Brentford players, supporters, and ball boys celebrate as The Bees staged a remarkable late comeback to take a point from our meeting with Ipswich Town at Griffin Park on the opening day of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship season.
After a summer of change at Griffin Park, Marinus Dijkhuizen’s opening competitive game looked to be heading to a tame defeat as Mick McCarthy’s side struck either side of half-time to take control. Tractor Boys’ midfielder Kevin Bru put the visitors ahead with a spectacular scissor kick at the end of a chance filled 45 minutes of football. Ryan Fraser doubling that advantage shortly after the interval, tapping home from close range.
Intense transfer speculation had consigned last season’s top scorer Andre Gray to a place on the bench but he was thrown into the fray with 35 minutes to play. However, there was only muted celebration when he scored what appeared to be nothing more than a consolation goal two minutes into added time: latching onto James Tarkowski’s long through ball he kept his composure brilliantly to roll home. Those celebrations were much wilder four minutes later as, with all 22 players inside the Town box for a Bees corner, Tarkowski reacted fastest to head home from close range and steal a point.
As for the key men that day, Gray, Tarkowski, and Dijkhuizen would all depart Griffin Park before the end of the season: Andre would sign for Burnley a fortnight after the game, having scored 20 goals in 52 games at Griffin Park, while James joined him at Turf Moor the following January following a protracted transfer saga. Dijkhuizen’s tenure at Griffin Park would last only nine games before he departed in September 2015. He is now Head Coach at Eerste Divisie club SC Cambuur.