Do we have a rivalry with Brentford!?!
NCM has a look at some tumultuous recent clashes with the Bees ahead of Saturday's game at Griffin Park.
Okay, I admit, it does seem like a slightly odd suggestion. Of all the Football League clubs to have any sort of resentment, or indeed any feeling at all, towards, Brentford seem as though they should be somewhere near the bottom of the list. The place itself defines West London - suburban nothingness, with the dreary existence of the locals only broken by the noise of the wider world getting on with its business in the form of the M4 and planes flying over from Heathrow. The club, meanwhile, are the antithesis of League One mediocrity - they just look out of place if they are anywhere other than this division. Yet recent games between Notts and the Bees have been nothing if not eventful. Red cards, penalties and drama aplenty, something that we have a look at ahead of Saturday's now inevitable goalless draw.
22/10/2011 - Notts County 1-1 Brentford
It seems like an absolute lifetime ago, but our last meeting was in the early part of this season, when Notts were having their last brief flirtation with the play-offs. On the back of a fine run of form and thumping win at Chesterfield, hopes were high ahead of the visit of Uwe Rosler's side. The game itself was pretty dull until the half an hour mark, when a horror tackle from Jonathan Douglas on Alan Judge sparked the most bizarre scene that we've witnessed at Meadow Lane this season. From the resulting free kick, Alan Sheehan's attempts to whip the ball into the area were stopped by Rosler deliberately stepping across his run. Not just once, however, but twice. Even after being warned by the referee. It was utterly surreal (as was his claim afterwards that he "didn't move") and the German was sent to the stands by a referee who, presumably, had never witnessed anything quite like it. That wasn't the end of the controversy though, as Alan Judge was absolutely poleaxed in the box (a decision later derided by the Bees as "soft"), with Jeff Hughes scoring the penalty. Clayton Donaldson had the last laugh, however, equalising with a screamer at the start of the second half.
25/04/2011 - Notts County 1-1 Brentford
There was more drama at Meadow Lane when the sides met last season in a game which saw Notts denied guaranteed League One survival by a last gasp Jeffrey Schlupp goal. For eighty minutes of this one, things seemed pretty pedestrian, before it suddenly burst into life. A penalty was somewhat harshly (considering it hit him smack in the face and nearly knocked him out) awarded against Karleigh Osborne for handball, a decision protested for a full five minutes by the visiting players. They needn't have worried, as Westcarr's spot kick was saved, but Richard Lee had to face another one within five minutes as the referee awarded another handball. This one, to be fair, did actually hit his hand. Lee Hughes scored to seemingly seal safety for the Magpies, but things were far from over. Firstly Martin Allen was sent off for kicking the ball away, something he claimed he had "never done before" - words which we doubt to this day. He took his seat in the Main Stand just in time to see Schlupp leave Notts sweating until the final day clash with Brighton.
01/03/2011 - Brentford 1-1 Notts County
The same scoreline again, and plenty of mental scenes at Griffin Park, in keeping with our theme. It took just twenty five minutes for things to kick off in this one, when Jon Harley was somewhat harshly sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession. Notts seemed to be facing a huge task from then on in, but things looked rosier when Craig Westcarr seized upon Robbie Neilson's poor back pass to put the Magpies infront shortly afterwards. Faced with sheer bombardment from the hosts, Notts held out into the latter stages, but when Karleigh Osborne equalised after Stuart Nelson went walkabout, there was surely only one winner? Wrong - but to this day, we're not sure how. Mike Edwards was sent off, also for a second yellow card, before a genuinely impressive dying swan act by Robbie Simpson, having had Krystian Pearce breathe in his direction, won the hosts a penalty with almost the last kick of the game. In one of football's rare moments of poetic justice, Simpson promptly got up and missed it.
17/01/2009 - Brentford 1-1 Notts County
We're going back a couple of seasons here, to the days of long, torturous League Two campaigns. Things sparked into life even earlier at Griffin Park on this freezing January afternoon, when Nathan Elder was sent off after just eight minutes for Andy Scott's side. The big striker elbowed Mike Edwards in the face when jumping for a header and Stuart Atwell immediately sent him off, leaving the home crowd to do little but boo Edwards for the rest of the game (despite him requiring stitches). Notts took the lead quickly after the sending off thanks to a fine Delroy Facey finish, but toiled even against ten men for the entire second half and threw away the points (literally, in Kevin Pilkington's case) when the Bees equalised in injury time.
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