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16 September 2013

Bees earn a point on the South Coast

Brentford’s Development Squad were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Bees went ahead early on through an Alfie Mawson header and had chances to put the game out of reach of the south coast side.

But The Seagulls have won their first three games in the Under-21 Professional Development League Two South and found a response.

They levelled through a disputed penalty at the end of the first half and could have won it.

Both teams went for the winner late on but neither could find it and it finished all square.

Robin Deen had an early chance for the home side with a shot that flew wide after a turn on the edge of the penalty area but it was Brentford that started better.

The pace of Josh Clarke and Stuart Dallas on the flanks was an obvious attacking threat and The Bees were more powerful all over the pitch.

They were perhaps slightly more direct than is usual from a Brentford line-up but it was effective, particularly early on.

Brighton goalkeeper Grant Smith made a fine low save to deny Dallas after the wide man volleyed a Paul Hayes cross and when Aaron Pierre met the resulting corner with a low shot, the goalkeeper got down well again.

He was powerless, however, when Dallas delivered a corner from the left and Mawson rose highest to power a header home.

It was almost two when Luke Norris got up to meet a Dallas cross but he headed wide and the striker had a shot blocked soon after.

Paul Hayes scored twice when Brentford beat Bristol City in this competition in August and almost had another when he turned quickly and shot from 25 yards, Smith was beaten but the ball bounced just the wrong wide of the post.

Brighton were probably playing the nicer football, and certainly trying to move it through midfield but Brentford were more incisive.

A low Dallas shot deflected wide and Ben Nugent headed over from the resulting corner.

The home side could have levelled when Deen met a Jason Davies cross but his volley was weak and Liam O’Brien gathered.

A corner caused consternation at the back soon after but Brentford were having the better of the chances.

Smith saved a low Tyrell Miller-Rodney shot after the midfield man had burst forward and exchanged passes with Norris and a Mawson header was scrambled away.

Hayes also screwed a shot wide from a Clarke cross after Jonathan Aspas Juncal had broken away.

But Brentford’s profligacy came back to haunt them when Brighton levelled before the break.

A free kick was delivered from the right and referee Andrew Dine, who had not made himself popular with the home fans with his earlier decisions, adjudged Norris had impeded ben Barclay.

Courtney Richards stepped up to take the penalty and sent O’Brien the wrong way to leave the scores level at the break.

Nugent turned a corner wide for Brentford early in the second half but Brighton had the initiative just after the break.

Bradley Barry shot just over and Glenn Rea headed a corner off target.

The closest they came to taking the lead was when a corner from Brennan Dickinson was sliced by Pierre and O’Brien had to make an incredible, instinctive save to turn the ball over the bar.

Brentford improved as the game headed towards the hour mark and they started to take control, using their power and pace.

A Dallas shot deflected just over after he exchanged passes with Hayes and an Aspas effort from a Norris lay off flicked off a defender and landed on the roof of the net.

Pierre headed over and Norris missed the target with a firm shot while Dickinson blasted an effort out of the ground at the other end.

Brentford looked the team most likely to win it but Brighton were well-organised and had to break down.

The Bees were perhaps guilty of too many longer balls and lacking patience in the later stages.

They should have been given a penalty when Norris raced clear and was brought down by Barclay but Mr Dine decided no offence had been committed.

The later stages were end-to-end as both sides sought the winning goal.

A Norris shot from 20 yards was held by Smith before O’Brien denied Dickinson a wonder goal at the other end.

The winger slalomed his way for fully 70 yards before shooting from the edge of the penalty area but O’Brien turned it wide.

Dickinson had another shot blocked before O’Brien saved from James Muitt and Charlie Harris missed the re-bound.

A long range Dallas effort deflected wide at the death before Mr Dine brought proceedings to a close and left both teams with a point.

Brighton and Hove Albion Development Squad: Grant Smith; Bradley Barry (sub Will Collar 77 mins), Ben Barclay, Glen Rea, Dylan Lall; Courtney Richards; Jason Davies (sub James Muitt 77 mins), Emil Ásmundsson, Jesse Starkey, Brennan Dickinson; Robin Deen (sub Charlie Harris 84 mins)

Subs (not used): Oliver Wray, Matthew Benham

Bookings: Dickinson (20 mins)

Brentford Development Squad: Liam O’Brien; Raphaël Calvet, Alfie Mawson, Ben Nugent, Aaron Pierre; Stuart Dallas, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Jonathan Aspas Juncal (sub Charlie Adams 64 mins), Josh Clarke; Paul Hayes, Luke Norris

Subs (not used): Joe Taylor, Joe Maloney, Richard Bryan

By Chris Wickham

As-it-happened updates can be seen here.

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