Derby County 5 Brentford Development Squad 0
The sense of what might have been. A Tuesday night cup tie at a ground that as everyone knows we should have been coming to in a league game, but alas it wasn’t to be (for now…).
Instead the reality of the situation was so bizarre that it beggared belief, Derby fans prior to kick off had said in various social media outlets that they’d be fielding a second string and they thought Uwe’s men would probably win.
The only problem with this thesis is that nobody had told either Nigel Clough, or indeed Uwe.
A Brentford team took to a pitch for a competitive match without a single first choice player in a game that looked winnable.
There were a few familiar faces in the eleven, Scott Baron, only just back from a long injury lay off, Club Captain Kevin O’Connor, Xavi Venta, who at 37 was 20 years older than Derby wonderkid Wil Hughes.
Dave, who has seemingly began playing second fiddle to the excellent Adam Forshaw in a central role. Completing the fringe/ more experienced five piece was Farid, playing as a loan striker, a tactic which seldom ever works for any side and any striker.
The remainder of the squad was entirely what would have been known as YTS players in the days before ‘development squads’, surely this is a footballing first, a lower league team going to a big club and putting out a weakened team.
Uwe is the manager and he knows what he’s doing, in a way I admire his mind set of entirely focusing on the league and getting what should have been ours in April! Derby on the other hand put out all bar one or two of their Championship league starting XI.
For the first 20 minutes the young bees looked well drilled and like they had learnt from being around experienced players, the shape was good, they almost even scored when a shot went across the face of goal but reactions at the far post were lacking and the hosts cleared.
Still the kids were looking alright but it was apparent that they were up against physically stronger opponents who used their know how and cunning to get blocks in and stem the flow of the at times glorious football The Bees played.
Then Derby broke, crossed an average looking ball in which somehow Kev and stand in keeper Bonham conspired to avoid allowing Coldplay reject and Mr Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin to head in to give the home team the lead.
Soon after some keystone cops defending allowed Connor Sammon to double the advantage waltzing freely in the box to riffle into the bottom corner on the net. Before half time, enjoying the last week of half term the aforementioned Wil Hughes again made the most of some very generous defending to put a third on the board.
3-0 at the break more than flattered the hosts, if one of the early chances that came our way had gone in it would you feel have been a lot different, but heads had dropped and the shape and organisation had gone.
The second half was much as the first had been, a bright start from the Bees, Sam Saunders looked to spark a revival for the opening few minutes of the half, which featured a full length of the pitch passing move which was befitting of the Barcelona of the lower leagues, but in the absence of a final ball it was again cleared to safety.
Connor Sammon again got on the score sheet following comical pin ball wizardry in the box, pouncing on a rebound after Bonham had made a rare save to add some further gloss to an already very flattering scoreline.
Chris Martin again dispatched a late low drive beyond Bonham for the fifth and final goal which to be fair to the masses of travelling Bees fans hadn’t damped their spirits, they we’re a bit bothered by being 5-0 down it seems, as they reminded Pride Park via the medium of song that we are ‘super Brentford and we’re going up’
The referee brought the game to its inevitable close, followed by a standing ovation from the away contingent as they knew what they had witnessed was Uwe sending a warning shot to the rest of the division, yes we’re out of the cup but the league is the priority, beware League 1, we’re coming for you.
The pick of the youngsters has to be Josh Clarke, electric pace, a natural athlete, if he can add a bit of strength to his build we could have a real asset going forward.
Whilst those that only look at the score will think it shows we’re not ready to go up, those who look at the team will know that its all part of the master plan #beelieve, Chris Horricks