Stinging the Bees

Chelsea and Brentford have been drawn together in the FA Cup for the third time. Here’s a reminder of how the Blues progressed in our previous ties against the Bees...

The two clubs are separated by only a few miles, but meetings between us since World War II have been few and far between. There have been only five competitive matches between the sides in that time.

The first time we faced the Bees in the FA Cup was in the third round of the competition in 1950. Both clubs were mid-table of their respective leagues – Chelsea in Division One and Brentford the level below – and demand to see the game was so high the supporters broke into the offices at Griffin Park a few days earlier in search of tickets.

None were to be found, but the 38,000 who purchased their tickets legitimately were treated to a superb winning goal by Jimmy Bowie (pictured above, left). The Scottish inside-right lobbed Alf Jeffries after 17 minutes and that proved to be enough to separate the sides.

Bowie eventually ended up joining Brentford two years later, following a spell at Fulham, although he never did manage to complete the west London set with Queens Park Rangers.

We met Brentford again in 2012/13, this time in the fourth round, and it was a fixture which meant that, for the first time ever, Chelsea would contest all three west London derbies in the same season.

As current holders of the trophy, and winners of the FA Cup four times in the previous six seasons, the Blues had to fight hard to stay in the competition at Griffin Park, twice coming from behind to equalise through Oscar and Fernando Torres.

‘I’ve known since I came to England that the level they have in League One or the Championship is maybe higher than when I used to play against teams from the lower leagues in Spain,’ said Torres with a nod to the FA Cup’s reputation for giant-killers.

It was a different story altogether in the replay at the Bridge, though, as a goalless first half was followed up by goals from Juan Mata, Oscar, Frank Lampard and John Terry to steer the Blues past our neighbours.