Brentford-Mad.co.uk Season Review 2005/06 - May
Feature by Smallsy
Updated Wednesday, 2nd August 2006
The final month of the season came Brentford's way and with the playoffs looming what would their final three games hold.
In March, the club had been as many as three points clear at the top of the League, now it was staring a second successive playoff campaign in the face with a realistic chance that after so much hard work could all be lost in the space of a dramatic 180 minutes.
Drawing four times in their last six games, Brentford had one last chance to beat the odds and claim a place in the championship automatically. First the club had to beat Bournmouth and then hope that rivals Colchester slipped up in their final game against Yeovil Town.
At half time the U's were being held by their opponents whilst on the strike of half time the Bees were being levelled up at 1-1 after an equalising goal from Foley Sheridan.
In the second half, reports from elsewhere suggested that it was only a matter of time before Colchester conceeded as Brentford went 2-1 up through Andrew Frampton. Sadly for the bees it wasnt their afternoon as first the final whistle went at Huish Park to confirm Colchester's promotion and seconds later they were denied victory by another dreadfully late goal from Steve Flectcher in the 90 minute.
Realising now that once more their only route to promotion was through the dreaded playoffs, the bees discovered that their opponents in the end of season lottery would be a Swansea side who after a sucessful first season in the playoffs made it to the show piece after a win on the final day of the season.
With five days between the end of the season and the first game of the playoff series between the bees and swans, Martin Allen was allowed time for prepare his team for what could be their biggest game of the season.
Havign been defeated 2-1 by Swansea through a 90 minute goal in March by Swansea it was important that Brentford learnt lessons and more importantly attempted to bring a good result back to Griffin Park. The big blow for Brentford was the suspension of Sam Sodje, sadly the defender was sent off in their final game against Bournmouth and would miss the first leg.
The first game started as a tetchy encounter, neither side wanted to give the other too much space, but instantly Brentford became the dominant side. A goal from Jay Tabb was enough to give them a lead in the first half and the midfielder was controlling the game with his excellent deep runs.
In the second half, Brentford once again dominated but could not add to their advantage despite chances and posession galore. It was rather inevtable then, that they would once more sucombe to a late goal, this time the scorer was Sam Ricketts, who's 87 minute strike enough to take the wind out of Brentford sails ahead of the second leg.
With just three games between the two ties, there wasn't much time to regroup and after controlling so much of game one, it was important for Brentford to pick up that momentum again attempt to make the most of home advantage.
Roared on by a massive crowd at Griffin Park however, Brentford came unstuck early against Swansea. A fantastic strike from Leon Knight early in the game game his side the advantage and as Brentford pressed he struck a second which was enough to send his side into the playoff final.
Despite pressing for the rest of the game, Brentford could not bring themselves back into the game and it wasnt to be for the side who had worked so hard to attempt to guarentee themselves missing out on the heartbreak they were suffering at the present moment.
Another long hard season for nothing but suffering for Brentford and their fans, after the year before and the devestation of losing to Sheffield Wednesday, the defeat to Swansea was in some ways inevitable but none the less painful.
On to 2006/07 it was then as Brentford looked to the future, realising that their first task may be to hang onto their best players...