Two for Norris as Bees progress in charity cup
Luke Norris scored twice as a young Brentford team won their first game in the Middlesex County Senior Charity Cup.
Brentford entered an Under-21 Development Squad team in the competition, which supports the charity Help for Heroes and pits The Bees against the area’s non-league teams.
But with many Development Squad players in First Team contention, a team which included four members of Brentford’s Youth Team took on Staines Lammas at Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC.
Norris put Brentford in front early on before Staines equalised from a free kick.
The hosts were well worth their goal and really tested The Bees in the first half but Brentford regained the lead ten minutes before the break with a goal that will be claimed by Myles Hippolyte but may go down as an Adam Ridley own goal.
Brentford dominated the second period, moving the ball quicker and leaving Staines chasing shadows at times.
Their greater fitness also told and Norris added a third with 18 minutes remaining.
In the end, The Bees recorded a comfortable 3-1 win but it did not look as if it would be easy in the first period.
Ben Jacobs hit the post for the home side and Jim Butler and Lewis Afflick missed when well placed before Brentford went ahead.
Charlie Adams opened up Staines and Hippolyte cut the ball back for Norris to score.
Staines goalkeeper Josh Richardson denied Norris and Hippolyte before the goal but it came against the run of play and the hosts responded well.
Brentford goalkeeper James Bransgrove saved a long range Jacobs effort and Chris Bullen missed from close range before a Butler free kick reached Marcus Mwanza at the far post and the defender converted to level it up.
The Bees were back in front within five minutes – a Sam Beale shot fell to Norris, his cross hit Ridley and Hippolyte knocked it over the line to make sure.
The ball may have already been in but Hippolyte will get the credit.
From then on Brentford never really looked like losing – Michael Kamau and Norris had chances to extend the lead before the break and although Bransgrove made a couple of early saves in the second half, the visitors had the momentum.
Richardson tipped a Hippolyte effort over and then saved an Alfie Mawson effort before he produced a superb block when Norris went through one-on-one.
The Staines stopper denied Norris again and Adams went close with a free kick before Hippolyte was unable to convert after good work from Kamau and Norris.
Staines could have levelled but substitute Paul Baker headed wide from close range and Brentford sealed their progress with a superb goal soon after.
Mawson sprayed the ball from the left side to the marauding Josh Clarke on the right; the wide man controlled with one touch and put a cross in with his next for Norris to volley home from close range.
It was a goal to light up any game and emphasised how Brentford had taken control of proceedings.
Adams, Mawson and Hippolyte could have added further goals and Norris headed wide in the dying stages but Brentford had killed off the fight by then and can look forward to a last eight tie against either North Greenford United or Hampton and Richmond Borough.
Staines Lammas: Josh Richardson; Adam Ridley, Matt Brunt (sub Steve Brown 67 mins), Marcus Mwanza; Ben Jacobs (sub Michael Leech 73 mins), Jamie Redrup, Jim Butler; Dean Greenwood, Ben Whatford; Chris Bullen (sub Paul Baker 62 mins); Lewis Afflick
Sub (not used): Dan Cox
Brentford Development Squad: James Bransgrove; Richard Bryan, Sam Griffiths, Alfie Mawson, Sam Beale; Michael Onovwigun (sub George Pilbeam 87 mins); Josh Clarke, Charlie Adams, Michael Kamau; Luke Norris, Myles Hippolyte
Subs (not used): Joe Taylor, Max Herbert, Lionel Stone
By Chris Wickham
Click here to read about the match as-it-happened.