Four years ago to the day. One of the most heartbreaking football moments of my life. Or, at the time at least.
Brentford vs Doncaster. If Brentford win, they are promoted to the Championship. Any other result, and Doncaster go up. In the last minute at 0-0, Brentford get a penalty.
Marcello Trotta, on loan from Fulham, takes the ball from the hands of captain and designated penalty taker Kevin O’Connor and crashes the ball against the bar. The ball is cleared to Billy Paynter, who was ready to walk down the tunnel after the penalty, he sets up James Coppinger to score and send Doncaster up, and crown them champions as a result of the Bournemouth’s draw with Tranmere. Here’s a video that will explain alot better than I can: https://youtu.be/57ZHqJkWtxY
Brentford went on to beat Swindon in the playoff semi finals, but lose 2-1 to Yeovil in the final. But in the long run, who benefited from the result(s) the most?
Well, quite simply, Brentford. Unless you want to include Bournemouth, in which case, Bournemouth.
Why? Well, Brentford went on to secure promotion the next year, ironically as a result of a penalty against Preston. Meanwhile, both Doncaster and Yeovil went straight back down to League One. The season after, Brentford finished 5th in our first season in the Championship, meanwhile Doncaster finished 14th in League One and Yeovil finished bottom of the table for the second year in a row, dropping to League Two, and Doncaster would follow them in 2015/16 as Brentford finished 9th.
Fast forward to now, and Brentford are an established Championship side, looking set for another top half finish for the third year in a row. Doncaster have been promoted back to League One at the first time of asking. Yeovil aren’t so lucky however, they are 20th in the table and flirting with relegation for the second year in a row.
The reason I believe Brentford benefitted from the result the most is I don’t think we would have survived in the Championship had we gone up that day. Or if not, we certainly wouldn’t have done as well as we did in what was our first Championship season. Doncaster and Yeovil have obviously both slipped to the bottom division of the EFL.
Next season, I truly believe this Brentford squad could challenge for the playoffs. Yeovil will be mainly concentrated on staying in the football league, and Doncaster are easily capable of staying in League One next season.
So maybe, Marcello Trotta knew what he was doing with that penalty. Maybe he can see into the future. Or maybe he just wanted to make a name for himself and succeeded in all the wrong ways. Either way, his crucial goal against Leyton Orient in his second loan spell redeemed himself to most Brentford fans. So, everyone wins. Apart from the Yeovil and Doncaster fans.
Brentford fans, how do you reflect on your spell after this game? Let us know in the comments below!