Brentford are finding it hard going this season in the League and sit down there in 24th spot with only one win, and 3 goals scored, in 4 home games. They've first lost to Walsall and Rochdale, 1-2 and 1-3 and then amazingly defeated top of the table Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in what was the Owls first defeat of the season. And although they kept another clean sheet in their last home game against Hartlepool they couldn't score either and the game finished 0-0. So only three goals scored in 6 hours of play in league games at Griffin Park.
Away from home its even worse with only two points won in draws at Swindon and Bristol Rovers and defeats at Carlisle, Orient and Brighton so overall its not looking very good with just that one win in 8 games. But, before you get too carried away perhaps we should mention their fine League Cup form where in a similar three games, all at home, its been three wins out of three against Cheltenham and Hull, both 2-1, and then Everton on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
But overall if you think we have hard luck in front of goal, then you should feel really sorry for Brentford fans with just 4 league goals scored in 8 games making them Tier Three's lowest scorers. And their current run of two draws followed by two defeats have all come without a single goal scored and after only losing a total of four home league games in the last two seasons things are not looking good for Scott with two home defeats already.
In contrast, the Addicks are on a run of 4 games unbeaten with two draws and two wins and after our only non-scoring game at Exeter, a 0-1 defeat, we have scored 5 in the last 4 games.
The voting took place last week in the PFA player of the month for September and rather surprisingly included in the 5 shortlisted was the Bees skipper Irishman Kevin O'Connor - the others are Jamie McCombe and Gary Roberts (Huddersfield), Aaron McLean (Peterboro'), and Josh McQuoid(Bournemouth).
Its a real home from home down at Griffin Park these days because there's no fewer than four ex-Addicks in the Bees ranks. Chief man has to be Charlie MacDonald who only scored one for us in his dozen or so appearances from the bench but it was an important one against QPR in a 1-0 victory back in 2000. He's now 29 and after a few years in non-league football with Crawley and Gravesend he's clearly found a good home at the Bees where he's been now for two years scoring a total of 37 goals with 17 coming last season. And Charlie it was that scored the only goal in the defeat of Sheffield Wednesday back on 5th September in a top versus bottom clash that saw Brentford win for the first time in seven league games. And it was an all ex-Addicks moment as it was Myles Weston who supplied the cross.
They also have Nicky Forster who has yet to score for them but got two for us last season in his 8 games for us as well as Myles Weston and 39 year old Simon Royce who played nine games for us and after Forster came on in the 87th minute against Orient last weekend all three outfield Addicks were on the field. And our ex-boys can take penalties as well as was proved against Everton. All three outfield players, MacDonald, Forster and Weston all scored in the shootout before Phil Jagielka missed for the Toffees.
And if you're looking for even more connections with the Addicks, Hermann Hreidarsson is very close to Bees fans hearts he being their most expensive player back in 1998 when they paid 750k for him before he inevitably became their most expensive sale as well a year later for 2.5m in a move to Wimbledon.
So with only 4 League goals to their name how is it that they have a top scorer with more than ours. Well, thats because of their successful Cup exploits. He's 25 year old Robbie Simpson, on loan from Huddersfield Simpson who's previously played for Coventry. He joined the Sky Blues at the start of the 2007–08 season along with a host of other new players, and was immediately touted as a future star by the man who bought him, manager Iain Dowie. That sounds familar, didn't that happen to us?
What Are They Saying?
Meanwhile, Bees striker Gary Alexander, who scored the goal against Everton (Myles Weston again supplying the cross ) looking for excuses after failing to score, and losing 0-1 at Orient 3 days after beating Everton, says they are not creating enough. "When we are creating chances we are missing them but we are not creating an awful lot"
Someone else was also discussing missing chances and it was Paul Benson yesterday: "In my head I can put it [lack of goals] down to switching clubs and the unrest that comes with that, plus getting used to a different style of play. I've been playing a slightly different role for the team and for the gaffer. I've been playing a little bit deeper than what I'm used to but I was right up top on Tuesday which is where I want to play and I managed to get the goal."
And early in the week manager Scott told the London Evening Standard, "My job is on the line if we keep losing games. There is no point playing well and then losing every week."
Meanwhile, the Sporting life were not very impressed by midweek football standards in Tier Three, "but a shocking lack of quality from both sides ensured real chances remained few and far between until Jonathan Fortune headed just over in the 78th minute."
We've had a total of 40 games against Brentford and managed 5 wins out of 19 games at Griffin Park but we've lost two of our last three visits there and haven't won since 1980 when we won in this seasons favorite scoreline, 1-0 with a goal by defender Peter Shaw. That year, thirty years ago, was the year we got out of the Third Tier by finishing third behind Rotherham and Barnsley. Could that scenario be repeated on Saturday?
Last seasons encounters were a 1-1 in Brentford with Nicky Bailey equalising with a penalty in the 58th minute after Carl Cort had put the Bees ahead 5 minutes earlier. At the Valley it was a record breaking 6th win in a row with Burton and Sam scoring in the first half to put us clear at the top of the table.
What's Their Secret?
At last we face a team that's even worse than we are during the second half. But surprise, surprise, despite the doom and gloom over our current poor second half performances, we've now managed to score more during the second 45 than the first, 6 goals to 5. But whereas we at least have scored during the second half, poor old Brentford have failed completely to score a single goal during the second half in their 8 league games. Incredible but true.
But, the most important player this week would appear to be Simon Francis who has the job of keeping the Bees main supply line, Myles Weston, quiet. Weston, still only 22, left the Addicks in 2007 and arrived at Griffin Park in 2009 via Notts County. Francis has met Myles before and will remember his last game at Brentford last season and although his team Southend lost 1-2 to a penalty in the 95th minute, he it was that put the shrimpers in front from a free-kick in the 9th minute. Weston also played that game and it was a foul on him by another ex, Osei Sankofa, that gave Brentford their first goal also from the penalty spot.
Worner; Francis, Doherty, Fortune, Fry; Martin, Semedo, Racon, Jackson; Benson, Abbott
Our third game in 3 weeks against a team in the bottom three and having failed to despatch the first two what are our chances of completing an unwanted hat-trick. Very high actually. Thirty years since a win there in what is a London derby and with so many ex-Addicks just champing at the bit to get a win under their belt at our expense. And their home form against such teams as Wednesday and Everton should give Parky some food for thought.
The fact that they are bottom of the league may change peoples ideas but back in the summer only 4 punters out of 38 on cafcpicks saw this as an away win which shows how difficult a game it was thought to be. Local derbies often end in draws and this could well be the likely scenario with Charlie MacDonald getting a goal in a 1-1 draw. With twelve players already on the Addicks goalscoring charts after a total of 10 games played, who'll get the equaliser is anybody's guess.