Grimsby 0 Bees 1

Six more wins ensure promotion

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Brentford Football Club

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Brentford last night gained another three vital point in their promotion push, with leading marksman Charlie Macdonald's goal separating the sides during a blustery encounter at Blundell Park.

What a performance. I dread these types of games, and getting to Grimsby, my car took a pounding from the wind and rain, so didn't feel confident about the game at all, knowing that the weather was a leveller, against a team fighting for survival.

It was never going to be a game of good football, and to be quite honest, we looked nervy at the back, especially Karleigh, who had a shocking first half. And so it proved. Few clear cut chances, watched nearly 100 throw-ins on one side of the pitch, as the wind was ferocious and blowing from left to right as we sat. Never mind, though, you cannot play football in these conditions, but after half an hour, a great turn by Rhodes to get away from his marker, a great ball across to the incoming Newton who had timed his run to perfection, but was too tight to shoot, so squared to Charlie, who was in the perfect position to fire home.

Grimsby enjoyed some possession too, and perhaps had a chance to equalise, but they were dreadful in front of goal, and we defended solidly, so had no real worries. Hamer pulled off one good save from a free-kick but that was just about it. Wood had a chance to send us 2 clear, but the keeper saved well, and the half descended into boredom.

The second half was one of the worst in terms of quality, but we needed fight, and never looked like conceding, even if we rarely looked like scoring. The final whistle couldn't come quick enough and a very buoyant Brentford crowd celebrated a well-earned win. The conditions utterly ruined the game and Grimsby looked short on confidence and on quality.

I heard many Grimsby fans criticise us for our poor quality, but the wind levelled the two sides, yet they were really bad and couldn't do anything against us, especially in the second half when other than a 2 minute spell of pressure, we killed the game, and quite rightly too. If we had opened it up, it might have allowed more mistakes to occur, but by keeping the ball in their corner, against the wind, it was a comfortable performance.

Hamer - 7 - little to do and did well to adjust to the conditions.
Osborne - 5 - Shocking first half, so scored 3, but a much-improved second half, so scored 7.
Dickson - 7 - Concentrated well and put in an excellent covering tackle to clear the ball when Grimsby did look dangerous.
Bennett - 7 - Coped excellently with the high ball in the wind and cleared from defence excellently.
Phillips - 7 - Won some vital headers and coped with the conditions very well.
Newton - 7 - A good performance from Newton, I thought, who used his footballing brain well to not shoot from the tight angle, when a lesser player might have sought glory. Some good tackles and good running.
Wood - 7 - Great engine again, some excellent tackles, some wonderful clearances, and generally very good.
O'Connor - 6 - Didn't quite cope well, but hardly to blame. Their high ball in the wind must have been frustrating, but he did ok.
Bean - 6 - Much like O'Connor and not to blame for not really dominating the midfield.
MacDonald - 7 - Full of running and workrate to force mistakes, but it was a tough game for any striker. Deserved his goal.
Rhodes - 7 - Full of running and when he had the ball to feet, especially in the first half, he retained possession excellently.
Elder - 6 - Came on and his usual awkward self, giving Grimsby a headache when they had to chase the game. The substitution was timed perfectly and Grimsby never looked threatening once big Nathan came on.
Hunt - Not on for long enough to mark, but looks industrious (and a team player).
Unused subs were Simon Brown, Poole and Williams

Andy Scott played this game perfectly, and we needed to get into the lead and hold it and sap the confidence out of Grimsby. Grimsby progressively got worse throughout the first half, the second half, they tried to come at us and might have succeeded if they possessed any quality, but got frustrated, put in late challenges on us, and the introduction of Elder pinned them back, and we killed the game. Therefore Scott gets my Man of the Match vote for getting our tactics spot on.

Roughly 300-350 Bees fans were in great voice - we hardly stopped singing and I feel that we ALL knew that one goal would be enough and that the lack of spectacle was, for once, a good thing to see. Brilliant team performance in incredibly difficult circumstances.

Thanks to Leicester Bee and beesotted for the match report

March 6, 2009