Brentford 0 Chesterfield 1
Jaded Bees Stutter at Home
Chesterfield took all three points at Griffin Park last night against a Brentford side that looked short on energy and ideas.
Saturday's draw with Wycombe has seemingly dwindled the Bees' energy banks as they put in a patchy performance at home against the league's form club Chesterfield - who took all three points with a 1-0 win.
The Sprirites - who are looking to gatecrash the playoffs - looked like a big, physical and well organised team (it was not unlike a Brentford away performance under Martin Allen), albeit a direct and somewhat monotonous one.
On form I have no doubts that Brentford would have won last night, but a lack of running off the ball and a series of unforced basic errors prevented Andy Scott's team from reaching a consistent tempo.
That said, Brentford had the better of the first half with several decent chances - an away defender heading a David Hunt throw past his own price, a tame header from Charlie Macdonald after fine work from Sam Wood, and a complete miskick from Jordan Rhodes following a low powered Macdonald cross.
After the break though, it was a different matter as fatigue started to show and the errors increased in number. Chief culprit was John Halls, who had a night to forget at full back, but the likes of Dickson, Newton, Marvin and Johnson were also below par. David Hunt looked full of running again, but without any real purpose - and it was through the heart of our midfield that the goal came with a cute finish from Martin Gritton following a Jack Lester pass.
Chesterfield could have doubled their lead when Halls, who looked short on concentration and confidence, hit a woeful backpass straight to Aaron Downes who hit the post after Hamer narrowed the angle well. Chesterfield had other chances too, but failed to increase their advantage.
To Brenford's credit they did continue force some late pressure, but too often Hunt's corners and throws hit the front man, and when The Bees did break through they were thwarted by Chesterfield keeper Lee - who made a great save from an acrobatic Marcus Bean effort.
During the match Brentford also lost Jordan Rhodes and Sam Wood to injury - two players that have been key performers recently. With six days to go until our trip to Dagenham, let's hope that they have time to recover (exact injuries unknown at present - Rhodes looked worse than Wood), and the rest of the team are able to recharge their batteries.
I would also argue that we missed Kevin O'Connor and Nathan Elder last night - Kev's mopping up in front of the back four was noticable by its absence and the sheer physical presence of Elder is not replicated by Sam Williams (who, to his credit, again showed some neat touches after replacing Rhodes).
Last night's disappointing crowd of 4500 also seemed all too willing to moan at Brentford - who remain top of the table - and keep destiny in their own hands. We are in this together, and the team needs our support in order to get over the finishing line and return to League One. Moan after the game in the pub or on the bus by all means, but we've simply got to get behind the team when inside the stadium.
Brentford have bounced back before in this division this season, and let's hope we do it again for the TV cameras next Monday night in East London, and then at home to Gillingham the following Saturday.
Bees - Hamer, Halls, Bennett, Phillips, Dickson, Newton (M.Williams), Bean, Hunt, Wood (Johnson), Rhodes (S.Williams), Macdonald.... unused subs Simon Brown, Osborne.
Thanks to Condorman and beesotted for the match report
March 18, 2009