Ahead of tomorrow’s Carabao Cup derby at Loftus Road against QPR, we wind the clock back two years to a magical night under the lights at Griffin Park as we ended a 50 year wait for a win over our West London neighbours.
When fans left Griffin Park in August 1965 having seen the home side put six past the men from W12, few, if any of the 15,209 present, would have thought they would have to wait more than half a century to see another win for red and white over blue and white in West London. However, 50 years, eight matches, and one acrimonious failed takeover later, that victory on a balmy August afternoon, thanks to a Mike Block hat-trick and strikes from Johnny Fielding, Joe Bonson, and Ian Lawther, remained our most recent success.
Rangers first visit to Griffin Park since 2004, confirmed after their relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2014/15 season, was picked for live Sky Sports coverage and switched to Friday 30 October. The Bees, under caretaker boss Lee Carsley, went into the match on a run of three straight league wins and sat two places below The R’s in 13th.
The first-half was typical, feisty, derby fare with the visitors unlucky not to go into the break ahead as they struck the woodwork twice late on in the half through Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo. The Bees were re-invigorated after the break, Marco Djuricin and John Swift both coming close, before the moment that ended a 50 year hoodoo arrived 11 minutes after the break.
Toumani Diagouraga turned in front of the dugouts and released Alan Judge down the left touchline. The Irish midfielder sent a low cross into the box which on-loan striker Djuricin beat Clint Hill to and fired past Rob Green from six yards out. Djuricin and his teammates celebrated wildly on the pitch while the fans celebrated just as passionately in the stands. The remaining 35 minutes crept by as The Bees fans counted down to a memorable and long-awaited victory.
The goal was Marco’s fourth and ultimately final strike in a Brentford shirt. The RB Salzburg loanee suffered an injury early on in the game against Blackburn Rovers a week later which kept him out until the new year. On his return, he struggled to recapture his form and made just ten more appearances before returning to Austria in the summer after a short but memorable year in West London. He spent last season on loan in Turkey with Ferencvárosi TC scoring 11 goals in 32 games before another loan move, this time to Grasshopper Club Zurich in the summer.