Almost three years on from his £650,000 move away from Newcastle United, Ivan Toney has just moved a step closer to a Premier League return after firing Brentford to the play-off final in a crazy game on Saturday afternoon.
Despite losing the first leg 1-0 and conceding an early goal to Bournemouth in today’s semi-final second leg, his 32nd goal of the season started a Bees comeback that saw them win 3-2 on aggregate – a win that resigns ex-Mag Jonathan Woodgate to another season in the Championship with the Cherries.
Toney’s Brentford will now play either Swansea or Barnsley in next Saturday’s big final – a game that could see him face up against NUFC loan star Freddie Woodman should the Swans build on their 1-0 lead from the first leg tonight.
It was brilliant game in West London and one which had just about everything – an electric atmosphere and four goals in an enthralling comeback which featured a controversial penalty, one red card and handbags between Toney and Begovic!
The game started with an early goal for Woodgate’s side via some shocking defending straight from the home side’s corner – a strike that sent Bournemouth 2-0 up on aggregate.
They had a mountain to climb but quickly responded, with a dubious penalty handing Ivan Toney the chance to make it 32 goals for the season. He converted from the spot in ice-cool fashion and had a scuffle Begovic seconds later.
The Cherries went down to 10 men before the break as Mepham denied Mbuemo a clear goalscoring opportunity, and it didn’t take long for Brentford to make the most of their man advantage, levelling the tie at 2-2 via a 50/50 challenge from Vitaly Janelt that ended up flying in from 20 yards!
Toney’s side knew another goal would avoid extra time and send them to Wembley, which is exactly what they got with just 10 minutes remaining as Marcus Forss prodded home to send the 4,000 crowd wild and the Bees just one win from the Premier League.
Watch the winner below:
Another reminder that football is NOTHING without fans. Only 4,000 in there, but what an atmosphere and amazing scenes.
Congratulations to ex-Mag Ivan Toney – who will surely be a top flight player next season whether his side wins the play-off final or not – and commiserations to Jonathan Woodgate, with he and Cherries fans suffered semi-final heartache despite being 2-0 up on aggregate at one stage today.