Brent­ford back in sec­ond tier

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Andrew Law­ton

WHILE foot­ball can of­ten be the cru­ellest of games, it can also con­jure up beau­ti­ful mo­ments of irony to off­set the agony.

As Alan Judge stepped up to take the spot-kick that ul­ti­mately se­cured pro­mo­tion for Brent­ford one thought must have been run­ning through the minds of the Bees faith­ful.

Last year Mar­cello Trotta had the op­por­tu­nity to se­cure au­to­matic pro­mo­tion for Brent­ford with a last minute penalty on the fi­nal day of the sea­son.

His shot in­fa­mously rat­tled off the cross­bar and fell to the feet of Don­caster’s Billy Payn­ter, who fed James Coppinger for the goal that con­de­mend Brent­ford to the play-offs and ul­ti­mately an­other sea­son in League One.

This time how­ever, Brent­ford were given a hero in­stead of a vil­lain as Judge’s spot-kick sealed a 1-0 win against Pre­ston and se­cured the Bees' place in English foot­ball’s sec­ond tier for the first time since 1993. How­ever, it is a thin line be­tween suc­cess and fail­ure and as Judge slipped and saw his sec­ond penalty fly over the bar he won­dered if he had sen­tenced Brent­ford to more heartache.

In the end it didn’t mat­ter and Judge was left with noth­ing but re­lief af­ter see­ing the net bulge fol­low­ing his suc­cess­ful trip to the spot.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so ner­vous in my life tak­ing a penalty,” said Judge. “I was just re­lieved when

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

FI­NAL VER­DICT: Alan Judge cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing Brent­ford’s win­ner

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