Kevin O'Connor's side battle to deserved draw at the home of Germany's best
Brentford B drew 1-1 with FC Bayern Munich U19s at their training ground in central Munich earlier this afternoon. Bradley Clayton scored Brentford's only goal of the game at the end of the first half after The Bavarians had taken an early lead.
The hosts took the lead in the opening stages. Creating some space for himself, Adrian Fein hit a swerving shot from distance that caught out Ellery Balcombe and found the net.
Ten minutes later, Munich playmaker Niklas Tarnat struck a similar shot at goal. This time Balcombe was on his toes to tip the ball just over the bar.
Immediately on the counter, Brentford had their first chance through Zain Westbrooke. Receiving the ball from Henrik Johansson, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis cut inside from the left to square it for the captain, whose shot took a wicked deflection on its way narrowly wide.
The Bees built some momentum as the half went on and their best early chance came after 25 minutes. James Ferry won the ball in the centre after high pressure from Westbrooke, then played it to Clayton down the right. The cross from Clayton was low and found Raphael Assibey-Mensah running into the middle, but he couldn't get his body over the ball and sent his shot over the crossbar.
Soon afterwards, Danny Parish nearly connected with a whipped cross by Lukas Talbro but the Dane's ball in had a bit too much pace on it for the forward to catch.
Bayern found themselves in a similar situation at the other end when Yousef Emghames played a cutting through ball between Brentford's back line. Balcombe was out smartly this time to smother the ball.
O'Connor's side were almost in one-on-one when Westbrooke sent in a low cross for Clayton, but the ball was cut out on the striker's toe.
On the brink of half time, Brentford made one of their chances count. Chatzitheodoridis flicked the ball back for Westbrooke to cross and Clayton headed the ball over the goalkeeper into the net.
The home side brought on three players at half time to try and get some control on the game. It was clear that they were a better attacking unit in the second half.
The first few minutes saw Balcombe forced into another save, this time denying Mario Crnicki from distance. Westbrooke then had another chance from the edge of the box as he tried to rally his team forward but it fizzed narrowly wide.
Johansson had a chance to give Brentford the advantage but his cross-turned-shot curled agonisingly wide of the far post.
Luke Dunn and Marc Rio were brought on as the half went on, adding some fresh legs to the front line. Try as they might, it was the defence that had most of the work to do.
Chris Mepham and Jarvis Edobor were dealing with anything that came at them in the air, so the biggest threat came from Munich's floor game. Their best chances came in the form of free-kicks on the edge of the box.
With 78 minutes gone, they won one just to the right of centre and only a few yards from the penalty area when Timmy Tillman was felled as he went to sprint into the box. The resulting kick was heading into the top corner until Balcombe got fingertips to the ball, sending it onto the bar. It bounced down and was cleared off the line but the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside.
Brentford had a chance to snatch the game when a clearance from sub goalkeeper Thorben Hoffmann cannoned back off of Clayton and looked like it might drop to Dunn, but the goalkeeper recovered in time to get something on the ball to push it away from danger.
The final chance of the match went to Bayern as the players seemed to stream forward in search of a last-minute winner. Balcombe was once again on hand to save the shot and help The Bees complete a deserved draw.
FC Bayern Munich U19: Daniel Sawyerr (sub Thorben Hoffmann 46 mins); Elias Kollmann, Felix Götze (c), Theo Rieg, Resul Türkkalesi; Okan Memetoglou, Adrian Fein (sub Meritan Shabani 46 mins), Niklas Tarnat (sub Max Franzke 46 mins), Timmy Tillman; Yousef Emghames, Mario Crnicki
Subs not used: Max Zaiser
Brentford B: Ellery Balcombe; Lukas Talbro, Chris Mepham, Jarvis Edobor, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis; James Ferry, Zain Westbrooke (c), Raphael Assibey-Mensah; Bradley Clayton, Henrik Johansson (sub Luke Dunn 68 mins), Danny Parish (sub Marc Rio 79 mins)
Subs not used: Dimi Kyriatzis, David Titov, Justin Shaibu