The Premier League Cup has been a fantastic competition for our young Bees this season. In their debut campaign they finished top of Group D after claiming five wins which sealed them a place in the round of 16 against Middlesbrough.
They navigated their way past the north east side before meeting Arsenal in the quarter-finals, and then of course, that semi-final against our West London rivals Fulham.
Match day one: Blackburn Rovers U21 2 Brentford B 3, 13 September 2022
A trip to the north west saw the young Bees open their campaign in this season’s competition as they faced Blackburn at the home of the Lancashire FA. It was a bright start from Rovers but the Bees took the lead through captain Alex Gilbert before Harry Leonard levelled for the home team. Nico Jones managed to get Brentford ahead just before the break but Blackburn hit back once again through Dylan Markanday shortly after half-time. It was Kyreece Lisbie who sealed all three points for the Bees on 85 minutes to make it a brilliant start to the tournament.
The Bees got off to a winning start in the competition
Match day two: Aston Villa U21 1 Brentford B 3, 26 October 2022
Arguably one of the most pleasing results of the competition this season, this was a performance of patience, resilience and ruthlessness. The hosts had spells in possession, but it was the Bees who were more clinical as they took the lead through Gilbert in the first half before he grabbed his second after pouncing on a defensive error to finish well. Lisbie then wrapped up the win following an earlier strike from Villa’s Tommi O’Reilly.
Match day three: Brentford B 3 Peterborough United U21 2, 18 November 2022
It became three wins from three in the Premier League Cup on a chilly night in Stevenage as it was the B team’s first match as a host in the tournament. Gilbert continued his impressive form as he netted from the spot in the first half before the dynamic Ryan Trevitt quickly notched two goals after the break. There was a late scare from Posh as they scored twice in injury time, but the Bees held out to claim another important three points in their quest for qualification to the knockout stages.
Match day four: Brentford B 1 Blackburn Rovers U21 2, 26 November 2022
In what was Brentford’s first defeat of the competition, strangely it came in a performance which B team head coach Neil MacFarlane felt was one of the most complete displays of the season from his young side. It started brilliantly as Trevitt fired home on 14 minutes to make it 1-0 and the side went on to create a host of chances in both halves. Around 10 minutes after going behind the Lancashire side pulled a goal back through Ben Fyles before the Blackburn man doubled his tally five minutes later to put his side ahead. The likes of Michael Olakigbe, Yehor Yarmoliuk and Gilbert all fired efforts towards the Rovers goal but it was the away side who took the points in Woking.
Match day five: Peterborough United U21 0 Brentford B 2, 19 December 2022
In the last match before the Christmas break it was a brilliant end to the year for the side as they sealed their place in the round of 16 with a professional performance against Peterborough at the Weston Homes Stadium. With the score level at the break it took until just before the hour mark for Brentford to go in front as Aaron Pressley slotted home from 10-yards following an impressive pass from Angel Waruih. It took just one minute for the Bees to really take the game away from United as Edon Pruti rose highest to head home from a corner.
Angel Waruih set up Aaron Pressley for the win in Peterborough
Match day six: Brentford B 3 Aston Villa U21 2, 13 January 2023
A Friday night fixture under the lights in Woking saw the Bees go into the game knowing they already had a place confirmed in the round of 16 and, assuming there wasn’t a huge swing in goal difference in Blackburn’s favour, Brentford were set to top Group D. Nonetheless the Bees wanted to maintain their positive form and they did so as they collected all three points at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. A low corner which was then fired in by Trevitt got the Bees up and running early on before Yarmoliuk grabbed his first for the B team with a left footed finish. On 75 minutes the away side pulled a goal back but the Bees quickly restored their two-goal advantage through a Gilbert penalty. Declan Frith got the final goal of the game late on but Brentford held out to take some real momentum into the knockout stages.
Round of 16: Brentford B 2 Middlesbrough U21 1, 30 January 2023
Just one day before heading to Portugal for the Atlantic Cup, the Bees had a huge match against Middlesbrough in the round of 16 as they hosted once again at Stevenage. Both Brentford goals came in the first half when J’Neil Bennett slotted home from close range to make it 1-0 following a set piece. First half stoppage time then saw the side put themselves in a strong position as Gilbert fired home expertly from range with his left foot into the bottom left-hand corner. On 72 minutes Boro then managed to pull a goal back and it came when the ball was squared along the box and Sonny Finch took it well with his first touch before he slotted home past Matthew Cox with precision. Once again the Bees held out in a another strong performance to put themselves into the last eight where they faced Arsenal.
Quarter-finals: Brentford B 1 Arsenal U21 0, 13 March 2023
The VBS Community Stadium played host to the quarter-final stage as the B team came up against Arsenal’s Under-21 side. The Bees put in a brilliant performance which saw them dominate the chances throughout. The likes of Olakigbe and Gilbert had chances in each half but the Gunners were able to avoid going behind after some good stops from the their goalkeeper. It took until stoppage time for the Bees to go in front and win the game when Gilbert was brought down in the box before the captain stepped up to coolly convert from the penalty spot to put the Bees into the semi-finals.
Semi-finals: Fulham U21 1 Brentford B 2, 27 April 2023
Motspur Park was the setting as the Bees found themselves one step away from the final as they came up against Fulham. Our West London opponents have had a strong season and had recently reached the semi-finals of the Premier League International Cup against Jong PSV. Brentford started brightly and went ahead just before the half hour mark when Gilbert kept up his impressive form in this competition when he slotted home with precision following some great play from Kristoffer Ajer who won back possession high. It got better for the Bees when Tristan Crama headed home early in the second half from a corner to make it 2-0. There was a late scare when Fulham pulled a goal back through Luke Harris but the Bees held firm to secure a place in the final.