Brentford fell to a 2-1 defeat to Stevenage on Saturday morning in the South East Youth Alliance League.

Despite Brentford dominating the opening stages, Stevenage went into the break two goals ahead. The home side displayed a positive second half performance with Ollie Shield pulling one back on 64 minutes but the side was unable to find an equaliser.

Lydia Bedford played a back three which consisted of Chanse Headman, Kerron Samuels and a trialist, with Remy Bennsion and Freddie Taylor utilised as wing-backs. Kaya Halil, Andre Grey and Beaux Booth formed a midfield three whilst Emeka Peters and Shield led the line.

The young Bees enjoyed large spells of possession in the opening 15 minutes of the game with midfielder Halil controlling the tempo for the hosts.

Stevenage were often forced to play with the ball in their own half with the Brentford press proving to be a success in the opening minutes.

The away side slowly started to play their way into the game and managed to produce the first chance of the match when Ryan Doherty delivered a ball to Frank Norris but his glancing header went just wide.

Brentford had a chance of their own moments later when Booth picked up the ball on the edge of the Stevenage box, the attacking midfielder struck a powerful shot which forced a good save from the opposition’s keeper.

It was the visitors who took the lead on 28 minutes after the side were awarded a free-kick just outside the Brentford box.

Tanic Sacih stepped up and struck the ball low and hard with his shot finding the bottom left corner of the goal.

Norris proved to be an aerial threat for Stevenage with the number nine rising well to head down a Tyrique Tekasaca cross, this time the effort was collected well by Anderson.

Stevenage doubled their lead on 35 minutes when an initial deflected shot was saved well by Anderson but Tekasaca was on scene to smash the rebound into the net from close range.

Brentford did have a great chance to pull one back just before the break when Halil played through a pin-point pass to Peters, but the forward was met by Max Woodford who made a good stop.

Brentford came out in the second half playing with more intensity and came inches away from halving their deficit moments after the interval.

The Bees built the ball up well into the final third with Shield finding himself in space outside the Stevenage box, the forward's shot was agonisingly close to finding the bottom corner but Brentford’s luck wasn’t in.

The hosts kept pushing but struggled to find the goal that would bring them back into the game.

Anderson made a terrific save down the other end to deny Doherty as Stevenage reminded the Bees of their attacking threat.

Brentford continued to push forward in numbers and were rewarded for their constant pressure just after the hour mark when a trialist delivered a great ball into Shield whose header found the bottom corner.

Stevenage remained under the cosh as Brentford looked for an equaliser, Halil could have found a leveller when he drove through the opposition’s defence only for his shot to be easily saved by Woodford.

Despite the home side’s pressure, Stevenage did well to slow the game down when they could and saw out their lead to claim all three points.

Brentford U18s: Anderson, Bennison (Ivanov, 45’), Taylor (Agyei, 65’), Trialist, Headman, Samuels (Trialist, 45’), Grey, Halil (Asemokhai, 86’), Booth, Peters (Trialist, 45’), Shield

Stevenage U18s: Woodford, Howell, Tekasaca, Motanga, Bates, Buckmaster, Doherty, Mosanya, Evans, Sacih, Norris

Subs: Pitts-Lewis, Henry, Wright, Carr, Thornett

Lydia Bedford remains confident

Despite the defeat, Lydia Bedford was pleased with what she saw from her side for the majority of the game and praised her players’ desire to hunt for an equaliser.

She said: “I thought in the first 25 minutes we really dominated possession, we were on the front foot, and we probably should have capitalised on that.

“They then scored a direct free-kick and I don’t think the players really let that affect them but the goal helped Stevenage and gave them confidence to then get another.

“We challenged the players at half-time to come out and push for an early goal and I was pleased with the reaction, and it was a great move for our goal which Ollie (Shield) finished well.”

Shield looked like a real danger in the second half as he led the line for the Bees with Bedford discussing the forward’s development in the past months.

Talking on Shield, Bedford explained: “Ollie has an impact wherever he plays, some of his touches today were brilliant and he has been a player who has led by example since arriving.”