Reading 1 Brentford 2. A few thoughts, reflections and comments.
There are plenty of eloquent match reports and informed opinions on the various blogs and message boards. So no need for a detailed match report. What does need saying though is that fine margins make results. Brentford were the better side but Reading gave the impression, certainly in the second half of working a bit harder.
The neutral would have enjoyed this game, with end to end movement, an awful referee and three truly excellent goals that would have graced any Champions league game never mind the premiership or championship.
Will Brentford fans see two better goals from their side this season? A 30 yard shot from Ryan Woods that gave the keeper no chance and came out of nowhere at a time that Brentford were not on top, was maybe bettered by the effort from Sergi Canos that he both made and scored. He took an excellent pass from Ryan Woods, and produced two sublime touches with his right foot then switching to his left foot to hit the ball home. The Reading goal from Garath McCleary was made by Matej Vydra, a player I would not mind in Brentford colours, with again a wonderful passing movement that one cannot criticise the Bees defence for conceding.
Those that say we should use our pitch to share with other teams, football or rugby, might like to take a look at the awful pitch at Reading especially in the penalty area and corner regions. It was fairly terrible.
The other point of note was the woeful performance, again , of referee Keith Stroud. He was without doubt the worst official I have witnessed in 2015. His decisions were error strewn, with both sides left in bemusement at times. Most bookings were incomprehensible, with the exception of the sensible decision to give two yellow cards to Michael Hector, both deserved. The first one for a crude and potentially dangerous challenge on Alan Judge might have been deserving of a red card and the second one for some poor simulation in an attempt to win a penalty was also well deserved. But otherwise Mr Stroud annoyed both sets of fans and players with odd and seemingly random decisions that defied the many rules of football that I am aware of. It would be a pleasure not to witness that charade again this season or ever maybe.
Brentford did not play to their best. The defence looked more solid. James Tarkowski started the game hobbling in the warm up and seemed to finish that way too, but was excellent. Ryan woods scored an amazing goal but gave the ball away so many times that this is an area of real concern for the team. However other than the goalscorers the Man of the Match for me was Maxime Colin. An imperious display.
Are Brentford play-off contenders? The mathematics say they are but they need to improve on their goal scoring records. They are playing well and have improved enormously since August but need a clinical striker.