Brentford shake off Griffin Park shackles as they bid for Premier League glory

July 30 – Brentford defeated Swansea 3-2 on aggregate to reach the Championship play-off final in their Griffin Park farewell game as they chase Premier League riches and a return to top-flight football for the first time since 1947. 

On the night that the Bees – without fans – bade farewell to their historic Griffin Park stadium, the hosts overwhelmed Welsh challengers Swansea in the opening stages of the match with both Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Marcondes scoring inside the first 16 minutes.

Right after the break, Bryan Mbeumo volleyed in a cross from Rico Henry to extend Brentford’s lead. Rhian Brewster pulled a goal back for the visitors with 12 minutes remaining in the contest, but it was little too late to force another goal and salvage extra-time.

“We talked about not leaving the pitch without getting to the final,” said Brentford coach Thomas Frank.  “The message was we needed to start faster than we ever started before. And we did that. At 3-0 we should have been through to the final, but we made a mistake we shouldn’t make. But after that they weren’t really dangerous and it was nice to show the defensive side of our game.”

On Tuesday, Brentford will play either Fulham or Cardiff for a spot in the Premier League, but Brentford will be weary of slipping up again when it matters most. They have never won promotion in their eight previous play-off campaigns.

Griffin Park, which famously has a pub on each corner, has served as the club’s ground for 116 years and always kept a touch of intimacy and authenticity amid the sprawling urbanisation in west London and the rise of state-of-the-art stadiums across England.

This summer Brentford will finally move to a more modern home at the Brentford Community Stadium with a capacity of 17,500. The stadium will be shared with Premiership rugby club London Irish.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1596498971labto1596498971ofdlr1596498971owedi1596498971sni@o1596498971fni1596498971