Almost a year to the day since beating Queens Park Rangers for the first time in half a century, Dean Smith took Brentford to Loftus Road in late October 2016 seeking a first win in W12 since 1964.
The Bees also wanted to expel some demons from the trip to Shepherds Bush the previous March which had seen Rangers run out comfortable 3-0 winners. In five previous trips to QPR, The Bees had lost four and scored just one goal, and didn’t go into the game in great form, without a win in four. Rangers too had won just twice in nine games with the pressure starting to mount on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Under the Friday night lights, and in front of the TV cameras, it was Brentford who took the game to their hosts from the off. Roared on by more than 2,500 travelling fans, Nico Yennaris, Romaine Sawyers, and Scott Hogan all had chances early on before the two Josh’s, McEachran and Clarke, combined in the area, with the latter sliding home from close range.
It was Brentford’s first goal at Loftus Road in 14 years and sent Dean Smith’s side into the break with a well-deserved advantage. The home side grew into the game after the break but Daniel Bentley and the rest of The Bees’ backline stood firm, repelling everything that came their way.
And, with 16 minutes to play, a sublime second goal wrapped up the points. Substitute Lewis Macleod extricated himself from a tight position and Maxime Colin moved in to space, he picked out Sawyers with a low pass and the midfield man fired a left foot shot first time in to the top corner from 20 yards.
It was a Goal of the Season contender, and one to win any game of football, but coming in front of the travelling fans, and being his first for the club, Romaine had extra reason to savour the moment. The final stages of the game were played out with Brentford pressing for more goals, Konstantin Kerschbaumer in particular coming close, but, at the full-time whistle, two goals were more than enough to send everybody in red and white home jubilant.
There will also be Pay on the Day tonight in W12, cash only, with a £5 price increase on advanced ticket prices.