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Season Review: Back-to-back home wins start April

We near the end of our look back at the 2016/17 season

4 June 2017

The calendar ticked over to April meaning there were just eight games of the season to go as Dean Smith’s Bees targeted a third consecutive top ten finish in the Sky Bet Championship.

That hunt for the top ten started off well with back-to-back 2-0 home wins against Bristol City and Leeds United at Griffin Park. First up, Sergi Canós and Lasse Vibe scored as Brentford completed a Sky Bet Championship double over The Robins. It was a good team performance from The Bees as they dominated the first 45 minutes before thwarting City’s attempts to get back into the game after the break.

Under the lights the following Tuesday, Play-Off chasing Leeds United were taken apart as The Bees registered a third straight league win. It was a similar story to the game against Bristol City with both goals coming in a dominant first-half, Romaine Sawyers and Lasse Vibe the men on target, before Smith’s side repelled all that United could throw at them after the break.

Smith's men were denied a third win in a week the following Saturday as Cardiff City took the points in South Wales. Sergi Canos scored his fourth goal in as many games to give The Bees a first-half lead but The Bluebirds levelled immediately after the break and then scored a late winner through Peter Whittingham to wrap up the points.

There was some disappointing news on the injury front after it was confirmed that Alan Judge was to undergo further surgery to help the healing process from a double fracture of the lower leg. Brentford’s Republic of Ireland international midfield player suffered the injury in April 2016 in a match against Ipswich Town.

The games also came thick and fast for the B Team in April with fixtures against the USA Under-20s and Manchester City Under-21s. Before those two games, Reece Cole, who made his professional debut at Nottingham Forest in March, committed his future to Brentford by signing a long-term contract through to the summer of 2020. He was joined in agreeing a new deal by defender Jarvis Edobor who signed a 14-month contract extension to take him through to the summer of 2018.

Those two games started off with Brentford B drawing 0-0 against their counterparts from the USA at Jersey Road. It was a tight game on a blazing hot April afternoon, Philipp Hofmann passing up the best of the The Bees chances early on in the first-half. A few days later and goals from Zain Westbrooke and Chris Mepham weren’t enough as Manchester City took the win at The Etihad Campus.

Off the pitch there was great news for club legend Kevin O’Connor as he picked up the prestigious Sir Tom Finney Award at the 2017 EFL Awards. The award is presented to a player who has had an exceptional career in the EFL and epitomises the man after which this award is named. This special award gives the EFL the opportunity to recognise players who, like Sir Tom before them, have set standards for others to aspire to and reached the end of a truly outstanding playing career – of which Kevin certainly fits the bill.

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