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Kick off 12:00 (UK)

24 November 2020 Venue Behind Closed Doors Attendance

Kick off 12:00 (UK)

Watford U23
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Match Previews

Match Preview: Watford U23 v Brentford B

Young Bees in action this afternoon

24 November 2020

Brentford B are back in action this afternoon in a midday kick-off against Watford U23s.

The young Bees went down 3-0 to Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium last week and will be looking for an improved display when they travel to take on the youth side from Hertfordshire at St Albans City’s ground, Clarence Park. The match will be behind closed doors.

The young Bees will be taking on a Watford side who play in the Under-23 Professional Development League. Recent results have seen the side beaten 3-0 at home to Sheffield United, whilst their last match in October saw the side come out on top in a five-goal thriller as they claimed a 3-2 win over Birmingham City. Watford actually came back from 2-0 down to claim the win that day.

Prior to that the side had been on a tough run, losing to the likes of Coventry City, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City earlier in the campaign.

In their league campaign, Watford are currently sixth in the southern division of the Professional Development League having won two, drawn one and lost five of their opening eight matches. The side will take on Ipswich Town next in the league on Tuesday 1 December.

Omer Riza is in charge of the Under-23 setup at Vicarage Road, which initially came about after Hayden Mullins stepped up to work with the First Team last season. He had an extensive playing career which began with Arsenal, before he went on to join the likes of West Ham United, Cambridge United and Trabzonspor, before he returned to feature for a number of non-league sides in England. His coaching career then began as he spent time with Cheshunt before becoming involved with Leyton Orient and took charge of the side in 2017 for a short period. In 2018, Riza arrived at Watford to work with the Club’s academy.

With the young Bees looking to get back to winning ways after some impressive performances prior to the defeat at Eastleigh, Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane is looking for a reaction from his side. He explained: “It’s all part of the players’ development, we’ve had five really good performances and we’ve seen these young players improve on a daily basis. We’ll come in, train properly and go again on Tuesday.”


Young defender Lewis Gordon will come up against his former club if selected by Neil MacFarlane on Tuesday afternoon. Ahead of the match, the 19-year-old said: “It will be good to see some familiar faces. It will be a good test, I know a few of the boys there, and I’m looking forward to it. We have to be ready to face all options that they may bring.”

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We will be providing live updates across social media of this fixture, as well as a match report and highlights in the coming days. Unfortunately there will be no live stream available.

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Match Reports

Match Report and Match Highlights: Watford U23 1 Brentford B 3

Young Bees back to winning ways

26 November 2020

Brentford B bounced back from last week's defeat to Eastleigh with a 3-1 win over Watford’s Under-23s at Clarence Park.

The young Bees claimed the win with two goals from Max Haygarth, whilst Alex Gilbert notched the other as the side looked impressive on the day.

Neil MacFarlane’s side were boosted by the return of Fin Stevens and Alex Gilbert to the starting XI in a game they dominated for large parts.

It was one-way traffic from the off with Lewis Gordon’s cross in the first minute leading to a powerful attempt from Fin Stevens which was well blocked by the Watford back line.

Just five minutes later The Bees would have the lead when Haygarth got his first with a slice of good fortune with his curled free-kick coming off the wall, and with the keeper unable to react in time, the ball ended up in the opposite corner.

More high pressing from Valgeir Valgeirsson, alongside the ever-industrious Joe Adams, who played up front for the side in the absence of Aaron Pressley, saw both players have good chances but for the Watford keeper.

The good play was then stunted when Watford managed to get themselves level when they had a free-kick of their own just outside the box. A clever pass inside saw one of the Trialists initially denied by the onrushing Ellery Balcombe, but the rebound fell kindly for the Watford man who fired home from close range to make it 1-1.

The Bees continued to attack from set pieces with both Kane O’Connor and Tristan Crama going close with headers before the break- the Scot almost finding the net when his stooped effort was cleared off the line.

Brentford B kept going after the break as they dictated much of the play with Gilbert having a powerful low effort palmed away before Haygarth tried his luck but was denied by the keeper down to his left.

The second goal did come, though, when good play on the edge of the box saw Gilbert work the ball well to get some space before he prodded home to make it 2-1 with a clever finish.

Another chance would fall for Adams, but his effort lacked conviction, which preceded the first real attempt of the half from the hosts when one of their Trialists was played through on the right-hand side, and as he struck across goal, it was past Balcombe’s right-hand post.

A penalty would be awarded when the tricky Haygarth was brought down in the area 12 minutes from time before the on loan Manchester United man got up to convert the spot kick low past the keeper.

A professional final 10 minutes saw to it that The Bees would claim the 3-1 win as they will now look to build some momentum going forwards.

Watford U23: Trialist, Trialist, Stevenson, Wise, Perkins, Barrett, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Crichlow, Trialist
Subs: Hutchinson, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Burchell, Lo-Everton

Brentford B: Balcombe, Stevens, Gordon, O’Connor, Valgeirsson (Hercules, 76) Gilbert, Adams, Trialist (Trialist, 80) Carre, Haygarth, Crama (Trialist, 86)
Subs not used: J. Thompson, Koutsimouka, Trialist

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