Brentford-Mad.co.uk Season Review 2005/06 - January
Feature by Smallsy
Updated Thursday, 27th July 2006
The first month of 2006 promised to be exciting for Brentford, but could they reclaim top spot?
The FA Cup, as in 2004/05, had seemingly become a distraction for Brentford and with their third round game against Stockport on the first Saturday of the year, the clubs first challenge was to beat off a Bradford City side also looking to inject some life into their season.
Having beaten Brentford badly the previous season, the Bees went into the game looking for revenge and looking for some good preparation ahead of a busy month.
The game turned out to be a thriller in the end, but Bradford gladly accepted a point after clawing their way back from 2-0 and 3-1 down in the second half. Two DJ Campbell goals started the game with Bridge-Wilkinson getting the first of his two just on the break. Sodje made it 3-1 before Wetherall and Bridge-Wilkinson recused a point for the Bantams.
Late goals once more appeared to be the story of Brentford season and having scored so many of them it was a major blow to lose out on three points against a side they should have beaten. None the less, the result was good enough to send them up to third as League matters were put to one side for the sake of the FA Cup.
Stockport County of League two stood in the way of Brentford and a potentially money spinning Premiership tie in the fourth round. The experience of the men from Griffin Park showed through as they went 1-0 up through Owusu before being pegged back by goals from Easter and Briggs.
Another goal from starlet DJ Campbell was enough to drag Brentford back level before Rankin netted five minutes from time to send the bees away from Edgeley Park a delighted team.
Once more putting their topsy-turvey League form behind them the Bees had made it to round four for the second time in two years. The exciting draw took place at FA headquarters the following Monday as the club waited with baited breathe for it's number to be drawn out.
For Brentford the Cup was once again a shining light and it was Sunderland who would be next to face Brentford at Griffin Park.
Off the pitch, things were also changing. The existing board were ousted as former BBC director and Brentford fan Greg Dyke fulfilled his lifelong dream by taking over at his favourite club. Just at the right time, things seemed to be falling into place and with stability reached off the field for the time being, it was time for Martin and his side to start winning some games.
Sadly the Bees were not able to capitalise on more slip ups by the teams around them as they went down to their heaviest defeat of the season away to Southend. With the Shrimpers flying high in the table, Brentford knew they had to get a good result to stay in touch, but travelling to Roots Hall they were sadly beaten 4-1. Not even another goal from DJ Campbell to keep his incredible scoring run going was enough to soften the blow of defeat.
The clubs next game was at Griffin Park against Nottingham Forest, however another disapointing home performance was enough to continue the distress of Brentford's faithful. Held to a 1-1 draw by a struggling Forest, who played for an hour with just ten men, the bees were clearly in danger of blowing their title and promotion chances.
Campbell scored once again but his goal was one of at least twenty Brentford had on the night.
The Bees next game was a slghtly happier encounter as Brentford finally managed to claim a League win in January. Goals from Campbell and Owusu were enough to give Brentford a massive boost ahead of their big FA Cup tie with Sunderland and send the Bees back up to fourth place.
The moment that all bees fans had been waiting for arrived next as the proudest moment of the year at Griffin Park once more saw an FA Cup encounter against Premiership opposition.
12 Months earlier, Southampton had claimed victory at Griffin Park in a replay but this time Allen was determined to overcome the odds and beat a struggling Sunderland side. For the home side it certainly was a day to remember as the Bees were given a 2-1 victory by a brace from DJ Campbell.
Despite a Julio Arca strike to cancel out the bees first goal the former Yeading man was not to be denied as in the last minute he weaved his way past Sunderland defenders before sliding in the winning goal to send Griffin Park into ecstacy.
Sadly the joy for Brentford was short lived as after scoring ten goals in his last eleven games DJ Campbell left the club to join Premiership Birmingham, a deal which Greg Dyke described as great business saw the club net an initial 500k with incentives of up to another half million depending on his performances.
Despite Campbell's exit, the confidence at Brentford was suddenley sky high and it seemed as if the next months would only hold joy for the club.