Al­bion still don’t like Mon­days and here is why...

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Foot­ball Writer

WEST Bromwich Al­bion threw the prover­bial kitchen sink at Brent­ford on Mon­day night, but were de­nied a fourth suc­ces­sive league win.

Af­ter the Bag­gies blew a se­ries of gilt-edged op­por­tu­ni­ties, Har­vey Barnes fi­nally found the break­through on 77 min­utes. But the Bees de­liv­ered one last sting in the tale with sub­sti­tute Lewis Ma­cLeod equal­is­ing in time added on.

Here are five things we learned from a frus­trat­ing night at The Hawthorns. Friends in high places It was an im­por­tant fix­ture for so many rea­sons, not least the fact con­trol­ling share­holder Guochuan Lai was in the stands.

The Chi­nese busi­ness­man flew in for his first game since the Bag­gies dropped into the Cham­pi­onship. Guangzhou-based Lai then met head coach Dar­ren Moore and other se­nior fig­ures for lunch.

While Al­bion didn’t get the re­sult they wanted, the per­for­mance and unswerv­ing sup­port of the home crowd will surely have sat­is­fied Lai the club is on the right track. Costly misses West Brom reg­is­tered 21 shots on goal. Only five were on tar­get and just the one con­verted.

Al­bion have been clin­i­cal this sea­son but ruth­less­ness de­serted them against plucky Brent­ford.

Would it have been a dif­fer­ent story had Dwight Gayle been on the pitch from the off? Pos­si­bly though it must be noted Gayle missed chances him­self.

They banged on the door and even­tu­ally it opened. Un­for­tu­nately, they hadn’t scored enough goals to re­flect their dom­i­nance. Records are there to be bro­ken Prior to Mon­day night, Brent­ford had made nine trips to The Hawthorns over the years. And lost them all.

This was a Bees side who had lost six of seven matches un­der Thomas Frank. They have mor­phed from pro­mo­tion hope­fuls to rel­e­ga­tion can­di­dates af­ter only one win in 12.

Brent­ford were bat­tered from start to fin­ish by the ram­pant Bag­gies. Yet they emerged with a mem­o­rable point. If it ain’t broke? Moore re­sisted the urge to call on de­fen­sive re­in­force­ments to pro­tect the lead. He had not seen Brent­ford’s goal com­ing or con­sid­ered a sub­sti­tu­tion to make sure of the points.

In truth, Brent­ford never re­ally looked like scor­ing, but surely fresh legs were needed? Not only to pre­serve the lead, to eat up time and con­serve en­ergy ahead of a busy run of fix­tures. Tell me why I don’t like Mon­days The Bag­gies have grown ac­cus­tomed to play­ing away from the tra­di­tional 3pm Satur­day slot.

Yet this was their first Mon­day night fix­ture of the sea­son. Al­bion have not won any of their last four Mon­day matches. It was in Jan­uary 2017 when they last pre­vailed, with a 3-1 de­feat of Hull City.

> Matt Phillips rues an­other wasted chance and, in­set, scorer Har­vey Barnes

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