Since the 1990/91 season, Brentford have lost in all eight of their play-off campaigns.
It's an unwanted statistic that has lingered over the West London club for decades, but after overcoming Swansea in the semi-final, Thomas Frank's men have the chance to set the record straight and banish the streak to the history books.
Brentford spent the 1960s, 70s and 80s flitting between the Third and Fourth Divisions of English football but it looked as though they'd finally escape, after years of mediocrity, in the fifth season after the end-of-season lottery was introduced. Their plans for the season took a hit when Steve Perryman quit as manager less than 10 days before the opening day, but his assistant Phil Holder took over and soon had them challenging at the top of the table.
A run to the Southern Area final of the Leyland DAF Cup affected their league form, however, and despite five wins from their last six games, the Bees were forced to settle for a sixth-place finish. In an enthralling first-leg meeting with Tranmere, Kevin Godfrey struck a last-minute equaliser for the hosts at Griffin Park, but a first-half goal from Gerard Brannan on the return to Prenton Park was enough to earn Rovers a 3-2 victory and a spot in the final at Wembley.
This season was a tale of two halves for Brentford, who were uncomfortably perched in mid-table by November 1994 after a mixed bag to start the campaign. David Webb's side bucked their ideas up from there, though, and lost just once from November 26 to April 22. A few days later, they travelled to St Andrew's to take on Birmingham knowing that victory would leave them in pole position for the sole automatic promotion berth in the Second Division. With an immense amount of pressure upon them, the Bees fell to a 2-0 defeat.
They then lost 2-1 to Bournemouth and drew 2-2 with Bristol Rovers as any hopes of a late recovery were dashed and entered the play-offs with an over-riding feeling of what might have been a few weeks earlier. With no killer instinct exercised by themselves or Huddersfield, both legs were drawn 1-1 and, after extra time, Jamie Bates missed the crucial penalty in the shootout, which the Terriers edged 4-3 at Griffin Park.
Webb had largely the same squad from the previous play-off campaign at his disposal as he went in search of an exit route from the third tier and with Carl Asaba having scored 11 goals in the first 11 games, another promotion push looked likely two years later. They rarely moved away from the top for most of the season, until the wheels started to come off in March 1997.
The goals dried up almost completely after the departure of Nicky Forster to Birmingham and Brentford scored just seven in the final 15 games of the season, picking up 13 points from the 45 available. The slump came to a timely end with a 4-2 aggregate win over Bristol City in the semi-final, though there was to be no happy ending, as Crewe came out on top in the final, with stalwart Shaun Smith netting the decisive goal midway through the first half of a narrow 1-0 win.
Steve Coppell took over from Ray Lewington in the summer of 2001 and steered the cash-strapped club to the top of the table by September, after their best start to the season in over 60 years. By the end of November, Brentford had lost just two of their 19 league games and they ended the season with just two defeats in 18, but thanks to a dreadful Christmas period and start to 2002, the fate of their season came down to the final day.
With second-placed Reading visiting Griffin Park just a point ahead, a win would have seen the Bees promoted as runners-up to champions Brighton, but a late equaliser from Jamie Cureton salvaged a 1-1 draw for the Royals and set up another play-off showdown with Huddersfield. This time around, goals from Lloyd Owusu and Darren Powell saw Brentford through to the final at the Millennium Stadium, where they were beaten 2-0 by Gudjon Thordarson's Stoke.
Martin Allen had saved Brentford from almost-certain relegation to League Two a year earlier and now set to work assembling a promotion-chasing squad for a cost of next to nothing in the hopes of following up 'The Great Escape' with promotion to the Championship at the first attempt. Though it had been case with cup runs in previous years, a lucrative run to the FA Cup fifth round didn't slow the Bees' momentum, though three straight defeats in the last two weeks of April put paid to any lingering hopes of reaching the top two. บอลวันนี้888
In the play-offs, an early goal from Jon-Paul McGovern gave Sheffield Wednesday the advantage in the first leg of the tie, before goals from Lee Peacock and Chris Brunt put the Owls 3-0 up on aggregate. Left-back Andy Frampton pulled one back with three minutes to play, but it was too little too late.
Despite the disappointment of the previous season and the club's financial troubles, Allen stayed at the helm and his side repaid him with just one defeat in an impressive two-month run from the end of September to Boxing Day 2005. Again, the team impressed in the FA Cup, but while it brought in much-needed funds, the performances of DJ Campbell - a £5,000 capture from Yeading - piqued interest from both Championship and Premier League clubs.
If promotion had looked likely beforehand, the outlook changed completely once he joined Birmingham on January 31 2006. Not straight away, mind you; Allen's men bulldozed Walsall 5-0 and followed that up with wins over Bristol City and Southend but won just four of the last 15 games, missing out on a top-two finish by just three points. Jay Tabb helped the Bees - who had goalkeeper Stuart Nelson sent off by referee Keith Stroud - earn a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Liberty Stadium, before a quickfire Leon Knight double back in West London compounded Brentford's misery. Allen soon departed, too.
contact us Line ID: @ufa98v2
This website is built with Strikingly.
Create your FREE website today!