Bee-shaped hole in your life this Saturday? Reminisce on the super season that was (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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Bee-shaped hole in your life this Saturday? Reminisce on the super season that was
Brentford at last achieved promotion to the second tier of English football, in the same year the club’s future was secured by Hounslow Civic Centre.
A planning committee meeting on December 5 gave the Bees the green light to build their 20,000-capacity stadium at Lionel Road, near Kew Bridge.
Owner Matthew Benham put his money where his mouth is, both on and off the pitch, with investments in infrastructure, the playing squad and the academy.
Optimism was high among Brentford supporters in the summer, despite the cruel nature in which the Bees were denied promotion last season.
After a sporadic start and even more concerning October, the club's supporters were calling for head of manager Uwe Rosler.
People refer to the “changing room lock-in” after the Stevenage defeat as being the turning point, but remember how bad the Bees played for 79 minutes in the next match against Colchester.
But something did click and, once it did, there was no stopping Rosler’s men - even if performances were a little unconvincing.
The club survived the minor blip of Rosler’s departure to Wigan with Warburton taking over the reins in what was a seamless transition.
Warburton’s lack of fear was undoubtedly what this squad of talented players, such as Alan Judge and Adam Forshaw, needed, as well as the determination and grit of Tony Craig and Alan McCormack.
The Bees sealed promotion with three games remaining, leaving Brentford fans almost disbelieving - for very different reasons than 12 months ago.
The players, management and fans can now look forward to a summer of relaxation and World Cup football before planning trips to the likes of Leeds, Forest and local basket-case Fulham.
Brentford 3-1 Sheffield United (H) - August 10, 2013
League position: 7th
The Bees set the bar high for the season when they took apart David Weir’s Sheffield United outfit in the first home game of the season.
Will Grigg achieved his peak for the campaign with two goals and even found time to miss a penalty, in true Brentford fashion.
Adam Forshaw let rip with a thunderbolt, a trick he would repeat many times before the end of the season.
This convincing display left the home crowd thrilled with the prospect of what was to come - Doncaster and Wembley felt a lifetime away.
Brentford 3-1 Colchester United (H) - October 19, 2013
League position: 11th
Just two months later and the season was starting to run away from Uwe Rosler’s Bees.
A soul-destroying 2-1 loss at relegation fodder Stevenage followed league losses against Orient, Bradford and Rotherham.
At 1-0 down, the atmosphere at Griffin Park was poisonous - chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” echoed around the ground.
But up stepped the underperforming Marcello Trotta to draw Brentford level, before goals from George Savile and Kadeem Harris secured all three points.
If ever there was a turning point in the season, this was it.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Brentford (A) - November 23, 2013
League position: 4th
Brentford followed up the Colchester victory with six straight wins in all competitions to set up a mouth-watering tie at Molineux.
The west London side outfought and outplayed their wealthy opponents but failed to break down Wolves’ resolute defence that would serve them so well this season.
Alan McCormack’s screamer almost won it for Brentford, who laid down a marker they were to be taken seriously this year.
Little did the Bees faithful know, just two games (and six points) later, their season was about to be rocked by manager Uwe Rosler’s departure to Championship club Wigan Athletic.
Brentford 3-2 Swindon Town (H) - December 26, 2013
League position: 3rd
The Warburton revolution was well under way by Boxing Day, with the new boss racking up three wins from his first three games in charge.
Play-off chasing Swindon posed a stern test for a Brentford side in form and came out of the blocks fast, twice leading the tie.
But Brentford showed their resilience and in the end, their class won the day.
This game will forever be remembered for Sam Saunders falling flat on his face while taking a trademark free-kick, to the amusement of the away fans before picking himself up to score from the second attempt.
Peterborough United 1-3 Brentford (A) - January 1, 2014
League position: 1st
After a convincing 3-1 win against Milton Keynes catapulted the Bees to the top of the division, Warburton’s side came up against Darren Ferguson’s Posh.
And it was another gritty, hard-earned win in the east midlands with another headline display from Sam Saunders.
At 2-1 up, a Rosler side may well have sat back and conceded but Peterborough away proved the new gaffer had a different philosophy - score more than them.
Brentford pushed on, when the home side might have, to seal the win in stoppage time.
Fergie Jr told reporters he wished Posh could play the Bees every week - would you like time to think about that again, Darren?
Leyton Orient 0-1 Brentford (A) - March 15, 2014
League position: 2nd
Marcello Trotta scored the goal that proved this Brentford team do turn up when it really matters, to send the Bees ahead of their east London promotion rivals.
In front of nearly 3,000 travelling supporters, the visitors dug in when James Tarkowski saw red and if anything, performed even better with a man less.
It was the result that killed of Orient’s automatic dreams and they struggled to rediscover their form after the disappointment of losing to Brentford.
Os boss Russell Slade commented that Brentford “celebrated like they had won the FA Cup”, a soundbite latched upon by Bees fans in the coming weeks.
“We’re super Brentford and we’re going up, we’ll celebrate like we won the cup”.
Brentford 1-0 Preston North End (H) - April 18, 2014
League position: 2nd
The day it finally happened.
After 22 seasons of mediocrity and plenty more before that, Brentford could finally look forward to mixing it with the second tier clubs again.
Influential loanee Alan Judge wrote his name into Griffin Park folklore with the decisive penalty.
The tricky winger teased home fans by missing a second spot-kick with 10 minutes to go and Brentford hearts in mouths.
The full-time whistle sparked a mass pitch invasion, a true outpouring of emotion after years of failure and the heartbreak of last season. Brentford had done it. At long last.
Brentford 2-0 Stevenage (H) - May 3, 2014
League position: 2nd
A day to celebrate again, in the third instalment of the League One farewell tour which had been conga-ing down from Milton Keynes to Colchester and back to TW8.
The match seemed unimportant, particularly compared the club legend Kevin O’Connor making his 500th appearance for the Bees.
Stuart Dallas and Alan Judge got the party started by wrapping up the match as Brentford equalled a club record of 94 points in a season.
In front of a sell-out home crowd, the class of 2013/14 paraded the pitch, with Bees, young and old, saluting their heroes.
The day was made a double celebration as news filtered through that the long-running joke that is Fulham had finally achieved relegation. Will you come to Griffin Park?
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