It was a busy start to 2017 at Griffin Park with players coming and going, the B Team’s trip to Germany and Denmark, and the first-team fighting in both league and cup.
Three second-half goals wrapped up a fine away win against Birmingham City as The Bees got 2017 off to a perfect start. Blues led at the break through Lukas Jutkiewicz but Scott Hogan made it 1-1 before David Davis deflected into his own net to put Dean Smith’s side ahead. The scoring was completed late on as Nico Yennaris lashed home from long-range to wrap up a first win in four.
Before the trip to the second city, Emmanuel Onariase joined Sky Bet League Two side Cheltenham Town on loan until the end of the season while The Bees also lost the services of winger Sullay Kaikai as he was recalled to parent club Crystal Palace midway through his loan spell. The 21-year-old had made 18 appearances for The Bees, six from the start, scoring four goals.
After an encouraging Sky Bet Championship win, Tom Field scored his first professional goals as Brentford set up an Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round derby against Chelsea after cruising past Eastleigh at Griffin Park. The National League side, managed by former Bees boss Martin Allen, were no match for Dean Smith’s side who scored five first-half goals to book their spot in the last 32. Tom scoring twice with Yoann Barbet, Lasse Vibe, and Romaine Sawyers also on target in the 5-1 win.
A week later and a magnificent Brentford performance failed to earn its just rewards as Sky Bet Championship leaders Newcastle United won at Griffin Park. Brentford dominated for the majority of the match, and all of the second half, but could only score once – Lasse Vibe levelling an early Dwight Gayle goal. And that meant when Newcastle had the chance to win it late on, Daryl Murphy’s header gave them a 2-1 win and the points.
Kevin O'Connor's Brentford B warmed up for their trip to face Bayern Munich with a 4-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers U23s at Jersey Road. Goals from Nathan Fox, Herson Alves and a brace from Danny Parish ensured that The Bees headed to Bavaria full of confidence.
In one of the sternest tests they would face all season Brentford B drew 1-1 with FC Bayern Munich U19s at their Munich training ground. Adrian Fein gave the German Champions an early lead but Bradley Clayton levelled late on in the first-half as O’Connor’s side earned a morale boosting draw against one of the giants of European football.
O’Connor’s squad was bolstered in January with defender Chris Mepham signing a new two-year contract and Swedish Youth International Henrik Johansson, the grandson of Brazilian legend Garrincha, joining from Halmstads Bollklubb.
Brentford Women’s FC lost ground at the top of the Greater London Women’s Football League Division One after a brace of defeats in early January. Ryan Peters’s side were beaten 2-0 at home by Hackney Women before a 4-2 defeat at Clapham United left them six points off the pace at the top of the table.