The 2004-5 season kicked off on the 7th of August. Brentford’s first game was away at Chesterfield. After last seasons final day heroics Brentford were the bookies favourites to go down and they got off to a bad start against Chesterfield losing 3-1 with Alex Rhodes scoring the Bees first goal of the season.
The Bees won their first league game of the season and it was a 7 goal thriller against Doncaster with the Bees winning 4-3 with Rankin, Hargreaves, Burton and Tabb scoring the goals. Matt Somner was given a straight red card for a bad tackle.
The Bees gained in confidence and beat Wrexham 1-0 with Kevin O’Connor scoring in the 85th minute.
The Bees then had a shocking performance against Peterborough being thumped 3-0.
In the first round of the Carling Cup the Bees crashed out against Ipswich 2-0. The Bees played well but Ipswich were in a League above them and were just too good for Brentford.
The Bees then had their biggest win of the season against Stockport beating them 3-0 with Michael Dobson, John Salako and Deon Burton scoring in the first 30 minutes of the match
Then the Bees had a shocking performance at Ashton Gate with the Bees losing 4-1 with Kevin O’Connor scoring a consolation goal.
Then a great turnaround came along. Brentford beat Bournemouth 2-1 with Stewart Talbot and Isaiah Rankin scoring the goals.
Chris Hargreaves and Sam Sodje scored in a fight-back against Torquay to make the score 2-2.
A John Salako penalty won the home game against Port Vale 1-0 which put the Bees in a play-off spot for the first time.
Another John Salako penalty was the difference against Walsall as the Bees won 1-0 again.
An awful performance from Brentford’s second team saw them crash out of the LDV Vans trophy 3-0 to MK Dons in the first round.
A 2-0 win at Oldham saw Brentford in second place in the league and in the hunt for an automatic promotion spot. Isaiah Rankin and Deon Burton scoring either side of half time.
Then came two 0-0 draws against Barnsley and MK Dons. Andy Myers was sent off by Paul Danson against MK Dons. The Bees kept their second spot though from these two games but would need to improve.
The Bees then raised their game dramatically to beat Hartlepool 2-1. Isaiah Rankin and Deon Burton scoring the goals.
An atrocious performance against Blackpool saw Brentford’s unbeaten home record go up in tangerine coloured smoke. Blackpool were by far the better team and trounced Brentford 3-0.
Brentford then lost to Tranmere 1-0 and were looking as if their good start would peter out into mid-table respectability.
The Bees got out of their slump when they managed to get a point of Huddersfield with Sam Sodje scoring an equaliser after Pawel Abbott had put the Terriers ahead.
Brentford’s first FA Cup game was at Bristol City. Having been trounced 4-1 back in the league Brentford needed to improve. John Salako’s 7th minute goal gave Brentford the lead and it looked as if a 2nd round tie was booked until a Stuart Nelson howler took the game back to Griffin Park.
Brentford lost their second home game on the trot to Bradford City. Alex Rhodes scoring an injury time consolation.
The replay at Griffin Park was a tight affair. Andrew Frampton gave Brentford the lead before half time but Bristol City equalised. Into extra time the game went. Martin Allen brought Alex Rhodes on in extra time which changed the balance of the game. The match went to penalties. Stuart Nelson saved Paul Heffernan’s attempt. Jamie Lawrence blasted over the stand. When Leroy Lita blasted the ball out of the ground it was left to Alex Rhodes to score the winning penalty.
Brentford’s success in the Cup was brought back down to earth when they lost 2-0 at Hull City.
Away at Conference North side Hinckley United for the 2nd Round Game in the FA Cup. John Salako should have put a penalty home but dragged his shot hopelessly wide and back to Griffin Park we went again.
Then at home to Luton Town Steve Howard foolishly got himself sent off and Deon Burton and Ben May, on loan from Milwall finished the job for the Bees as they ran out 2-0 winners.
Brentford then came from behind against Sheffield Wednesday. Michael Turner had been sent off for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity and MacLean had put away the resulting penalty. Martin Allen had been sent to the stands when Alex Rhodes and Deon Burton scored within 2 minutes of each other to win the game.
The Hinckley replay followed this game and after Rhodes had put away the penalty Hinckley equalised. But Captain Marvel Stewart Talbot rounded off the win for the Bees and a trip to Luton was the reward.
John Salako made up for his penalty miss against Hinckley with the winner against Colchester United.
Then the Bees hit their Christmas dip. They lost 3-1 at home to Torquay with Rankin scoring to take the lead.
Then a beating at Swindon followed as Brentford lost 3-0 at The County Ground.
Then after being 3 goals down at Bournemouth the Bees fought back gallantly with two good goals from Isaiah Rankin.
Brentford won 1-0 against Walsall with a Jay Tabb corner either going straight in or a Walsall defender getting the final touch. This game will be remembered for the horrific injury Paul McShane gave to Alex Rhodes.
Away to Luton in the 3rd Round and Brentford managed to prevent this one going to a replay with goals from Jay Tabb and Chris Hargreaves booking Brentford’s place in the 4th round draw.
Eddie Hutchinson’s goal was the difference between Brentford and Port Vale and the Bees ran out 1-0 winners.
Brentford came from behind to win against Swindon at Griffin Park. With Deon Burton equalising and Stephen Hunt scoring the winner.
Sam Sodje made sure that Brentford obtained a point against Barnsley at Griffin Park. With their next match against Hartlepool Brentford really did need to win it first time out at Griffin Park.
The Bees were unable to finish off Hartlepool and when Isaiah Rankin missed a sitter Brentford had to go back up to Hartlepool.
A Stephen Hunt penalty was the difference as Brentford beat MK Dons 1-0 at Griffin Park with Ademole Bankole making his Bees debut.
Brentford then played Hartlepool in the FA Cup Replay with the winner facing Southampton. Stephen Hunt had his 8th minute penalty saved. Isaiah Rankin managed to score the winner which meant a big day out in the Cup for the Bees next weekend.
Brentford started nervously and were behind to a Henri Camara goal after just 4 minutes. Brentford nearly equalised through Deon Burton but after a Nelson clearance hit the back of Kevin Phillips head Southampton broke away and Camara scored his second and seemingly wrap up this tie. However Martin Allen’s Brentford don’t give up and Isaiah Rankin brought them back into the game. Sam Sodje picked up the ball in defence and ran forward before threading a delightful pass through to Rankin who then beat three defenders before shooting past ex-Bee Paul Smith. Brentford doubled their efforts and after Michael Turner had saved Brentford when Phillips was through on goal Brentford equalised. Jay Tabb ran into the penalty area and crossed an inch-perfect cross for Sam Sodje to equalise from 1 yard out. Brentford looked for a third and could have had a penalty when Hunt was tripped. Southampton had a goal dis-allowed in the 90th minute. Brentford had stunned the St. Mary’s crowd and it was an amazing day to be a Brentford fan.
Back at Hartlepool a tired Brentford team lost 3-1 despite Isaiah Rankin putting them ahead early in the second half.
A spirited comeback against Sheffield Wednesday saw Brentford snatch a point from the jaws of defeat. Brentford were 2-0 down when Deon Burton scored a wonderful goal and were 3-1 down when Ryan Peters scored. In the last minute Eddie Hutchinson put Stephen Hunt through on goal and he put it into the back of the net to make it 3-3.
Brentford played Southampton in front of a sell-out crowd. It looked so rosy for the Bees when Eddie Hutchinson scored in the fourth minute. But Southampton’s Premiership experience told and they ran out 3-1 winners. Despite this loss the Cup Run had shown quite a few people that Brentford were not a bad team.
With the gallant Cup Run over it was now back to the League. Brentford beat Colchester United away with Jay Tabb scoring the only goal of the game.
A disallowed goal for Stuart Nelson, yes the keeper Stuart Nelson, prevented Brentford from taking all 3 points of Doncaster Rovers.
Scott P. Fitzgerald scored his first goals for the club from all of two yards as Brentford beat Oldham away 2-0.
A gallant comeback again from Brentford saw them draw with Chesterfield 2-2 with Deon Burton and Stephen Hunt scoring for Brentford having been 2-0 down at one stage.
A poor first 20 minutes saw Brentford go 2-0 down to Blackpool. A Darren Pratley screamer, his first goal for the club, was not enough and Deon Burton was sent off just before the final whistle.
Brentford then only managed a draw with Peterborough but they will feel aggrieved with the referee Paul Danson who disallowed a goal which would have been an own-goal but it denied Brentford 3 points all the same.
Brentford beat Stockport sending them down in the process with Scott P. Fitzgerald and Sam Sodje scoring either side of a Stockport penalty.
Sam Sodje made it 2 goals in 2 games when he slotted home against Bristol City to give the Bees a vital 1-0 win and a bit closer to the play-off spot.
Brentford then beat Tranmere 1-0 with a Michael Turner screamer from 18 yards proving to be the difference between the two sides.
An abysmal performance at Valley Parade saw Brentford lose 4-1 to Bradford City with Jay Tabb scoring a consolation goal. Brentford were 4-0 down at half-time and looked out of it.
Brentford lost at home to Huddersfield with a touch of class from Pawel Abbott being the difference between the two sides.
Then despite being 2-1 up at the Champions Luton Brentford conceded 3 goals in the last 10 minutes to lose 4-2 and making their play-off dream looking as if it won’t happen at this late stage of the season.
Brentford bounced back from an Eddie Hutchinson own-goal to win away at Wrexham 2-1. Isaiah Rankin’s header and Scott P. Fitzgerald’s volley getting the Bees into a play-off spot.
On the final day of the season Brentford, with their reserve team, played the runners-up Hull who had their full strength team out. Hull scored through Leon Cort after 35 seconds. Brentford fought back and Jerome Sobers scored an equaliser before half time. Ademole Bankole produced a stunning save from Iain Ashbee. Jay Tabb went on a run from the half-way line and slotted the ball into the top-corner to make it 2-1 to Brentford meaning that Brentford finished in 4th place in the League.
Brentford then were away to Sheffield Wednesday in the first leg of the play-offs. Wednesday took the lead through Jon-Paul McGovern and tried to increase their lead but were unable to. Sheffield Wednesday took a 1-0 win back to Griffin Park.
Back at the Park Brentford tried to get back into this game and a David Lucas save from a Deon Burton volley in my view won the game for Wednesday as Peacock scored soon afterwards. A Chris Brunt free-kick deflected off the luckless Chris Hargreaves making it 3-0 on aggregate. The fans still got behind the Bees and were rewarded with a consolation goal through Andrew Frampton. The match finished 2-1 to Sheffield Wednesday and 3-1 to them on aggregate.
So Brentford’s gallant season ended at the penultimate hurdle. There have been many things that Bees fans can look on with happiness. The great cup run, coming from 20th one season to 4th the next and not to forget the passion the Martin Allen has put into the team and the fans. Despite not reaching the Millennium Stadium it has been a very successful season for Brentford Football Club and I hope that the team will improve for next season.
Personally I have to say that after this season I have been proud to be a Brentford fan. As many of the Bees fans will know is that there are several Premiership clubs which take the fans and many fans who will support the winning team. After the Southampton game I received recognition for who I support and I wear my Brentford shirt with great pride. It has been a great season and I hope that with DJ Campbell, Sam Tillen and Ricky Newman that we can finally get promotion which we have been so near to last season.
Let The Good Times Roll