Chris Mepham's header cancelled out in second half
Brentford B drew 1-1 with Wigan Athletic U21s at Christopher Park this morning. Athletic were able to snatch an equaliser after Chris Mepham's third goal of the season in the second half.
Kevin O'Connor was able to bring Herson Alves back into the side to continue the winger's recovery from an ankle injury he suffered in January.
Wigan had the first chance of the day, but after the forward turned inside he shot high and wide. Brentford then hit the post at the other end as Lukas Talbro's low cross clipped off the woodwork and Alves was unable to convert the loose ball.
Alves had The Bees' next chance too, seeing his shot blocked on the line after Raphael Assibey-Mensah had his header palmed away by the goalkeeper.
Wigan were forced into an early chance after only 20 minutes, with their right winger struggling on his own return from an injury. Moments earlier he had clipped a long ball over the top for Mepham to nod away from danger.
Ellery Balcombe didn't have too much to do in the first half but was alert to bravely smother a long ball forward with 25 minutes gone, diving at an attackers feet to gather the ball under pressure.
A few minutes later the opposition were in again, this time Balcombe had no chance as a deep cross was met at close range. Luckily for The Bees, the header sailed wide of the far post.
Five minutes from the break, Brentford had their best chance. A quick free-kick by Zain Westbrooke was sent over the top for Danny Parish to chase. Coming out of his area, the goalkeeper slipped when trying to clear the ball and instead he missed it completely. Parish was now in a race with one of Wigan's centre-backs to get to the skipper's pass as it rolled towards an empty net. The home team were relieved to see their centre-back just get there first and sweep the ball away from danger.
In the second half, Jarvis Edobor had a golden opportunity to put Brentford ahead. He rose unchallenged to meet a Westbrooke cross but nodded it narrowly wide of the post.
A short stoppage followed as one of the Wigan midfielders picked up a bloody nose in an aerial battle in the centre of the pitch, when the game restarted it didnt take long for Mepham to strike.
Bursting forward from a corner, Mepham connected with Westbrooke's ball in to fire home from close range and put his team in control.
Balcombe was in action soon after to divert a deflected shot over the crossbar after seeing the shot very late through a crowd of defenders.
A minute later, Wigan were back in the game. Some neat one-touch play down the left ended when a low cross was sent into the middle, there it was volleyed home into the bottom corner.
Wigan pressed on to try and get one more but became more concerned by the fresh legs of David Titov and a Trialist in the centre of midfield. Their new energy lifted the team and put Brentford on the front foot in the final minutes.
Two chances came and went for O'Connor's side. The first came from Parish, whose left-footed shot was blocked on its way to the bottom corner. Then in the final seconds, Assibey-Mensah could have put the game to bed from the edge of the box but the ball was trapped beneath his feet and his shot was weaker than he intended.
Brentford B: Ellery Balcombe; Lukas Talbro, Chris Mepham, Jarvis Edobor, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis; Zain Westbrooke, Raphael Assibey-Mensah, Marc Rio (sub Trialist 70 mins); Luke Dunn (sub David Titov 70 mins), Danny Parish, Herson Alves (sub Jan Novak 45 mins)