Mick C’s Match Report – Burnley 1 Brentford 0

After the shenanigans of the Griffin Park pitch and its relaying after two games it was apt that the Bees rocked up at Turf Moor looking for a game today.

No Andre on show as the club shop were parading on show their No.7 Gray shirts in claret like a new trophy girlfriend. The Bees started with Vibe to fill a gap.

The football was a bit tepid and passionless for a Northern away game, Burnley tight and rigid and dull, us tidy and neat apart from a Tarky spin and lapse on his own area after 5 minutes as Juktiewicz ghosted in like a phantom on our masked man, and wasted his chance.

Vibe looked sharp, a cutting Kerschbaumer pass along the deck inside the centre half and Lasse was onto it in a flash, a heavy first touch with his left took him across the area and his shot across the area from 18 yards forced Heaton into a more comfortable save than it should have been.

Our support was vocal Lasseh Veee-bay caught on, to our busy Dane, whilst Judge forced Heaton into a smart palm away from a 20 yard right footed low curled free kick after Gogia had been upended after a clever step over.

We were on top and playing keep ball, we chided Burnley that we’ve won the lottery and the words to “Andre Gray my lord” was replaced with “9 million oh lord, 9 million!” as both teams support reflected on yesterdays activities. But Burnley like Dyche are a tough no nonsense set piece team, tall and strong they tested us once, then the next corner came across, Hofmann took on centre half Keane but stood and baulked, Keane used our burly German as a climbing frame, our Germans head & shoulders shrunk and Keane rinsed him and headed downwards into Buttons right hand corner from 6 yards. Button finished in the side netting and Hofmann on the seat of his pants both looking at each other. 1 nil and our set piece coach probably needs to chat to our defensive coach this week. 2 weeks running, 2 corners, 2 headers, 2 goals, there is a trend developing!

The next 10 minutes Burnley had 4 more corners, a nervousness was noticeable, Macca shouted, Harlee pointed whilst Tarky marked clear space, but Hofmann was our main defender trying to cover, it was touchy and looked lop sided. Macca picked up a yellow for a man and ball challenge after a daisycutter shot from 20 yards that Heaton threw his gloves on.

Second half Burnley squeezed us, forcing Button on to his weaker left foot clearing and a few shanks and chips as we kept ball but went backwards. Boyd shot over when well placed, but Dean stood firm, Harlee has lost weight and a beard and looked easily our best defender. A captain without an armband. Gogia was replaced by Colin our new Anderlecht boy on the hour, he settled well, overlapping with Vibe and full of skill, Macca moved into the middle and that bit of the team worked well for next week. Colin to start at GP please, he’s a good find on this showing.

Not much else happened, Toumani got booked as Burnley ran the clock down. Vibe tired, Hofmann was blowing, the new boys fitness not quite there yet. Judge was our spark of anything positive but as the clock ticked on he got frantic and frustrated. Kerschbaumer fired into our crowd with ten to go and Udumaga came on for Macca as Marinus went for the equaliser. Harlee went up front and looked more of a menace in the last 10 than Hofmann had in the previous 35 as the impressive Darikwa right back showed his fitness was better than our no.11.

Whistle blown and we thundered our support, it was not to be, but its our team and we were a long way from home. In truth, it wasn’t as bad as probably some of us expected, given the sale of Gray and our injuries, but the cupboard is bare on the bench and the midfield needs a tinkering. We need two forwards before September 1 to give us a fighting chance, we are not miles away from being a good unit, but this week there will be two things pressing, Marinus defensive coaches working on defending corners and Smart Odds roladex of forwards being whittled down to the two best available right now.

500 miles covered for a 1 nil defeat, to experience the highs in football you have to have days like today, they are character building and thankfully a Brentford away day is full of characters.