Brentford Come From Behind to Beat Blues U21s
Monday, 16th Nov 2015 16:14
Brentford’s U21s came from behind to beat their Blues counterparts 3-1 at Playford Road this afternoon, Sam Ford (pictured) having put Town in front early on.
Trialist Shilow Tracey, a 17-year-old who is currently with Ebbsfleet United’s academy, started on the left of midfield for a Town side featuring no overage players and only Josh Emmanuel, Myles Kenlock, Adam McDonnell, Alex Henshall and James Alabi with experience of playing in the Blues' first team.
Tracey, whose only senior appearance for Fleet came as a sub in a Kent Senior Cup tie last season, has already spent time training with Tottenham and is also reported to be interesting West Ham, Stoke City, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. He played and scored twice for Charlton's U18s at the weekend.
The trialist was involved in Town’s goal which came via their first attack of the game in the sixth minute.
Tracey made a strong run down the left but saw his cross cut out. However, the ball was eventually returned to him and he fed the overlapping Kenlock, whose cross found Ford beyond the far post and the second-year scholar took a touch before clinically finding the net.
The Blues continued to make the early headway and Ford might have done better with an opportunity in the 11th minute, but cut inside and ran into trouble after Alabi had dummied McDonnell’s pass.
Henshall hit a low shot through to Bees keeper Nick Tzanev three minutes later, then on 20 Kyle Hammond hit a strike which was blocked.
But by that stage the visitors had begun to get on top and they should have got on terms in the 22nd minute when skipper James Ferry played in Montell Moore on the right of the area and he cut across to Herson Alves at the far post but he somehow diverted the ball wide from a matter of feet when it appeared easier to score.
Tracey, who had made a lively start to the game, created another opportunity two minutes later when he sent over a cross which Alabi nodded over at the near post. The striker will feel he ought to have scored.
Just before the half hour Brentford levelled when the pacy Courtney Senior was sent through on goal by Montell and beat Blues keeper Jonathan Henly.
Henshall came within inches of restoring Town’s lead in the 38th minute when he brought the ball inside from the right and unleashed a powerful strike which beat Tzanev but crashed back off the bar.
Moments later, McDonnell did well to get back to dispossess Senior as the Bees wideman was again sent in on goal on the right of the box.
Four minutes after the restart Hammond saw a strike blocked on the edge of the box from a Ford lay-off but on 54 Brentford claimed the lead. Sub Reece Cole played a one-two with Jan Holldack and broke into the area before beating Henly.
While the teams prepared for the restart trialist Tracey was replaced by James Blanchfield, having started promisingly, showing one or two clever touches and sending over a couple of dangerous balls, before fading out of the game in the second half.
Two minutes later it was 3-1. George Fowler did well to rob Alves inside the area but skipper Joe Robinson took too long to clear the loose ball and Holldack nipped in to stab into the net.
Town, who had been second best since midway through the first half, looked to get back into the game and Alabi was sent away on the right of the area on 57 but Tzanev quickly came off his line to block.
But Brentford were creating most of the chances, Alves sending a dangerous ball across from the right in the 59th minute but with no team-mate on hand to add the final touch. Two minutes later Jermaine Udumaga shot wide from distance.
Ford saw a shot well saved by Tzanev after Henshall had teed the ball up for him before Hammond cleverly found Alabi in the area but the striker was challenged as he looked to turn and shoot.
Sub Blanchfield shot straight at the Brentford keeper, then at the other end Senior struck a low effort wide.
As the match hit the 70-minute mark McDonnell hit a shot which Tzanev palmed away from goal.
Five minutes later the Irish U19 international midfielder saw another effort blocked after a Henshall corner from the left had somehow landed at his feet.
Henly did well to save Udamaga’s low drive in the 78th minute, then Gradi Milenge headed the striker’s cross from the right over the bar.
The Blues should have pulled a goal back with 11 minutes left on the clock when Henshall crossed from the left to the far post but Alabi headed wide when again he should have scored.
On 85 Udumaga was frustrated to send the ball the wrong side of the post from Holldack’s cut-back.
A minute later Henly pulled off an impressive double save, blocking first from Milenge and then Alves following a corner.
Having started strongly and grabbing the early lead, the Blues allowed Brentford to take charge from the midway point of the first half onwards and in truth the margin of the defeat might have been wider, although Town and Alabi in particular also had chances.
Few if any of those involved will have done much to press a claim for greater involvement with the first-team squad in front of the watching Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor.
Meanwhile, U21s midfielder Monty Patterson, 18, has undergone a second operation on the ankle he injured in the opening game of the season at Leeds in August.
Town's U21s are in action again on Friday when they are away at QPR (KO 1pm).
Town U21s: Henly, Emmanuel, Kenlock, McDonnell, Fowler, Robinson (c), Tracey (Blanchfield 54), Hammond, Alabi, Ford (McKendry 76), Henshall (Ramadan 85). Unused: Hayes, Salaudeen.
Brentford U21s: Tvanev, Mepham, Laurent, Milenge, O'Shaughnessy (Cole 49), Ferry, Holldack, Senior (Jatta 90), Moore, Alves, Udumaga. Unused: Greaves, Field.
Photo: Action Images
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