Brentford 0 - MK Dons 2
I hate MK Dons. I hate everything they stand for. I hate where they have come from and where they might possibly be going. But on Saturday they were deserved winners at Griffin Park, playing with a fluency so badly lacking from this Brentford team.
The first half was, at best, pretty boring. Franchise had the better chances with Richard Lee saving well, Baldock missing an open net from an acute angle and Balanta hitting a post. Brentford's best effort had been an Alexander shot which sailed into the top tier of the Brook Road stand and we wasted a number of corners.
Macdonald did put the ball into the net but was flagged offside. A decent finish though from the hardworking striker.
Brentford swapped Wood - who had worked hard but produced little - for Simpson at the break and the switch looked to have worked when Macdonald fired home after good work from Robbie - but the goal was again correctly disallowed for offside.
Shortly afterwards Lee again saved well from Balanta but MK's pressure told when Doumbe headed home from a corner. A few minutes later, Pim Balkestein waved a panicking leg at a crossfield ball and Balanta doubled MK's lead.
It was an afternoon to forget for Pim who was later sent off - two stupid bookings in quick succesion earning a red card for the defender - picked today ahead of Leon Legge.
Brentford did muster a single shot on target in the second half - Woodman's long range effort was however comfortably saved.
But it was an insipid day at Griffin Park.
I've held back on criticising heavily so far this season, but the problem with this team - expensively assembled by Andy Scott over the summer (comparative to recent year's budgets) - is that we rely almost entirely on Myles Weston as an attacking force. When he has an off day - and he had an absloute shocker today - our midfield offers very little indeed. And opposition teams have worked this out. And will continue to do so.
Andy may well be 'manager of the month' - ten minutes of madness by Exeter's defence masking a pretty woeful away performance undoubtebly helping him along the way - but the football his team serves up is utterly uninspiring.
A midfield partnership of Kevin and Bean (or Dave for that matter) is simply not good enough for a team aspiring to improve on a 9th place finish last season. There is no drive forwards, and on days like today, seemingly little cover for our defence.
We have quite a big squad but a look at our subs bench showed a collection of players whose confidence has been slowly eroded by the manager - Micky Spillane, Nicky Forster and Sam Saunders look like prime examples of this.
Pim's sending off and a fifth booking for Karleigh will leave us with an interesting dilemna at centre half next match (Dave McCracken is currently injured). I'm sure Andy will find someone to play out of position there.
I love my team, and I hate Franchise FC - but today, sadly, football was the winner.
Bees - Lee, Wright, Pim, Karleigh, Woodman, Wood (Simpson), Bean, Kev, Weston (Forster), Mac, Alexander
With thanks to
beesotted for their match report
November 15, 2010