Shaibu nets hat-trick in commanding victory at Jersey Road
Brentford B stormed to 7-1 victory over The Nike Academy at Jersey Road this afternoon. Justin Shaibu scored a hat-trick as Jan Novak and Luke Dunn netted two each for The Bees.
Kevin O'Connor had a fully fit squad to choose from and opted to include Reece Cole and Jarvis Edobor, who both signed new contracts at the start of the week. There was also a return for Shaibu, who has been a part of Dean Smith's matchday squad for the past few weeks.
The B Team suffered a 4-1 defeat when this fixture was played at St George's Park in October. During that match, Brentford had taken an early lead before being pegged back late on. A similar story unfolded in the opening stages.
With only three minutes on the clock, the front three combined for the game's first clear cut chance. Shaibu clipped a ball forward for Novak to run onto before slotting Herson Alves in behind at the far post, but the winger sliced his shot and it curled narrowly wide.
Just two minutes later, the home side took the lead. A low cross from Lukas Talbro on the right hand side was met by Novak and he sent the ball looping over Nike keeper Thom Jonkerman.
Just like six months ago, The Academy drew level. A free-kick from Siriki Dembele was curled beyond the wall and evaded Ellery Balcombe into the corner.
This time around, Brentford rallied and pushed on to take back control of the match. Cole sent one of his usual free-kicks at goal with 14 minutes gone, this time Jonkerman got a hand to tip it over the bar.
Balcombe had to be alert to stop a fizzing effort from Myer Bevan after half an hour, the goalkeeper adjusted himself quickly to parry it away from danger.
33 minutes in, The Bees scored a second. It was Novak again, this time he was set by Zain Westbrooke before taking aim at the net. His shot took a mean deflection that wrong-footed Jonkerman, but the keeper managed to get a hand to the ball. It clipped the crossbar but bounced down over the line, 2-1.
O'Connor only had to wait five minutes to see his team increase their advantage. Westbrooke was provider again, this time Shaibu was on the end of his through ball. Released into clear air, the Danish striker rocketed towards goal before slotting home into the bottom corner.
It could have been a lot worse for the Nike squad as Cole drove a shot narrowly north of the goal and Novak was denied a hat-trick by the post before the break.
Barely 30 seconds had passed in the second half when Brentford scored again. First, Cole picked out Ilias Chatzitheodoridis on the left wing and the Greek fullback touched it back for Westbrooke. The captain turned and shot to see his effort come back off the post, that's when Shaibu pounced to turn home the rebound.
Shaibu checked off his third goal after 64 minutes. Cole started the move again, this time looking to the other flank where Lukas Talbro was making a run. Talbro took the ball down and crossed quickly for his compatriot to slide the ball under sub keeper Tim Brown.
The away side struggled to create clear opportunities, and when they did they found an in-form pairing of Edobor and Chris Mepham blocking their path to goal. With 12 minutes to go it was Mepham stepping in to stop a one-on-one with Balcombe near the edge of the penalty area.
In the last 10 minutes, Dunn found his scoring touch. His first goal came in the 84th minute, latching onto the end of a Shaibu rebound and sweeping it home. The next was all his own, nodding down a cross from Chatzitheodoridis into the net just four minutes later.
The final whistle sealed Brentford B's first victory in four games. Next week, Thursday 13 April, the squad travels to Manchester City for their second encounter with The Citizens this season.
Brentford B: Ellery Balcombe; Lukas Talbro, Chris Mepham, Jarvis Edobor, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis; Zain Westbrooke, Trialist Z (sub Trialist C 62 mins), Reece Cole; Herson Alves (sub Raphael Assibey-Mensah 76 mins), Justin Shaibu, Jan Novak (sub Luke Dunn 76 mins)
Subs not used: Dimi Kyriatzis (GK), Danny Parish, Joe Hardy, Marc Rio
Nike Academy: Thom Jonkerman (sub Tim Brown 45 mins); Cihan Saydam (sub Benis Belesi 45 mins), Josip Kolobraic, Alex Pancheko, Erik Tovmasyan; Max Konrad (sub Cas Troosters 73 mins), Guillaume Trani, Tim Michael (sub Benyamin Tridubsky 45 mins); Sherwin Danderyseedorf (sub Trialist 81 mins), Myer Bevan, Siriki Dembele