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