Not even the most hardened Bradford fan could have seen this score line coming. It has to be said they were given a large helping hand by a rush of blood to David Buttons head midway through the first half, which saw the Bees custodian given his marching orders with the match still even.
Prior to the dismissal Uwe’s boys were producing moments of sublime touch, Martin Fillo and that man Marcello Trotta combining flicks and fancy footwork to produce a shot from the big Italian that cannoned back off the post.
Brentford were probing, winning balls in promising areas and forcing corners at will. However, it has to be said it wasn’t one way traffic, we were making problems for ourselves out of nothing, a needless back pass to Button almost left him with egg on his face, rushing into a clearance which almost gave flavour of the month Nahki Wells a goal off his back.
Luckily the angles were in our favour by a matter of degrees, as the looping ball went just over.
All this changed when on 25 minutes Wells latched on to a through ball before surging towards the box only to be poleaxed by the on rushing Button.
In the aftermath it has come out that people are mixed in their view of the decision.
In total honesty my initial reaction was that he had to go, the only relief was the challenge being just outside the penalty area. While it looks, having seen replays, as if he does get the ball, he undeniably makes considerable contact with the striker.
This forced Uwe into making a change he wouldn’t have under any other circumstance. Substitute keeper Jack Bonham coming on, with the inventive Italian being subbed off.
Having seen this unfortunate sequence of events go in their favour, the home crowd sprung to life.
Lo and behold 15 minutes later a defensive lapse leads to a low cross, giving the on rushing striker a simple finish for 1-0.
On the hour a comedy of errors gifted the aforementioned Wells a simple tap in. Bonham coming to no man’s land, coupled with an over hit misguided back pass left an open goal to aim at and all the time in the world in which to roll the ball into it.
Heads weren’t down as such, the young Bees were still trying to play their natural game, the only problem being the lack of the ball they were seeing.
Four minutes later, a unmarked header flew beyond motionless Bonham.
After a further five minutes the score line, which already didn’t show the true story of the game, was given further gloss with a fourth and final strike.
One of few positives from the game is the willingness of the travelling support to get behind the team even when the outcome was a forgone conclusion.
Also the passion in the stands was matched by some on the pitch, notably Martin Fillo who was clearly angry with what had happened and could have grabbed a consolation when a characteristic passing move featured one pass too many. 8 yards from goal is no place to be passing.
Whilst 4-0 on the face of it, is a kicking, there are litigating circumstances, the sending off and Trotta going off. If we’d have kept 11 on the pitch I’m confident we’d have won. As good as Clayton is he can’t be expected to take on 4 defenders more or less on his own.
Putting things in perspective, we’ve lost 1 game and there is 39 to go. If the appeal is successful it’ll be a relief as Bonham is clearly struggling with first team football.
Teams don’t go from promotion candidates to whipping boys over-night and we will bounce back and get stronger and learn from mistakes. Chris Horricks