STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
When Brentford last played in the basement division in the 1998-99 campaign, the Bees' opening-day fixture was a home game against the Stags with Brentford winning 3-0 on August 8, 1998. Since then, Brentford had played in the third tier of the Football League until relegation as bottom club last term, only 12 months after having been beaten in the playoffs for the Championship by Swansea. Exactly the same thing happened to Brentford before their previous relegation to the FL's bottom tier. In 1996-97, beaten by Crewe in the Playoff's final to the then Division One, the following season relegated after losing the final game away at Bristol Rovers. But last season's relegation for the Bees was more clear-cut than any of the Bees' previous demotions to the fourth tier. The writing was on the wall already by Christmas after playing eighteen games without a victory and in between, manager Leroy Rosenior left the Bees. Yet Brentford were unbeaten in their first seven games and took maximum points off promoted Blackpool, drew at Scunthorpe and at home to Bristol City last season.
In one of Brentford's earlier relegation seasons, 1965-66, the Stags played a major part. At the end of that postponement-ridden season, also the one of England's World Cup Championship on home soil, the Stags travelled to Griffin Park. On May 7, 1966, Brentford had to win to have any hope of survival, while the Stags fought with Southend and Oldham against the drop. At the end of the day, the Stags condemned the Bees to the drop by winning 3-0 after goals from Gregson, Curry and Mitchinson in front of 7970. That away win is also the biggest of the three Stags away wins at Brentford. In fact, in the other two, the Stags scored three goals as well. Details on both of them are featured in the Vintage Stags section. The first one, on August 25, 1962, the previewer remembers very clearly, one of my earliest memories of following a full League season. It was the third of six straight Stags wins at the start of the 1962-63 season, and due to that win, the Stags went top of Division Four on maximum points. At the end of that icy campaign, the Stags and the Bees were promoted together. The latest Stags win at Brentford was achieved in the first of the Stags 1970's championship campaigns.
But long before that, the Stags had played Brentford in the League.
In the Stags' inaugural league season, 1931-32, Brentford were still a Third Division (S) side on the up. Only a few seasons later, the Bees played in the top division, then Division One, finishing fifth in 1935-36, above teams like Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, being the best London side, in the Bees' first-ever Division 1 season.
But in 1931-32, with Brentford still finishing 5th and the Stags 20th in Division Three (S) the West Londoners were unable to beat the Stags then. On January 13, 1932, the Stags gained one of their only five away points (all draws) at Griffin Park. The 1-1 draw was the Stags' third-ever gained League away point. Needless to say that Johnson netted for the Stags then. And in the home fixture at Field Mill, the Stags stung the Bees to a 2-0 scoreline, Broome scoring twice, on April 9, 1932. Already then, the Stags had learned the habit of beating much better placed league sides at home, as was shown several times last season. Just ask Walsall, Swindon and MK Dons.
In 1958-59, the Stags and Brentford were founder members of the then new Division Three with Brentford finishing third and the Stags twentieth. It was then not for the first time Brentford missed out on promotion to the second tier.
In the 1964-65 season, both sides nearly made it to the old 2nd division, the Stags missing out on goal-average in 3rd spot and the Bees two points and two places below the Stags. That season, the Stags beat Brentford at home 4-1 on August 24, 1964 thanks to goals from Anderson, Wagstaff, Chapman and Scanlon, while Brentford gained revenge by the only goal of the game a week later.
One game at Griffin Park is remembered for the wrong reasons. A 2-2 draw on December 12, 1987, saw FOUR players red-carded, two from each side.
The sides last met in the Stags' Division 2 season in 2002-03. On December 28, 2002, Brentford won their home game by the only goal, thus ending a Stags' run of three straight league wins following the arrival of Keith Curle in the hot seat. On February 4, 2003, under wintry conditions, the sides played out a goal-less draw at Field Mill.
The clubs have never faced each other in any cup competition.
Some players have appeared for both clubs. To name but one: Keith Cassells.
Elsewhere, Bradford City's first game in the basement since a 2-0 win at Field Mill on May 15, 1982, will be a home game against Macclesfield, while the Spireites travel to Chester for the first time since August 28, 1993, and Rotherham for the first time to Hereford since April 4, 1992. But the FL League debutants face one home tie and an away one the forthcoming Saturday. Morecambe, the playoffs winners, host Barnet, while last season's Conference champs Dagenham & Redbridge face a tricky trip up to Stockport.
Played for both sides: Charles Alton, George Anderson, Keith Cassells, Jack Clough, Arthur Collins, Richard Cooke, Robbie Cooke, Reg Davies, Verdi Godwin, Joel Kitamirike, Pat Kruse, Richard Pacquette, Noel Parkinson , Jason Pearcey, George Poyser, Frank Watson.
Home games: P 18, W 8, D 6, L 4, GF 25, GA 17
Away games: P 18, W 3, D 4, L 11, GF 16, GA 31
Season Home Date Away Date
1931-32 2-0 1932-04-09 1-1 1932-01-13 Div 3 (S)
1958-59 1-1 1958-09-15 0-2 1958-09-09 Div 3 (old)
1959-60 0-1 1960-04-18 1-1 1960-04-15 Div 3 (old)
1962-63 1-2 1962-12-22 3-1 1962-08-25 Div 4 (old)
1963-64 2-2 1963-10-21 0-4 1963-10-29 Div 3 (old)
1964-65 4-1 1964-08-24 0-1 1964-08-31 Div 3 (old)
1965-66 2-0 1965-12-11 3-0 1966-05-07 Div 3 (old)
1973-74 1-1 1974-03-30 1-4 1973-11-03 Div 4 (old)
1974-75 1-1 1975-02-01 3-2 1974-11-09 Div 4 (old)
1978-79 2-1 1978-12-09 0-1 1979-04-28 Div 3 (old)
1979-80 0-0 1980-03-10 0-2 1980-04-07 Div 3 (old)
1986-87 1-0 1986-10-11 1-3 1987-03-21 Div 3 (old)
1987-88 2-1 1988-05-02 2-2 1987-12-12 Div 3 (old)
1988-89 1-0 1988-11-12 0-1 1989-04-29 Div 3 (old)
1989-90 2-3 1990-04-21 1-2 1989-12-17 Div 3 (old)
1990-91 0-2 1990-09-01 0-0 1991-01-12 Div 3 (old)
1998-99 3-1 1999-01-09 0-3 1998-08-08 Div 3
2002-03 0-0 2003-02-04 0-1 2002-12-28 Div 2
Previewers' note: Vastly revamped compared to the ones in 2002-03 due to having more sources. The main ones are the centenary book, the history CD and various editions of Rothman's Football Yearbook.
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
Latest | August 2007