. Chris Brandon was felled just outside the box and Newton appeared to kick-out at him, leaving the referee no option but to dismiss Newton and Brandon had to leave the field prematurely, drenched in his own blood. He was replaced by Michael Collins.

The 10 men seemed to take inspiration from this incident and in the 25th minute they went ahead as a result of some dreadful goalkeeping by Rachubka, who has apparently lost all his confidence of late. O?Connor sent in a cross from a free kick which looked like an easy catch for the Town ?keeper. However he fumbled it straight to Campbell whose cut back across the goal was tapped home easily by Owusu.

This unexpected boost gave Brentford some momentum and Town remained on the back foot for a lengthy spell. Indeed it was somewhat fortunate for them that Brentford?s finishing was less than impressive in the rest of the half!

Half Time 1-0

McAliskey replaced Tom Clarke at half time with Town reverting to a more ambitious 4-4-2 formation, but it wasn?t long before there was another setback for the Terriers. In the second minute of the second half, Rachubka?s badly timed lunge at Campbell, when the Bees? striker was through on goal, resulted in a red card for the ?keeper. This was not a good start to the half and Peter Jackson?s half-time tactical rethink had to be immediately consigned to the bin. Michael Collins was duly sacrificed for the substitute keeper, Phil Senior.

The game now became end-to-end as first Town, through Schofield?s probing and then Brentford threatened the respective defences.

At this stage the game could have gone either way with half chances to both teams, but the issue was settled beyond all reasonable doubt in the 76th minute by yet another goalkeeping howler, this time from Phil Senior.

Campbell unleashed a tame-looking shot from about 35 yards that looked to be an easy save for Senior. However, for some inexplicable reason he allowed it to pass under his body and into the net. This was the signal for the end of Town?s resistance and Brentford continued to dominate more or less up to the final whistle without really creating any more clear cut chances.

All in all, another ?bad day at the office? for the Terriers and yet another afternoon to forget for their loyal fans. This match was truly an awful advertisement for football. Not just in terms of the quality of the entertainment on offer, but as at the Galpharm Stadium earlier this season, there was at best an underlying, simmering threat of violence evident and at worst, open antagonism between the two sets of players.

It is to be hoped that these two teams end up in separate divisions at the end of this season for the sake of the game of football itself, but on this evidence alone, I fear that it is more likely to be Brentford than Town who achieve their goal in this particular respect.

Full-time 2-0

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  • pompeygray says:

    The Terrier should now have the bit between it’s teeth.

  • FEn_100 says:

    It’s a game you needed to win there. That could mean the difference between play offs and automatic promotion.

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