Brentford 2 Charlton Athletic 1
Tonight was a free hit. Brentford have been rolling over teams and for my pound, deserve promotion. Yet to be ahead for more than an hour and lose to a penalty and what looked an own goal to me is pretty sickening. The facts of the matter are though Brentford are a very impressive side and we were becoming more and more under the cosh before they won their penalty.
Bow made several changes, perhaps with an eye to Saturday, but it was good to see Jonny Williams back, and I thought he, Sam Field, Jake Forster-Caskey and Alfie Doughty all played admirably.
First half we were excellent and scored after just 8 minutes. A great move down the left and a peach of a cross By Doughty was headed on by JFC, and then flicked in by Bonne. It was the first time Brentford had conceded in 5 games, but that goal will do the lad a load of good.
8 minutes. That was a long time to hang on, but we almost grabbed a second when a Cullen corner was scraped away from the bar and Jason Pearce volleyed the rebound in what would been an unstoppable shot. It was inches from having us 2-0 up.
At the half we’d really restricted them to long distance shots, as each and every Charlton player chased down everything.
We approached the game really well but gradually the possession stakes were becoming very one way. The Bees were dropping deeper to pick up the ball and they move it forward quickly and artfully. Benrahma is an excellent player at this level.
We invited more pressure by removing Williams and Field almost on the hour. Perhaps too soon but Field had taken a knock, and Williams has not played a full game since he was at school. Alfie too was knackered, but without doubt the introduction of Lapslie, Pratley and Oshilaja was a message that we were to sit back and cling on.
McGeady may have a better bet as an outlet, but the gulf between our squad and their’s was plain to see.
They were getting through on goal more and more, and the clock was looking like it was hardly moving. Phillips saved us a couple of times, but Benrahma won a tight penalty and sent Phillips the wrong way to equalize.
We restarted on the front foot and Oshilaja had a header saved. unfortunately there was still five minutes left, and a quickly taken short corner caught us out and I think Pearce had the final touch for them to score.
Gut wrenching. But we were under no illusions going there and we played with heart and a real boldness. Take the positives and the energy and move on.
Bow: “But tonight you’re playing against a top, top Brentford side who have been hammering teams left, right and centre, before the lockdown and after the lockdown, they’re the in-form team in our division and we’ve just given them a right scare.”
Their bloke: “This is a massive win. I just had a feeling because of all the circumstances of this game it would be difficult. Charlton are a good side and they fighting for their lives. They are well structured.”
Elsewhere: Luton, Barnsley and Huddersfield all gained a point. The first two against each other and Huddersfield at Reading.
The positives – we played well and look sharper as team and maybe deserved a point. The negatives – I thought Bow went a bit too defensive too early and maybe the drinks break after 70 minutes gave Brentford the opportunity to press F5 and refresh.
If we can play like that from here on then we’ll survive and the overall performance was the takeaway for me.
Bowyer once again chose defensive options when making substitutions and again it didn’t work. Doughty played well but would have an even greater influence if played further forward he has pace and can finish if he gets into the box.