Brentford headed to Carrow Road in the opening week of 1996 hoping that their Littlewoods FA Cup Third Round tie against The Canaries would give some respite from The Bees dire league form.
David Webb’s side made the trip up the A11 on 6 January 21st in Division Two, just six months on from being a penalty-kick away from a Play-Off final place. The Bees had found the net just 18 times in 22 league games and made the trip to Norwich City with just one win to their name in the last nine games.
It wasn’t all sunshine and light with the Division One Canaries either. The club was in the midst of a civil war, with unpopular Chairman Robert Chase public enemy number one in Norfolk after a spate of player sales. As a result, many home fans boycotted the game, allowing the 2,000 travelling Bees fans to make their presence felt inside a half-empty Carrow Road.
Casting league form aside, Webb’s side took an early lead as Norwich skipper Jon Newsome bundled into his own net under pressure from Carl Hutchings. The upset was well and truly on when, on the hour, Marcus Bent swept home Nicky Forster’s near post cross to make it 2-0. Newsome atoned for his earlier error with a goal in the dying stages but The Bees held on to cause an upset. The home fans sportingly clapped off Brentford at full-time and, for their victory, the club was awarded the ‘Littlewoods Giant Killers Award’ for Round Three.
Although The Bees FA Cup run was ended in Round Four after a 3-2 defeat at Charlton Athletic, the positivity did transfer into the league. Just two defeats in 12 following on from the victory over The Canaries eased any relegation fears with Webb’s side going on to finish 15th in Division Two come the end of the campaign.
Of the goalscorers that day, Newsome’s time at Carrow Road would come to an end in the summer of 1996, The Canaries perilous financial situation seeing the popular captain sold to Premier League Sheffield Wednesday, further increasing the animosity towards Chase. Injury forced him to retire in 2000, having made more than 200 league appearances, the majority of them in the Premier League.
Bent would spent two more years at Griffin Park before joining Premier League Crystal Palace in 1998. Never able to really establish himself in the top flight, Bent played for 17 clubs in total, racking up 113 goals in 574 appearances before ending his career in Indonesia in 2013.
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