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Season Review February Part One: Sam Saunders, Nico Yennaris, and Harlee Dean all extend Griffin Park stays

13 June 2016

We continue to look back on the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship season

Four players departed Griffin Park as the winter transfer window came to an end on 1 February. James Tarkowski’s future was decided as he moved to Burnley for an undisclosed fee while Ryan Williams, Montell Moore, and Josh Laurent all left after their contracts were cancelled. It wasn’t all about players leaving in February as The Bees longest serving player, Sam Saunders, signed a one-year contract extension at Griffin Park to take him into his eighth year with the club. There were also new deals for defender Harlee Dean and midfielder Nico Yennaris meaning they would stay until 2018 and 2019 respectively. Youth Team duo of Chris Mepham and Reece Cole also had reasons to be cheerful as they signed professional contracts to become part of the Development Squad from the 2016/17 season.

On the pitch the good end to January didn’t translate into a good start to February as Brighton and Hove Albion strolled to a 3-0 victory in front of the Sky Cameras on Friday night at The Amex Stadium. Anthony Knockaert scored the first for The Seagulls and Tomer Hemed made it 2-0 before the break. The Bees struggled to make an impression after the break and the home side wrapped up the points late on through the impressive Jamie Murphy. The Bees were on the end of another heavy defeat a week later as Sheffield Wednesday capitalised on Yoann Barbet’s early sending off to run out 4-0 winners at Hillsborough. The French defender was dismissed for denying a goal-scoring opportunity inside five minutes and The Owls took full advantage. Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, and Kieran Lee netted before half-time with Lucas Joao adding a fourth late on in the second-half.

A brace from Danny Parish saw the Youth Team come from behind to beat Bristol City 3-2 at Jersey Road. The Robins took a first-half lead but Julius Fenn-Evans levelled before Parish struck twice in nine minutes to secure the points late on. A goal 20 minutes from time denied Flemming Pedersen his first win in charge of the Development Squad as Ipswich Town took a share of the points from their match at Griffin Park. Bradley Clayton’s deft finish gave The Bees a half-time lead but Chris Smith cancelled that goal out with a fine effort of his own. Another late goal proved The Bees undoing against league leaders Charlton Athletic at a soggy VCD Athletic as Josh Umerah scored an 88th minute winner as Jan Holldack had earlier cancelled out Ademola Lookman’s opener.

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