Brentford 0- Southampton 3
Brentford ended their League One home campaign with a comprehensive beating at the hands of Southampton.
Rather than taking the game to their promotion chasing - yet nervous - opponents, Nicky Forster chose to drop Myles Weston for Adam Reed in a move that spectacularly backfired.
Without doubt this was a display of small club mentality from the rookie manager as Adam Reed again failed to impress on the right of midfield. Reed certainly looks to have some ability but lacks the physical attributes to play on the flank and you wonder how much benefit his loan spell has done either player or club.
In contrast when Myles Weston was eventually introduced to the fray in the 63rd minute the visitors were immediately on the back foot as the pacy winger produced a fine display of strong running and intelligent crossing. He was also brought down for a penalty (which in fairness looked outside the box) which Sam Saunders promptly thumped against the post. This kind of summed up our season in one substandard moment.
Southampton were utterly dominant in the first half with Brentford second to every ball. Richard Chaplow cut a commanding figure in the centre of the park and only Karleigh Osborne appeared to have any answer to wave after wave of visiting attack. Robbie Neilson was again poor at centre half but was far from the only home player to underperform.
The Saints first goal came in the 16th minute from the lively Lallana who jinked around the edge of the box before crashing past Simon Moore at his near post. Connolly added a second on the half hour mark after frankly shambolic defending.
The final goal came from Gobern in injury time but, following the penalty miss, Brentford were already well beaten.
Youngster Luke Hacker made his Brentford debut late in the game but had little cause for celebration.
The only real highlight for many Bees was the sight of Southampton fans celebrating news of a late goal at Brighton, only to eventually realise that it had gone to Huddersfield. Snigger.
Nicky Forster came over to clap the home support at the final whistle but you sense that this might be the last time that he is in charge at Griffin Park - for a while at least. Southampton displayed the attributes that we need to get promoted from this division in spades and there is yet again a lot of work needed at Griffin Park over the summer.
Forster hasn't been helped by injuries, or the transfer windows, and deserves thanks for keeping us up but one doubts he has the contacts or the impetus to make us a promotion chasing side next term.
We've got umpteen players under contract for next season but it's hard to see many of the current squad mounting a promotion charge without a complete change of mentality and approach. Today it was sadly a case of 'same old Brentford' yet again.
The Bees travel to Huddersfield next Saturday in their final game of the season.
Bees - Moore, Kev, Osborne, Neilson, Wood, Saunders (Byrne), Bean, Dave, Reed (Weston), Grabban, Schlupp (Hacker)
Subs - Royce, Spillane, Reeves
With thanks to beesotted for their match report
May 3, 2011