Bees defeated by strong Rangers reserves
Brentford B lost 2-0 to a Queens Park Rangers XI at Imperial College Sports Ground on Tuesday afternoon. The hosts scored a goal in each half to ensure the B Team lost the first match of their last four.
Kevin O'Connor was also able to call upon the services of fullback Rico Henry, who had been missing since the summer after undergoing shoulder surgery. The left-back played an hour of football before being replaced by Jan Novak.
QPR's lineup included the likes of Matt Ingram, Ravel Morrison, Idrissa Sylla, Jordan Cousins, Jack Robinson and Michael Doughty.
The hosts had the first chance from a free-kick nearly 25 yards outside the box, which Ellery Balcombe tipped against the bar. The following corner was flicked on at the near post and headed off the line by Henry.
Brentford responded with a chance of their own soon after. Reece Cole dug out a cross from deep on the right wing and Justin Shaibu headed it over the crossbar.
With nearly quarter of an hour gone, Jordan Cousins found space on the edge of the box to shoot low into the corner. Ellery Balcombe was quick to react and got down to tip the ball around the post. Again, The R's threatened from the corner kick that followed. This time a strong header was parried by the goalkeeper and cleared.
A long spell in the middle of the park followed, with neither team able to find a way through or create a clear cut chance.
The home side took the lead after 35 minutes. A deep cross was nodded away from goal by James Ferry on the cover, the follow up was then volleyed into the bottom corner by a QPR attacker.
Jarvis Edobor had the best chance to get his team back on level terms just before half time. The centre-back, up for a corner, was unmarked as he raced into for a header at the far post. Despite making good contact, his effort bounced narrowly wide into the side-netting.
The second half saw Rangers step up the pace in search of a second goal. Ravel Morrison was the first to test Balcombe with a low shot held well by the England Under-18 international.
Idrissa Sylla then came close when he worked some space inside the box for a shot. Edobor and Henry threw themselves in the way and it deflected off one of them to safety.
The pressure overcame Brentford's defence with just under an hour played. Running on to a pass that was close to being offside, a Rangers forward knocked the ball home despite Balcombe getting a hand to the effort.
Henry was then withdrawn after his first 60 minutes of match action in red and white stripes. Luke Dunn and Raphael Assibey-Mensah were also introduced as the half went on.
Cole nearly had two assists in the closing stages. First his cross from the left found Lukas Talbro in space but the fullback couldn't get a clean shot away from close range. Then Cole picked out Novak in the centre but the forward's header was tame and collected easily.
There was still time for a chance for each side before the match ended. Rangers smashed the bar with an effort that had started from a corner, Balcombe managed to then scramble it to safety.
Brentford's final effort came two minutes from time, Dunn cutting inside to shoot and force a good save from Matt Ingram.
Brentford B: Ellery Balcombe; Lukas Talbro, Chris Mepham, Jarvis Edobor, Rico Henry (sub Jan Novak 60 mins); James Ferry (sub Raphael Assibey-Mensah 75 mins), Reece Cole (sub Nathan Fox 79 mins), Zain Westbrooke; Danny Parish (sub Luke Dunn 72 mins), Justin Shaibu (sub Marc Rio 45 mins), Ilias Chatzitheodoridis
Subs not used: Dominic Kurasik, David Titov