Being the creative journalist that I am, this entire blog has so far been dedicated to the most generic hobby out there. So now that August is back it can be updated; in the words of David Mitchell, the constantly happening, dizzying, 24-hour year-long football is here. And it’s officially going on forever.
The writing might be a bit rusty after skipping pre-season, but hopefully you enjoy reading nonetheless.
After missing the Sheffield United away loss, Brentford travelled to phoenix club AFC Wimbledon for the League Cup First Round.
Kingsmeadow is essentially a non-league ground with League One tenants, and the bar inside the stand looked as though you were about to walk into the front room of a bungalow. I scrounged off my brother to buy a £3 pin badge, for the novelty and also to support an all-too-rare independent business which has been running since the club re-formed in 2002.
Two terraces added further character to the stadium. We were right on top of the pitch, and seemed to be nearer to future Premiership forward Ollie Watkins than Wimbledon’s right-back managed to get all night.
Early on The Bees looked like cruising to victory, but we scraped through in extra-time after falling behind to an absurd looping toe-poke goal.
Thankfully Romaine Sawyers found the top corner to equalise, just two minutes after plenty of fans criticised the decision to keep him on the pitch. Bring that **** off changed to ‘Romaine Sawyers baby’ in an instant, as the midfielder with a growing habit of silencing his critics forced extra time.
My brother and I agreed that we wanted penalties or at least a goal up our end. So when Watkins curled beautifully into the opposite goal to us, the scenes weren’t quite so wild as the celebrations for the equaliser. Luckily for us, Justin Shaibu became the first ever 4th substitute to score in English football – you’ll thank me later when you narrowly win a pub quiz.
Relieved at the 1-3 win, we headed home via the same M25 journey I’d make back from work for the next three days. After working in a supermarket for three weeks, the ‘might need a receipt in case I get stopped at the door’ joke has lost its shine after seeming so original at first.
Anyway, the mundane summer job gave way to another game – none other than Nottingham Forest at home.
Dating back to February, I’d been to eight games and Brentford had won all of them. Incredibly, the other eight Bees games in that time that I hadn’t been to resulted in a loss or draw – what a lucky charm! Failing to pass on a chain email that morning proved costly, as the lucky streak was finally broken with a 3-4 reverse.
You’ve probably had enough of me bleating on about Forest v Brentford matches by now. But in summary, supporters witnessed comical Brentford defending and two wonder goals from the Forest’s Bouchalakis, whilst contributing to a flat atmosphere in three of the Griffin Park stands.
The one time the home fans briefly sung was in support of manager Dean Smith after going 1-0 up, but the lead evaporated within two minutes. A light-hearted tweet suggesting that we should have kept opposing manager Mark Warburton didn’t go down too well with fellow Bees fans (see right –> With 30 followers on the ‘new’ account this is definitely not a plug).
But whoever you support and however good or bad your team is, the season starting up again is a cause for celebration in a year without international tournaments. Unless you count the erm… Confederations Cup and Women’s Euros.
It’s early days as they say, so roll on Bristol City tonight – hopefully The Bees will make it out of the relegation zone and begin turning the table upside-down.
An infuriating draw in our latest 6-a-side game v Queens Park Strangers has only added fuel to the fire on a personal level for the League Cup 2nd round – away at Queens Park Rangers! After beating Wimbledon, a long-awaited cup run could be Brentford’s best chance of glory this season.
Que sera sera…