Brentford B defeated local rivals Queens Park Rangers 3-2 at Jersey Road on Wednesday afternoon. Joe Hardy scored a brace either side of a goal from Kolbeinn Finnsson to snatch a victory from an evenly-matched encounter.
Kevin O'Connor made two changes to the side that beat GC Zürich last time out. Josh Dasilva was chosen in midfield for his first outing in Brentford colours, with Mads Bech Sorensen - who was riding the crest of a wave following news of his first call-up to the Denmark Under-20 side - the other inductee. Charlie Oliver and Jan Zamburek were the two to make way.
Neither side created a clear-cut chance during the opening ten minutes, though the hosts looked comfortable moving the ball through the thirds with Reece Cole the lynchpin.
On 12 minutes, Cole’s floated cross was turned narrowly around the post by a QPR defender. Joe Hardy thumped the crossbar from the resultant set-piece after collecting the ball in a crowded area. The Bees were beginning to turn the screw.
Hardy broke the deadlock on 22 minutes, taking Finnsson’s through-ball in his stride and rolling beyond Brzozowski and into the far corner.
It was a deserved opener for The Bees but their advantage didn’t last long. Advancing from full-back, Felix let fly from distance to level the scoring. An arrowed effort struck with pace and precision, there was nothing Gunnarsson could do to keep Brentford’s lead intact.
Finnsson restored The Bees’ lead ten minutes before the break and it was another goal of sublime quality. Having found a pocket of space 30 yards from goal, the Iceland Under-21 international took a touch to set himself before letting fly into the top corner. A stunning strike.
After the break, Rangers wasted no time getting themselves back into the game. With Brentford B tiring quickly, and a host of changes being made by the away side, it was only a matter of time.
After the hour, they struck. A low cross from Amrit Bansal-McNulty was lost by Gunnarsson in the middle of the box and there was Mickel Platt to sweep home an equaliser.
As the second half went on, Brentford B started to feel their way back into the game. Substitutes Charlie Oliver and Jan Zamburek drove the team on in search of a way back into the lead.
The squad had to wait until the final minute of time to find the breakthrough. Moments after Zamburek was challenged in the box for what looked like a certain penalty, referee Sunny Gill awarded a corner.
Cole took the kick, Sorensen nodded it down with the goalkeeper in no man's land, and there was Hardy. The 20-year-old waited for the ball to drop before tucking it into the net to confirm a dramatic late victory.
Brentford B: Gunnarsson; C. Dasilva, Carroll, Sorensen, Kirk; Oksanen (Oliver 62 mins), Cole, J. Dasilva (Zamburek h/t); Titov, Hardy, Finnsson
Subs (Not used): Andersson (GK), Edobor, Mitchell
QPR Under-23s: Brzozowski (Cooper 72 mins); Felix, Noel-McLeod, Wells, Genovesi; Mesias, Orafu (Cardoso 48 mins); Tilt (Dalling 56 mins), Bansal-McNulty, Alfa (Platt 54 mins); Walker
Subs (not used): Bettache, Kefalas, Omar, Oteh