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First day memories

A look back at some memorable games from the first day of the season

20 June 2019

Brentford start the 2019/20 season with a home game against Birmingham City. The Bees will begin their campaign on Saturday 3 August at Griffin Park in a game that will kick-off at 3pm. It is the second season in a row that Brentford have started the campaign at home, after beating Rotherham United 5-1 last year. That game is one that fans may recall but we now look back at some more memorable first day clashes.

28 August 1920 – Exeter City 3 Brentford 0

Not one that anyone will remember, of course, but a big day in the history of Brentford FC. This was our first ever Football League game. It ended in a 3-0 defeat at St James Park in a Division Three clash. It did get better for The Bees.

31 August 1929 – Brentford 3 Swindon Town 2

The first of 21 wins at Griffin Park in the season as Brentford completed the last, so far, perfect home campaign. John Payne scored twice and Cyril Blakemore grabbed the winner as The Bees picked up the points. Brentford scored 66 home goals that season including six against Merthyr Town and Walsall and five an astonishing four more times, including against Fulham and Watford

26 August 1933 – Nottingham Forest 1 Brentford 1

The Bees had earned promotion the previous year and this was the Club’s first Division Two game. Dai Hopkins scored as Brentford took a point at The City Ground

31 August 1935 – Bolton Wanderers 0 Brentford 2

Two years later it got even better for The Bees as they kicked off their first ever top-flight season away at Bolton Wanderers. Bolton, like Brentford, had come up the previous year but were no match on the day. Jack Holliday scored twice as The Bees took the points.

31 August 1946 – Everton 0 Brentford 2

The Football League had been suspended due to World War II and Brentford were weaker after the conflict. This was to be Brentford’s last top-flight season to date but it started with a win on Merseyside. George Wilkins, from the penalty spot, and Gerry McAloon scored the goals but four wins from the first five games was misleading and The Bees soon tumbled down the season and in to Division Two.

21 August 1954 – Southampton 6 Brentford 4

The Bees were by now back in Division Three (South) after relegation the previous year. And the season could not have started in worse fashion as Southampton scored after 15 seconds and led 6-1 at half-time. The Bees battled back and ten goals is the most in a Brentford fixture on the opening day of a Football League season.

21 August 1965 – Brentford 6 Queens Park Rangers 1

The Bees have had some big wins, and losses, on the opening day of the season but none bigger than this. Micky Block scored a hat-trick and other goals came from John Fielding, Joe Bonson and Ian Lawther as Brentford’s neighbours were battered at Griffin Park. Unfortunately for The Bees, that was as good as it got with relegation to end the season.

29 August 1981 – Brentford 2 Fulham 1

After some uneventful opening days, Brentford once against kicked off the season, this time in Division Three, with a derby. Barry Tucker got Brentford’s first goal of the season and an own goal from Roger Brown ensured The Bees took the points, and the bragging rights.

17 August 1991 – Brentford 4 Leyton Orient 3

A memorable game to start a memorable season. Orient winger Ricky Otto tormented Brentford as Orient and The Bees went toe-to-toe. Dean Holdsworth scored an opening day hat-trick and Terry Evans headed in the winner as Brentford got over the line. They went on winning and ended the season with the Division Three title.

13 August 1994 – Plymouth Argyle 1 Brentford 5

Nicky Forster and Robert Taylor linked up in attack for Brentford for the first time and The Bees took Plymouth to the cleaners. Both scored, with Forster grabbing two, and others came from Paul Smith and Paul Stephenson. Forster and Taylor scored 47 league goals between them as Brentford finished second in Division Two but were not promoted as only one team went up.

6 August 2011 – Brentford 2 Yeovil Town 0

A new era at Griffin Park as Uwe Rösler took charge of Brentford for the first time. Gary Alexander and Shaleum Logan scored the goals as The Bees took the points. Brentford have not won on the opening day since.

9 August 2014 – Brentford 1 Charlton Athletic 1

Brentford won promotion to the Championship in 2014 and started their second-tier season with a London derby. The Bees fell behind but Tommy Smith equalised in the second half to give his team a point.

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