Brentford B picked up a hard fought 1-1 draw away from home against Maidenhead United in a behind closed doors friendly at York Road on Saturday morning.
Danilo Orsi put the home side ahead midway through the second period, but Neil MacFarlane’s Bees battled back with an equaliser late on through one of the Trialists. Lachlan Brook thought he’d won it with the last kick of the game, but for the offside flag.
The young Bees made three changes from the side that started the recent 4-1 win over Leicester City U23s as Simon Andersson, Valgeir Valgeirsson and Max Haygarth all came into the line-up against the National League side.
Brentford B were dealt a blow just nine minutes into the game when Aaron Pressley picked up a knock to his ankle and he was unable to continue as Alex Gilbert came on to replace him.
Despite that early withdrawal it was Neil MacFarlane’s side who looked bright as they began to dictate more of the play, and it was actually Gilbert who had the first sight of goal when Valgeirsson retained possession well centrally before he found the youngster, but his curled effort was well blocked by the United defence.
Another good moment fell for Gilbert once again on 15 minutes when Haygarth sprang an attack at pace before the ball found its way to Gilbert, via a good cross from Valgeirsson on the right-hand side, but he was unable to get a clean effort away as the ball went for a goal kick.
Moving towards the 30-minute mark the home side began to gain more of an incentive and they aimed to put The Bees’ back line under pressure with a succession of corners headed away by the likes of the, once again, impressive Ben Hockenhull and Kane O’Connor.
Just after the half hour mark Andersson would be tested by Reece Smith when the United man battled against Lewis Gordon before he worked some space to shoot low, which the Swedish keeper collected comfortably before he saved from a Dan Sparkes free-kick a couple of minutes later.
Similar to the chance where Gilbert miscued, it was a role reversal as he then turned provider for Valgeirsson, and despite a wicked low cross into the path of the Iceland youth international, he was unable to keep his effort on target going into the break.
The hosts started the second half brightly, quickly forcing Hockenhull into an excellent clearance when it seemed destined that one of the United forwards would get on the end of a dangerous cross from the left-hand side.
Tristan Crama would do similar before Maidenhead went ahead just before the hour mark. After Valgeirsson was caught in possession just inside the Brentford half, a ball through the middle caught out the back line and Orsi drove in on goal and thumped an effort past Andersson.
Brentford B then made four changes as Paris Maghoma made his return from injury, whilst Jared Thompson and Aubrel Koutsimouka entered the field, alongside Brook, who made his debut for the young Bees following his arrival at the beginning of October from Adelaide United.
The introductions certainly had the desired effect as Brook first had an effort well blocked before a mazy run from Maghoma saw him drive inside before unleashing a stinging effort from distance which edged just wide as the side looked for a way back into the game.
A fantastic opportunity presented itself on 70 minutes when Haygarth tricked his way into the box beating a couple of players before laying the ball inside for Gilbert to strike first time, but for a smart save from Josh Oluwaremi.
As the side pushed to make it 1-1 The Bees kept flooding forward and Brook would have more chances when he found space before his curled attempt deflected for a corner. The resulting set piece would then fall to him on the edge of the box and his powerful drive saw another save from the United keeper.
The equaliser would come in the 89th minute through the Trialist, who had replaced Haygarth with just under 20 minutes to go, as the ball found its way to the left channel before he curled an effort into the bottom right corner in style.
United looked to try and get a winner in the dying moments but it would be Brentford B who would have the last attempt when they counter-attacked through Gilbert. He shifted the ball to the right to curl towards goal, but for another save. He then played the rebound right to Brook who slotted home, but for the offside flag as the match finished level.
Maidenhead United: Oluwaremi, Wiltshire, Trialist, Trialist, Coley, Orsi, Sparkes, Keetch, Twumasi, Smith, Smile
Subs: Ashby-Hammond, Parry, Blissett, Massey, Barratt, Donnellan
Brentford B: Andersson (J. Thompson, 59), Adams, Gordon, O’Connor, Trialist (Maghoma, 59) Valgeirsson (Brook, 59) Hammar (Carre, 78) Pressley (Gilbert, 9) Haygarth (Trialist, 71) Hockenhull, Crama (Koutsimouka, 59)
Subs not used: Hercules