Two first half goals from Ivan Toney set Brentford on their way to a pre-season friendly win over Watford. Toney scored at the start and end of the first period before he was withdrawn on the hour mark. Halil Dervişoğlu scored a third for The Bees before they conceded a late penalty, but that did not stop Brentford taking a 3-1 win in a game played at Watford’s training ground.
Watford were using their squad across two games in one day, as they also face West Bromwich Albion in another friendly encounter. The Bees were without a few players, either not quite fit enough or not yet back with the group after the summer, but had more First Team experience in their line-up. Once changes were made, both sides were younger, but The Bees still had the upper hand and took the win.
Brentford took control of the game early on. Their three central defenders did not allow Watford to play in attacking areas and The Bees were able to build down both flanks. Sergi Canós and Dominic Thompson pushed the Watford full backs in to defensive areas and there as space for Saman Ghoddos and Tariqe Fosu to play just inside them, linking well with Toney.
Ghoddos, with a free kick, and Thompson, when a cross dropped, had already gone close before The Bees went in front. Canós had the space to deliver a cross from the right, Toney pulled between two defenders and met the ball with a powerful downward header. The ball bounced past Daniel Bachmann and in to the far corner to put The Bees in front.
Kwadwo Baah tested David Raya with a low shot just after the goal, but The Bees had the upper hand and played through midfield more as the half wore on, with Vitaly Janelt increasingly influential. They created chances both in open play and from dead balls and were looking for a second goal. Toney was heavily involved and set up Fosu when Janelt had won possession in Watford territory, but the shot went over.
Ajer saw a shot deflect wide after weaving in to the penalty area, not the only time he got in to attacking positions. Fosu then saw an effort saved by Bachmann after more good work by Toney and Shandon Baptiste. The second goal Brentford had been threatening came with the last kick of the first half. Toney lined up a free kick 20 yards out and smashed in low and hard past Bachmann and in to the net.
Both teams made changes at the break and throughout the second half, but the pattern of the game didn’t change. The Bees were creating more of the chances and Toney could have grabbed a hat-trick, before he was one of nine Brentford players to be substituted just past the hour, when he was put through by Ghoddos, but Pontus Dahlberg made a save. Marcus Forss was one of those to come on and could have scored immediately. Jaakko Oksanen exchanged passes with Dervişoğlu and played Forss in, he lifted a ball over Dahlberg, but it bounced wide.
Dahlberg blocked a pair of shots from Dervişoğlu, and a Joel Valencia effort deflected wide. Dervişoğlu was getting closer, he weaved through after turning well, but Dahlberg made a save. He did eventually get his goal when he wriggled free in the penalty area and wrong-footed Dahlberg with a low shot, that rolled in to the corner of the net. That came inside the final five minutes but there was still time for Watford to be awarded a penalty after a coming together in the box. Henry Wise smashed it down the middle to give the hosts a goal, but The Bees took the win.
Watford: Bachmann (sub Dahlberg h/t); Trialist (sub Trialist 80 mins), Kabasele (sub Trialist 63 mins), Sierralta (sub Langston h/t), Rose (Andrews 63 mins); Lo-Everton (sub Muwonge 70 mins), Louza (sub Smith 70 mins); Sema (sub Wise h/t), Dennis (sub Mebude 70 mins), Baah (sub Crichlow 70 mins); Fletcher (sub Hunter 70 mins)
Brentford: Raya (sub Gunnarsson h/t); Ajer (sub Racic h/t), Goode (sub Stevens 61 mins), Pinnock (sub Russell 61 mins); Canós (sub Dervişoğlu 61 mins), Baptiste (sub Haygarth 61 mins), Janelt (sub Oksanen 61 mins), Thompson (sub Gordon 61 mins); Ghoddos (sub Valencia 61 mins), Fosu (sub Roerslev h/t); Toney (sub Forss 61 mins)