In a small, old and humble football ground, nestled between houses and a few pubs, the Roman Empire came very close to collapsing all together. Instead, it took a goal from a 50million pounds mercenary to give Chelsea a second bite of the cherry against a motivated Brentford side.
And I, for one, could not be a happier man.
The game will long live in the memory of every single Brentford fan, as Uwe Rosler took his Bees into battle with a side that has bragged and boasted since May about being the “Champions of Europe”. That they may be, but they are certainly not Champions of West London tonight.
Instead, it is us, the Brentford faithful, who have suffered trips to Gateshead and Boreham Wood, who are celebrating tonight, thanks to goals from Marcello Trotta, and of course, that wonder we have in our side: Harry Forrester, as we now look forward to a trip to Stamford Bridge. A trip into the lion’s den.
Brentford started the game well, but it was the blue side of West London that had the early chances, with Ashley Cole and Marko Makin lashing balls across the face of the Bees goal.
But the Bees were up for this, like every single one of the 12,000 crowd, and wanted it far more than their Premier League counterparts. Jonathan Douglas and Adam Forshaw were working tirelessly in the middle of the park, hassling and harassing the Chelsea team more than a child does to their parents when they want something.
And it was that harassment of the Chelsea team that lead to the first big chance for Brentford – John Terry was forced to pass the ball back to Ross Turnbull who panicked and picked it up, resulting in a indirect free kick. Unfortunately, Forrester couldn’t stick the ball into the net.
But just before half time, when I’m sure many Brentford fans would have been happy to go in at 0-0, Forshaw demonstrated that he knew how to tackle, as he smashed into Frank Lampard and won the ball that then dropped the Forrester. The number 19 then fired his shot off, which was parried by Turnbull to the feet of Trotta who put the ball into the net.
To say the roof blew off Griffin Park is an understatement.
The shellshock wore off the Chelsea players as they came back out for the second half, as the overpaid Chelsea players were soon level.
Oscar, the man that looked like a small child, suddenly picked up the ball, dribbled past two players and put it into the top corner. It was going to take something special to get past us.
But the Bees weren’t ready to let Griffin Park become another outpost for Roman and his “European” empire as Tom Adeyemi won the ball in the middle, played a one-two with Clayton Donaldson and was then brought down in the box by Turnbull.
Forrester then slotted his penalty into the bottom right of the Chelsea goal. Just. But the measurements did not matter to us, and the Bees fans were once again sent into raptures.
Brentford were then ready to battle for every single inch of the pitch to make sure we caused the biggest upset possible.
Shaleum Logan was immense down the right. Lee Hodson was great on the left. Tony Craig and Harlee Dean marshaled the defence. Toumani Diagouraga used his long legs to completely dazzle anyone who came near him. Simon Moore was the young general of his penalty area. Forrester was the magician on the left, while Clayton and Trotta tore the Chelsea defence to shreds. They were all gladiators.
Unfortunately, Fernando Torres decided he would pay back some of his £50million price tag as he scored a great goal which condemned the Bees to a replay.
And I used “condemned” because the boys in red and white strips deserved to win. They really gave their all in this game and we can be immensely proud of every single one of them.
Griffin Park was absolutely rocking and the players really responded to this, hopefully the 12,000 people will see how good we really are and will come more often.
But the Bees’ display means we get to go to Stamford Bridge and win, lose or draw, I’m sure we will enjoy the day. A chance to take down Chelsea in their own back yard, what could be better?