Hayes hits two as Development Squad win
Paul Hayes scored twice, the second a last minute winner, as Brentford’s Development Squad kicked off their competitive season with a win.
The Bees beat Bristol City 2-1 in a Professional Development League Two South match on a hot afternoon at their Jersey Road Training Ground.
The hosts had the better of the early exchanges and deserved the lead given to them by Hayes when he turned in a Luke Norris cross.
But City hit back and equalised from the penalty spot before half time as Brentford’s performance level dropped.
The Bees were in charge after the break but not to the same degree and looked set for a share of the spoils when City goalkeeper Elliott Parish made an unbelievable save from a Norris penalty.
But Hayes got the smallest of touches on to a Charlie Adams shot that was probably heading in anyway and won the game with seconds remaining.
Brentford probably deserved it overall but were guilty of letting the visitors back in to the game and failing to make the most of all their opportunities.
City had the first sight of goal when Lewis Hall shot over from an angle but the visitors were chasing shadows for much of the first half hour and spent most of it chasing Josh Clarke, Brentford’s speedy right wing back.
Jake Reeves shot over after one run down the right from Clarke and when the wide man got in behind he forced a save out of Parish when he should either have given him no chance or squared for Norris to score, City scrambled the loose ball away.
Adams shot wide for Brentford and forced Parish in to a low save from a free kick while Aaron Pierre headed over and a Clarke cross was cleared at the death by the overworked defence with Hayes waiting to pounce.
Brentford goalkeeper Jack Bonham was called in to action to save a Gus Mafatu shot before Pierre made an important tackle to deny Aaron Holloway while at the other end Norris appeared to be free before taking a touch too many and Ben Nugent headed a corner over.
Brentford had kept the ball well in midfield and used intricate passing to open the visitors up on occasion but their opening goal came from a piece of direct play.
Bonham kicked long in to the path of Norris in the inside right channel, he raced away and crossed for Hayes to tap home at the far post.
City responded well to going behind and Nugent made an important block from a Kevin Krans shot before Alfie Mawson cleared almost underneath his own crossbar.
Brentford were architects of their own downfall when City equalised just before the break.
Toumani Diagouraga was crowded out in midfield and Wes Burns broke down the right, his cross found Holloway and Mawson brought the striker down.
There was little doubt about the award of the penalty and Bobby Reid despatched it, sending Bonham the wrong way.
It took Brentford a while to get going after the break and while they were not fluent, they were on top.
Parish tipped an Adams shot over before a Reeves corner flew in to the middle, ricochet around and bounced just wide.
Norris headed wide from a Reeves free kick and then a corner from the same man and Hayes missed the target from a Clarke cross.
City almost got their noses in front when a quick free kick from James Wilson set Hall in behind with only Bonham to beat but the Brentford stopper rushed out and saved the shot.
Mitch Brundle blocked a Norris shot on the turn and an Adams cross was scrambled away before Bonham saved from Hall at the other end.
Brentford were awarded a penalty with ten to play when Clarke’s cross hit the arm of Pierce Mitchell.
The spot kick may have been harsh, albeit the defender had his hand raised and blocked the cross with his arm, but it proved not to matter.
Norris fired his kick hard and low to Parish’s right but the keeper flung himself down and pushed it on to the post and away, via the crossbar.
Pierre blocked a Reid free kick but Brentford kept pressing for the winner.
A Nugent header was saved and Reeves fired a free kick in to the wall before Brentford won it at the death.
Tyrell Miller-Rodney picked up a half cleared free kick and smashed a shot against the crossbar, it came back to Adams and his shot from 18 yards looked destined for the corner even before it flicked Hayes.
There was no doubt the striker had got a touch and it proved to be the decisive one of the afternoon.
Brentford Development Squad: Jack Bonham; Alfie Mawson, Ben Nugent, Aaron Pierre; Josh Clarke, Jake Reeves, Toumani Diagouraga, Tom Field (sub Tyrell Miller-Rodney 60 mins): Charlie Adams; Luke Norris, Paul Hayes
Subs (not used): Melvin Minter, Joe Maloney, Freddie Champion, Isaac Layne
Bristol City Development Squad: Elliott Parish; James Wilson, Mitch Brundle, Jack Batten, Pierce Mitchell; Wes Burns, Bobby Reid, Gus Mafatu, Lewis Hall; Kevin Krans (sub Rhys Jordan 71 mins), Aaron Holloway
Subs (not used): Tom Fry, Harry Paice, Jamie Horgan, Jojo Wollacott
By Chris Wickham