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First Team

Moment in Time: Fulham

Take a trip back to April 1992 for an unforgettable West London derby

14 April 2018

There have been some classic encounters in recent times between Brentford and Fulham, the 4-1 victory at Craven Cottage in April 2015 and the injury time winner from Jota at Griffin Park the previous November included, but there is one match that stands out above all among Bees fans.

After picking up four straight wins at the tail-end of the 1991/92 season, Brentford hosted The Whites at Griffin Park on the penultimate weekend of the season knowing that another win would, at the very least, ensure that promotion from Division Three remained in their hands.

A March wobble had seen Phil Holder's side drop to fourth but consecutive wins over Shrewsbury Town, Hull City, Darlington, and Bolton Wanderers had The Bees firmly back in the promotion picture. Fulham too came to TW8 that late April morning still in the mix for a Play-Off spot. 

More than 12,000 fans filled Griffin Park that day as two West London rivals went head-to-head with everything to play for. Any jitters that home fans may have had were dispelled as The Bees put on a footballing exhibition in the opening 45 minutes. 

Dean Holdsworth stooped to head The Bees in front after 19 minutes with Marcus Gayle, who had set up the first, making it 2-0 barely a minute later. Neil Smillie crossed for Gary Blissett to add another before the half-hour and Simon Ratcliffe rounded out the scoring with a close range finish on the stroke of half-time.

The crushing victory elevated Holder's side back into second with just one game remaining. A win over Peterborough United the following Saturday would bring second division football back to Griffin Park for the first time in four decades, and could also see The Bees pip Birmingham City to the title. And, that was exactly what happened thanks to a single first-half Gary Blissett goal at London Road sent The Bees up as Champions. 

Life in the newly former Division One was hard: Holdsworth was sold to Premier League Wimbledon before the start of the new season as The Bees collapsed from tenth at Christmas to be relegated from the second tier at the first attempt, not to return for another 21 years. 

Get ready for back-to-back West London derbies as we face Fulham away first and Queens Park Rangers at Griffin Park next week (Saturday 21 April). Tickets for our game against The R’s are available to previous ticket purchasers and selling fast so secure your place online here.

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