On This Day In History - 30th April 2011 Brentford Away
Wednesday, 29th Apr 2020 10:15
The promotion battle was hotting up and it was now down to just us and Huddersfield for the 2nd place, we travelled up to London to take on Brentford, but we couldn't take much of a travelling army despite the empty seats.
We were now firmly in the driving seat for automatic promotion from League One back in 2011 we were level on 83 points with Huddersfield with only a week left of the season and we had the first of our three games of destiny at Griffin Park .
The problem was that although Brentford's ground held almost 13,000, they refused to give us any extra tickets, even though logistically that was possible as the blocks on either side of the away end were virtually empty, some clubs like Notts County and Orient had allocated us extra seats and even moved home fans in order to get in more Saints fans and therefore more revenue.
Brentford obviously didn't need the money and therefore we had only the normal away end which was 1.000 standing and another 600 in the seats above.
Obviously a fair few went without tickets and also I knew the landlord of one of the four pubs that are on each of the four corners of the ground, being a local he could get a few tickets in the home end, but it was literally half a dozen and that barely touched the sides of the number of ticketless Saints fans in his pub, let alone the other three or around Brentford itself.
Officially we had 1,600 fans in the attendance of 7,015, we could have filled the 5,000 seats that remained empty, they could easily have given us a 1,000 of those that could easily have been segregated.
It was a sunny afternoon as the game kicked off and with smart phones now being more prevalent, most Saints fans had one eye on the Withdean were Brighton were taking on Huddersfield.
We could actually have been promoted on this day if Huddersfield lost and we won, we started the day equal on points but we had a 13 goal better difference than them, that would have had to increase to at least 15 if we won and they lost, we would be up all bar the shouting.
It started well for Saints when Adam Lallana scored after only 16 minutes but Hudderfield had struck first at Brighton so nothing had changed in the table, David Connolly made it two on the half hour and we were firmly in control although Guly had to go off injured and on came Oscar Gobern,there was no change in the scores as half time arrived.
In the second half we were firmly in control but we had a coupe of lapses in concentration and Kelvin Davis had to be the hero firstly saving a penalty and then with 10 minutes left making a great save before Oscar Gobern sealed the win in the final minute.
It had been a typical Saints performance over the years I have watched them, a couple of seasons aside in the 1980's we have always had a penchant for lapses in concentration defensively and that is being kind.
So the second half was one of looking at the score from Brighton and it was to and thro, the Seagulls equalised on the hour and then conceded again, equalised again and then conceded in the final minute to lose 3-2 and give Huddersfield hope.
We had never been up at any point in the afternoon, but a draw would have seen us needing only a draw at Plymouth on Bank holiday Monday to be up, now it was a win or a last day nail biter.
But for now we had done all we could and increased the goal difference by 2, the pubs around Waterloo had plenty of happy Saints fans and we even stopped off at Basingstoke for a quick drink on the way home something that strangely we have rarely ever done.
Now to Plymouth !
Photo: Action Images
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