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Tom Ambrose, London24’s Brentford blogger
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Hereford in 2008. Southampton in 2011 and now Sheffield Wednesday this season. It seems to be a recurring theme whereby the visitors in the final Griffin Park game of the season win promotion or appear to leave with it in the bag.
Nobody likes to see anybody celebrating on their patch. I recall former manager Andy Scott describing how he had left the changing room door ajar post Hereford so that his players could hear the celebrations. It must have had some effect as twelve months later it was us on celebrating promotion back to League One.
After last season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley, Nicky Forster made the players stand and watch Carlisle receiving their winners medals. Once again, this was supposed to be motivation for the future. Perhaps we have yet to see the impact that experience had on this group of players.
The visits of Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday in recent years have been very similar to each other. Whilst neither team secured promotion at Brentford, the three points they left with put them in prime positions to finish the job off the following week. Southampton did just that, and look at them now. Sheffield Wednesday take on a deflated Wycombe side next week knowing three points will take them up.
On both occasions, I have watched on with envy from the Ealing Road. Seeing away fans and players jubilantly celebrating vital moments of their season really is not pleasant for home supporters. The silver lining of last week’s game is that, unlike the Hereford or Southampton games (both mediocre 0-3 defeats), the Bees completely outplayed Sheffield Wednesday.
It was a game we didn’t deserve to lose. Having seen both matches against them this season, the Owls really aren’t all that. But it is them next week who will be celebrating promotion, not us. Despite the defeat, most supporters walked away from Griffin Park feeling positive for next season. A couple of clinical strikers and a bit more of a steely resolve then maybe, just maybe it will be Brentford who are on the brink of something special with one game remaining next season.
But for this season, the dream has died - mathematically now. Another season of what might have been. Once again, Brentford are the bridesmaids but never the brides.
To follow Tom on Twitter, go to @griffinparktom