SIR Winston Churchill was Prime Minister, the Korean War still raging and Vera Lynn at number one the last time Brentford had tasted defeat at Bramall Lane.
But a determined performance from Sheffield United ensured that remarkable run ground to a shuddering halt on Saturday afternoon and preserved Danny Wilson’s unblemished record as their manager.
Wilson celebrated his first competitive fixture on home soil by unveiling new signing Kevin McDonald before kick-off and the former Burnley schemer, who at one stage appeared destined to depart despite impressing on trial, responded by emerging as the architect of this deserved triumph.
“I had a couple of different offers on the table but the gaffer here seemed really keen to take me and that definitely influenced my thinking,” McDonald said.
“On top of that I also wanted to come to a club that I thought had a chance of doing something and that’s certainly the case here.
“It’s not so long ago that it was in the Premiership and when you look around the place everything is absolutely first class.
“So, when the opportunity arose to join, I didn’t have to think twice. It was a no brainer really.”
With financial constraints threatening to scupper United’s hopes of securing McDonald’s services on a permanent basis, Wilson revealed that plc chairman Kevin McCabe had personally intervened to push through a deal just hours before Uwe Rosler’s side arrived in South Yorkshire.
It promises to be money well spent with the 22-year-old, who has agreed a 12 month contract, displaying an awareness of space and intelligence in possession which proved the perfect foil for his fellow midfielders’ exuberance.
“I like to try and get the ball down,” McDonald continued. “I like to try and pass it around and make things happen like that.
“Basically, I just want to get out there and play.
“We’ve got a lot of really talented people here and I’m just happy to be involved.
“I’ll admit that for the last ten minutes or so I was blowing out of my backside a little bit but it was just great to be out there again and involved.
“I’ll be doing my utmost to do my best for the team and, from what I’ve seen since coming here, I think we’ve got a great chance of doing something.”
Nevertheless United, who return to action against Walsall tomorrow, were made to work hard for the points.
Deploying two banks of four in front of their penalty area, Brentford looked dangerous on the counter-attack until Jordan Slew’s goal soon after the re-start ended their spirited resistance.
With Richard Creswell doubling his tally for the season midway through the second period, United finished the contest in complete control. But they survived brief scares when, having overcome some early pressure, Brentford’s Craig Woodman and Gary Alexander both went close.
Indeed, having seen Slew spurn a glorious opportunity to edge United in front early on, Niall McGinn was left with his head in his hands after dragging a low shot just past Steve Simonsen’s far post.
“I’m pleased with the result but there’s definitely more to come from us,” Wilson acknowledged.
“Defensively we were solid and limited them to only a few sights of goal but there were times when we were a little bit pedestrian with our passing.
“But that was a great confidence booster.
“Knowing that we can be sharper and yet still coming away with a victory.
“That’s a good habit to have and gives us plenty to build on.”
United, whose previous success here over Brentford was in September 1952, wrestled the initiative when Slew, having drawn a superb save from Richard Lee moments before the interval, converted a deflected effort following good work by Cresswell and Stephen Quinn.
Lecsinel Jean-Francois, whose lapse in concentration had created Alexander’s chance, redeemed himself with a fine drive from range soon after before Cresswell prodded home after substitute Lee Williamson and Matthew Lowton had combined.
“We froze and we just weren’t allowed to play our normal game,” Rosler conceded. “We reacted to things rather than acted and, to be honest, the first goal killed us.”
I’m pleased because Brentford are a good team who know this division inside out. They’ve got some really good players like Jonathan Douglas who has performed in the Premier League and the lad (Charlie) MacDonald is really well thought off. They’re not ‘Dog and Duck’ by any stretch of the imagination and anyone who says otherwise is being a bit disrespectful.