Norwich v Brentford; the ACN preview

02/12/16

David 'Spud' Thornhill takes a look back at the history of the Canaries against the Bees, clubs who met a lot before 1960, but hardly at all since...

In direct contrast to the Derby game, who City didn't meet until 1960, this Saturday will be the 70th meeting between Norwich and Brentford, but only 9 of these have come since 1960, with 5 of those 9, taking place in the last 6 years. Over half of the meetings between the Bees and the Canaries (48) came before we moved to Carrow Road in 1935.

Norwich first met Brentford before we'd even made it to The Nest, with the men from London making their way to Newmarket Road during our first season in the Southern League in 1905. David Ross scored for City in a mid-December 1-1.

Cyril Dunning scored the first Southern League hat-trick by a City player (6 players had scored 3 for City before this), netting half the goals in a comprehensive 6-1 win over Brentford on Boxing Day 1908. Worth remembering that name for any pub quizzes. Nice one Cyril.

Both clubs entered the Football League together in 1920, with Brentford initially having the upper hand, having emerged unbeaten in the league during their first four visits to Norfolk. That was to dramatically change however as the Bees would only win 1 of their next 17 trips north.

1929 was a bad Easter for Norwich. A 4-0 defeat at Griffin Park on Good Friday was followed by a 4-2 defeat at The Nest to the same opposition on Easter Monday. Like London buses, having had 2 wins in very quick succession, it would take another 12 games, spanning 86 years for the Bees to win here again.

Norwich's first game in the Second Division was away to Brentford, but the Canaries slipped to a 2-1 defeat. Ken Burditt had the honour of scoring the first goal at this level for the Yellows. A defeat was no disgrace however and the Bees would go on to win the Division Two title that season.

In 1954/55, City would officially finish higher in the league than the table now shows. Having finished with an identical record to Brentford in 11th, the clubs were separated alphabetically in the final league table, leaving City appearing 12th, despite finishing joint 11th. What drama.

At the end of the decade, due to our famous 58/59 cup run, City were left to finish their season with a mammoth 15 games in 40 days. This run included a 4-1 win at Carrow Road and a 4-0 win at Griffin Park, as City would narrowly miss out on promotion, finishing 4 points behind Hull City, despite losing only 2 games in the run-in. City were pushed into 4th by Brentford who claimed 3rd with a marginally better goal average of 0.116, which was an early forerunner to goal difference.

Just over 50 years would pass, before the clubs would meet in the league again, when the newly appointed Paul Lambert watched from the stands as Brentford won 2-1 with Owain Tudor Jones scoring Norwich's goal.

Brentford were also the opposition for Alex Neil's first official game in charge, as a certain Alex Pritchard ran riot up against an experimental anchor man in Steven Whitaker, as again they ran out 2-1 winners.

4-0 - Norwich biggest win v Brentford 30 April 1959 7-1 - Brentford biggest win v Norwich 11 January 1958

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