The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Stu­art Clarke

THE COUNT­DOWN is al­ready on for Brent­ford boss Mark War­bur­ton as the Bees pre­pare for life in the Cham­pi­onship.

They can do so hav­ing fin­ished the sea­son on a high in a game which saw the 500th club ap­pear­ance for cap­tain Kevin O’Con­nor.

O’Con­nor en­tered the fray as a sub­sti­tute in the 26th minute to rap­tur­ous ap­plause by both sets of fans, who cre­ated a party at­mos­phere at Grif­fin Park all af­ter­noon.

Goals from Stu­art Dal­las and Alan Judge en­sured that the Bees fans roared their way through to the post-game cel­e­bra­tions, and War­bur­ton hopes they will repli­cate their rau­cous sup­port through­out next sea­son.

“We all know that 98 days from (Satur­day) we could be play­ing our first Cham­pi­onship game, so we’re count­ing down the days,” he said.

“We’ll look for­ward to the fix­ture list be­ing an­nounced, there’s some great Lon­don der­bies to look for­ward to so I’m de­lighted for the fans.

“The fans were in­cred­i­ble and I hope they will bring this at­mos­phere to ev­ery sin­gle home game next year.

“We’ve got a strong squad of play­ers, the work has started now and the scout­ing staff are al­ready very busy.

“We’ll only bring in play­ers who will add value, the har­mony and unity of the dress­ing room is good and we want to im­prove that fur­ther.

“We’ve got a tough pre-sea­son, we’re go­ing away over­seas so the play­ers will have to work hard.”

On a day of cheer­ing, the loud­est were saved for the mile­stone ap­pear­ance of O’Con­nor, who re­placed an in­jured Tony Craig just be­fore the half-hour mark.

The poor qual­ity of foot­ball on show in the first half soon sub­dued the Brent­ford fans, but they were brought back to life as O’Con­nor’s header from Dal­las’ cor­ner was palmed away by Chris Day.

The party threat­ened to turn sour on the hour mark when Jonathan Dou­glas and John Mous­inho tan­gled in the box. Brent­ford’s Dou­glas re­tal­i­ated on his op­po­site num­ber, earn­ing him a yel­low card.

But Dal­las broke the dead­lock to give Brent­ford the lead, find­ing the bot­tom cor­ner from the edge of the six-yard box from Nico Yen­naris’ pass across goal.

Judge fin­ished the job in the dy­ing min­utes, dart­ing in from the left to beat day again in his left cor­ner to leave Gra­ham West­ley’s side at the foot of the ta­ble.

“I’ve not en­joyed work­ing with this group of play­ers be­cause they’ve not given their heart and soul to the club, ”West­ley said.

“I’ve made no se­cret of that. Ev­ery­body here knows that I will get it right and that I will get a foot­ball team on the pitch that people will be proud of.

“Steve­nage is a small club that has to work on tight bud­gets and we need people who un­der­stand that.

“The sheet of paper is pretty clean, there’s one or two who are con­tracted but in the main I’ll wipe the slate clean.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle


T DAL­LAS Brentfo

rd HIGH FIVES: Brent­ford’s Alan Judge cel­e­brates his goal with Stu­art Dal­las

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