Sunday, February 19, 2006

Onwards We March

Clinical, and comfortable are words that spring to mind.

Brentford arrived at The Valley geed up by their Manager Martin Allen’s curious prose, and ready to win themselves plaudits nationwide by dumping another Premiership side out of the competition. I’ve been reading their boards all week, and they fancied their chances yesterday, make no mistake.

What won the game for us was the timing of the goals. Bent’s served to knock the stuffing out of the team and quieten the fans, whereas Bothroyd’s was just a classic sucker punch a couple of minutes before the break.
The next goal was crucial, and we got that as well. Game over.
They had a few chances over the course of the match, but with all due respect, you always got the feeling that we could rise a level if needed, and in truth, we didn’t need to get out of second gear to dispose of Brentford yesterday.
I’m not sure what all the crowd trouble was about, but I have heard conflicting reports. One Brentford fan I know on a football forum claims:

“I was right in front of it all, some Bees were banging the banners (advertising boards I presume – CynAth) as I am sure loads of people do, when some thuggish bald wan#er steward thumped a fan round the face for doing so. This incensed all Brentford fans and basically a fight broke out between the stewards and the Brentford fans, which lasted for about 20 minutes.”

Not sure about all that, but I suppose I can’t comment really. A lot of Brentford fans on are talking about complaining to the club over the treatment they received, so I’m sure the facts will become known in time…

Anyhow, onwards to round 6 then.

Fair enough, we’ve had a little bit of luck with the draw in the FA Cup so far this season. But they say that you can only beat what is put in front of you, and so far in this competition we have scored 8 goals in our three games, and won them all without needing replays. What more could we have done?

Arsenal are out, Man United are out, Chelsea play today, and barring draws, 2 other premiership sides will also exit the competition before the weekends football is done.
This draw is wide open, folks. The fact that we have been at home in the last 2 rounds isn’t relevant, on Monday at 1:30pm we once again have a 50% chance of being drawn at The Valley, and if that happens, I don’t particularly care who we face in the Quarter Finals, we are capable of beating them.
I’m sure one of the statto’s will tell me when the last home quarter final took place, but I’m certain it hasn’t been within my life time. It would be a huge occasion.

Even if we are drawn away it isn’t the end of the world. We have already beaten the Champions away in the cup this season, who else is there for us to be scared of? Over the last few seasons the ‘second’ team in the cup final (ie – not Arsenal, United, or Chelsea) has ended up with a place in Europe because of the way qualification is set up in England. We are therefore quite realistically only 2 wins away from our first ever qualification for the UEFA Cup. I haven’t been looking forward to a cup draw so much in years.

Think lucky, everyone.


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