Last Tuesday visit under lights at GP until August and it had an end of term feel tonight as our old friend Russell Slade pitched up to visit one of his favorite clubs.
KK got a start instead of Sergi and Josh Clarke for a sicknote Maxi Colin but other than that it was as you were from Saturdays roll call. Cardiff dominated possession early on as we pressed but only when provoked. They needed a win, had to win, but in a tepid first half were not good enough to win. Pilkington their top scorer was a one trick pony, cut in from the right and try a curler of a shot, a poor mans Lee Tomlin, he had neither the belly or the skill to push our Button.
Cardiff were a side that was a blue print of their manager, a little dull, bald of ideas in breaking us down and niggly, whingy and nasty as referee Atwell proved with a precious performance that we didn’t have to look up the programme to see this fellas name. Fast tracked to the premiership this ref was meant to be, side tracked to League 2 will be his level on this showing!
We didn’t create a lot, KK threaded a ball to the bright Woods who whistled one over Marshalls bar, but Sam was having a night of treading in treacle in the middle and Macca was a yard behind whilst Nico played keep up. The midfield looked a little clunky and slow and ready for the beach. Up front Vibe was outmuscled by Connolly as the featherweight was swatted away like a fly by fair means or foul by his lumbering shadow.
Josh Clarke was good inventive if a bit nervy, second half the game drifted towards the hour as the Welsh tried to fathom a way of nicking it with playing as little football as possible. a quick break and Lasse chased one down, stepped over the falling defender, to Woods and back again from “me to you” like the chuckle brothers but there was no laughing here as Vibe sidefooted meekly along the deck to Marshalls middle. Then Smith played his joker, on came the smiling Sergi for the pedestrian Sam. Straight away Canos got up the nose of the Bluebirds backline. a bit of pace and hurry and scurry a lovely backheel and bulldog Jake blasted over, then Hogan on, on 74 for KK who had started to disappear, Vibe dropped back behind him and all of a sudden Smith had a shape to his team.
A through ball to Hogan he was away but his shank across Marshall dribbled towards the corner flag, next a low corner from Bidwell, a back flick from Nico and pinball ensued, Barbet tilted and struck the bar and crash it came down and so did Yoann whilst Scotty Hogan tapped in a reflex stab at the ball from six yards. 1 nil and Russell was not celebrating.
Next Nico won a tackle on halfway, then slid in for another, bingo two 50/50s won, Vibe picked up the loose ball and sauntered menacingly towards goal, Hogan was on the right overlap, Vibe played a weighted ball and Hogan Boomed it hard and low to Marshalls right. 2 nil and a throaty roar went up. Ladies and Gentlemen it seems Brentford have discovered a goal scorer. 🙂
Harlee got a nudge and missed a clearance and the beast Zohore frightened Button to delay coming off his line and poked it past him 2-1 and a few minutes to push. The remaining minutes I’d like to say was possession football down by their corner flag but I would be lying, it was head loss helter skelter boot it up in the air anywhere stuff. Desperate defending as Zohore shot over and Button clung on to another. Whistle blown by Atwell and we had done to Cardiff what they had done to us before Christmas, nicked it in the final few minutes.
This game had little going for it for 60 minutes but some good changes by Smith, breathed life into this corpse of a game. Hogan is a hero and showed tonight that the future is bright for him, the boy knows where the goal is, providing his knees are wrapped in cotton wool we have one of the striking positions filled for next season. Sixteenth win of a season, this side gets things done, winning is a beautiful thing. Russell Slade disappeared into the night muttering about not being able to celebrate whilst the Bees sent our Welsh friends back down the M4 with nothing. Don’t you just love Tuesday nights!