Behind closed doors: Brentford return to Griffin Park and see off West Brom


After 111 days, Brentford returned  to what is about to be their ex-home, Griffin Park.

At a time when the club and it’s supporters are supposed to be celebrating the stadium’s rich history, ahead of it’s closure at the end of the season, it felt more like like what it actually is, a game behind closed doors.

Griffin Park, well known for having a pub in each corner of the stadium, usually packed and full of life, felt like a ghost town as the rain poured down relentlessly. The realisation didn’t really settle in until a temperature check was completed upon entrance into the ground.

Once inside the press area, a feeling of privilege kicked in, looking at the thousands of seats usually taken up by supporters.. The players came out to an almost silent stadium and were put through their paces by the coaches, after all it was a game with a lot hinging on it for both sides.

The sunshine over West London returned upon kick-off as the players and staff from both clubs took the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd who was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, exactly a month ago.

Just seconds into the game, Pontus Jansson, the Bee’s captain could be heard screaming at some of his team mates after some sloppy passes in the opening exchanges of the game.

Not much changed over the next 10 minutes as both teams struggled to create chances, much of the ball being played in a midfield which included ex Brentford Romaine Sawyers who returned to Griffin Park for the first time since his move to the Baggies last year.

Brentford took the lead in the 16th minute after some beautiful work down the left by Said Benrahma and Josh Dasilva and the latter’s low driven cross into the back post was bundled home by Ollie Watkins. The Brentford bench erupted in delight.

Despite of the lack of supporters in the ground, the game was played with high intensity even after the short water break. Frustration within the West Brom camp kicked in as they kept giving away silly fouls. At one point towards the end of the half, defender Semi Ajayi vented his frustration at referee Keith Stroud as another decision went against his side.

The unimpressed Slaven Bilic rolled on the changes at the interval as Kenneth Zahore and Filip Krovinović came into the side. The former nearly made and instant impact seven minutes after the break, striking the post from the edge of the box. 

Normally, West Brom fans would push their team in the quest to find an equaliser, but the Baggies went off the boil as Brentford gained control again. Bilic was animated on the touchline, hounding instructions at his players.

In contrast, Thomas frank remained calm and collected as his team remained disciplined and well organised. At the final whistle a feeling of relief was shared by all associated with Brentford as they grabbed all three points.

The result leaves Brentford with in just five points off their opponents as their push for promotion continues.


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Football correspondent from London covering the Premier League Football and EFL.

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