The date was May 5th, 2007. A 3-1 defeat at the hands of Tranmere Rovers brought an end to a dismal campaign that saw Brentford Football Club relegated to the lowest tier of English football’s professional leagues with just 37 points. Promotion back to League One was soon secured; a division in which they would spend the next five years in- the latter of those flirting with promotion to the Championship.
They capped off a fine 2012/13 campaign with last minute heartbreak after missing a penalty and conceding a winner in a matter of seconds at the death in the play-off semi-final against Doncaster- an ending only comparable to that iconic DEENEY moment. After making amends a year later, however, they were able to break into the Championship play-offs against all the odds, only losing to eventual runners-up Middlesbrough under Mark Warburton. It was here that people began to take notice of a club with potential.
Brentford will join Norwich City and Watford in the Premier League for the 2021/22 season for the first time in their history, seeing off Welsh-outfit Swansea City at Wembley with a 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes. It was a fast start for Thomas Frank’s men, who began with a commendable hunger to play on the front foot, culminating in Swans’ goalkeeper Freddie Woodman taking out Bryan Mbeumbo in the penalty area after just ten minutes. Record Championship goalscorer Toney stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, notching number 33 for the season.
It took just ten minutes for the Bees to double their lead, with Mbeumbo leading a wicked counter attack that commenced in their own penalty area before letting Mads Roerslev take over proceedings. The young wing back then showed an attacking midfielder’s instinct and picked out the onrushing Emiliano Marcondes who had sprinted the length of the pitch. The Dane miraculously managed to get on the end of the cross and delicately pass the ball into the back of the net.
Swansea had a mountain to climb. Steve Cooper did his best to bring the game back in his side’s favour, throwing on Liam Cullen and Yan Dhanda just after the hour mark. But any hopes of a comeback were soon squashed after Jay Fulton saw red for a dreadful yet unfortunate challenge on Mathias Jensen.
Over the last two years, Brentford have been a side on a mission: to become a Premier League club. As the clocked ticked over into the sixth minute of injury time, Chris Kavanagh blew his whistle to bring a close to Brentford’s mission and confirm them as a Premier League club.
Thomas Frank became just the second person in the club’s history to reach the top flight after Harry Curtis in 1947, ending a 74-year absence. A giant difference to Swansea’s three years, who will spend a fourth year running trying to return to the big time. As for Brentford, after enduring play-off heartbreak in an empty stadium last year, ten thousand West Londoners were on hand to witness their club make it tenth time lucky following nine previous failed attempts. It looks like ten was the Bees’ lucky number.
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