Brentford and Wycombe Wanderers shared in the spoils – and four goals – in a pre-season friendly in Buckinghamshire. The League One side took a 2-0 lead before the half hour mark but a resilient Brentford side hit back. Frederik Hammar reduced the deficit before the break and Emiliano Marcondes levelled it up after the interval.
It was a well-earned draw by a Brentford team with many players lacking EFL experience. With The Bees involved in a behind closed doors game against a Premier League side 24 hours previously – that the Club has been asked not to disclose details of, many of those that featured in the First Team last season were unavailable. Players from Brentford B came in to the group and did their part as The Bees earned a draw.
An inexperienced Brentford team found the opening stages of the game tough. Wycombe had a high intensity in the early minutes, they did not allow The Bees to build any momentum and forced the visitors on to the back foot. They scored an early goal and had complete control of the early exchanges.
The goal came when Paul Smyth, on loan at Wycombe from Queens Park Rangers, beat Tom Field to a bouncing ball in the right-wing area and burst forward. He got to the by-line and waited for the right moment to pick out a Wycombe trialist at the far post and he converted from close range. The finish was very simple once the right pass had been played and the hosts had the lead.
Even 12 minutes in, it was a lead they deserved. An early corner had caused problems that another trialist was unable to make the most of at the far post, but it was Wycombe’s work off the ball that impressed. Brentford were incredibly deep, playing largely on the edge of their penalty area and unable to find forward momentum.
The Bees almost crated something when Jan Žambůrek found space in the inside right channel and picked out Field, on the burst from the back, he cut the ball back to Hammar but the shot on the stretch failed to trouble Ryan Allsop. That chance was the first sign of Brentford growing in to the game and they improved as the half went on. Josh Dasilva and Mathias Jensen, in the centre of the midfield, were higher up the pitch, and Marcondes was able to link the play.
But The Bees failed to create a chance and Wycombe struck a second just before the half hour. Smyth was again involved, creating space on the edge of the penalty area and letting fly with a shot that was blocked by Pontus Jansson. The hosts recycled it and when a cross came in from a trialist at left back, Akinfenwa found a remarkable amount of space to head home. He got between Field and Canice Carroll to head past Daniels and give Wycombe a two-goal lead.
That did not, however, affect The Bees and they continued to hold the upper hand, starting to take control in terms of possession and territory. They got a goal back when Jensen wriggled free and found Žambůrek, the Czech Republic youth international recovered after a brief slip to get of a shot that Allsop saved but could not hold and Hammar arrived to tap in. The Bees could have equalised before the break when a corner from Jensen was just too far ahead of Jansson, who arrived quickly but could not meet the delivery.
That left The Bees behind but in the game at the interval and with a score line that was probably a fair reflection. Jensen was withdrawn from his first appearance in red and white at the break but Ali Coote, his replacement, stamped his mark on the game. He attacked from the centre of midfield, running at pace with the ball and was at the centre of things as Brentford levelled ten minutes in to the centre half.
Coote found space to get on to a Josh Dasilva past and surged in to a gap, he cut back and let fly with a shot that beat Allsop but cannoned off the post. It did, however, bounce perfectly for Marcondes to convert from close range. The Bees probably deserved to be level by that point. Allsop had saved well to his right from a wicked Marcondes free kick and Wycombe had been pushed back.
The hosts had also made changes, replacing seven players in total by the hour mark, and Brentford’s seamless introduction of the B Team players in to the line-up gave them the upper hand. Even when the experienced Jansson was withdrawn, The Bees had command and looked like the team most likely to get the winner. Josh Clarke started to torment the hosts on the right, stretching the second half left back, who was getting little support from a fellow trialist in front of him, who’s main contribution was two shots from distance that troubled the corner flag more than Patrik Gunnarsson.
That attacking trialist did almost created a goal with a nice turn but he dragged his shot wide. He also blasted a free kick over the bar later on. At the other end, a superb pass from Žambůrek gave space for Coote to dart in to the box but a home defender, another trialist, tracked the run and blocked the shot.
As more and more substitutions were made, the game lost all pattern. Alex Samuel could have converted a cross from Nick Freeman for the hosts and the attacking trialist forced Gunnarsson in to a high save at his near post. The Bees could also have taken the win when Cole Dasilva got in behind on the right, he picked out Gustav Mogensen but the striker failed to control and the chance was gone.
The game ended, appropriately, with Wycombe’s attacking trialist once again saw the chance to make his name from 30 yards. However, he once again was nearer to knocking over the corner flag than winning it for the hosts and the game ended all square.
Wycombe Wanderers: Allsop; McCarthy (sub Trialist 62 mins), Stewart, Trialist, Trialist (sub Trialist h/t); Smyth (sub Kashket h/t), Gape, Pattison (sub Freeman h/t), Trialist (sub Trialist h/t); Bloomfield (sub Mackail-Smith 62 mins); Akinfenwa (sub Samuel h/t)
Brentford: Daniels (sub Gunnarsson h/t); Clarke (sub Mogensen 84 mins), Jansson (sub O’Connor 62 mins), Carroll, Field; Oksanen (sub Onen 84 mins); Žambůrek, Jensen (sub Coote h/t), J. Dasilva, Hammar (sub C. Dasilva 84 mins); Marcondes
Attendance: 1,595 (591 Bees fans)