Brentford beaten in South Wales
Brentford’s Development Squad succumbed to a late winner as they were beaten by Swansea City in an Under-21 Professional Development League Two South match in South Wales.
The Bees looked as if they would take a share of the spoils when Emmanuel Oyeleke converted a penalty midway through the second half to level Swansea’s first half opener.
But Alex Bray converted from close range to give the hosts a 2-1 win.
Swansea started brightly, moving the ball through the lines in midfield and with pace in attack.
Wingers Gwion Edwards and Bray linked well with striker James Loveridge and the hosts played on the front foot.
Brentford were forced to work hard defensively to keep Swansea at bay and then try to attack themselves.
Edwards had an early shot blocked and Alfie Mawson made a vital tackle to deny the same man before Joe Maloney cleared when Josh Sheehan poked across the six-yard box and Jay Fulton volleyed the loose ball over.
Brentford set up in the same way the First Team have for the majority of the season with Stuart Dallas and Martin Fillo supporting Oyeleke in attack.
Louis Hutton sat in front of the back four and when he was able to link with Jake Reeves and get the wingers in to the game, Brentford looked likely to create.
Dallas had a chance, shooting over from the left side, but Swansea’s system – two deeper lying midfield players in front of the back four – condensed the space.
The hosts also shuffled back well when Brentford had the ball and it was only when The Bees moved the ball quickly that they were effective in an attacking sense.
Swansea deserved the lead when they went ahead 20 minutes in but Brentford would not have been happy with the goal.
Edwards got away from Maloney and Raphaël Calvet on the left side and cut it back for the Alex King to arrive late and slot home.
Brentford responded well to going behind and arguably had the better of the second half of the first period.
Jake Reeves fired narrowly over from distance and then set up Fillo to cut inside and shoot but Swansea goalkeeper Gregor Zabret was equal to it.
Swansea left back Raheem Hanley had a shot blocked by his own man while Fillo had an effort blocked at the other end.
Loveridge also had an effort blocked, as did Bray, as the half drew to a close but Brentford could have gone in level at the break.
Dallas picked up a loose Hanley pass and cut in off the left, hic curling shot flew inches wide of the far post.
Brentford continued their improvement in to the second period and pressed Swansea back.
Loveridge had an early shot saved for the home side but Brentford had a ten-minute spell where they did everything but score.
Dallas had a cross-cum-shot saved and then put a ball through that forced Zabret to save at the feet of Oyeleke.
Fillo then cross for Oyeleke to miss-hit a volley with Reeves waiting behind to finish and Aaron Pierre headed over from close range.
Zabret saved at the feet of Fillo after he had exchanged passes with Dallas at the end of a great move on the left.
The goalkeeper then recovered to save the follow-up from Dallas.
Brentford’s attacking intent left them slightly exposed at the back and Swansea had chances to give themselves breathing space.
Loveridge shot over when well-placed after being set up by King and then shot wide under pressure from Pierre latching on to a ball over the top.
Jack Bonham got down well to turn away a ball fizzed across the box by Bray, with Hutton clearing the danger, before King lashed wide.
Edwards shot wide after Oyeleke had lost possession but the Swansea winger’s next action was at the other end, bringing down Fillo to concede a penalty.
Oyeleke stepped up and sent Zabret the wrong way from the spot to level the scores.
But Brentford, despite maintaining their attacking philosophy, could not build on that.
Mawson blocked a King shot before Loveridge had two more efforts blocked.
The winner came nine minutes from time.
Hanley overlapped on the left and delivered a ball, Loveridge challenged and the ball dropped for Bray to nip in and knock it home.
Substitute Kenji Gorré had a shot saved as Swansea looked to kill the game off and Bonham got down well to deny Loveridge.
Brentford sought a late equaliser and Oyeleke shot wide from distance.
Fillo went close after cutting inside but Scott Tancock deflected his shot wide before Zabret saved at the feet of Oyeleke to give his team the win.
Swansea City Development Squad: Gregor Zabret; Liam Shepard, Alex Gogic, Scott Tancock, Raheem Hanley; Josh Sheehan (sub Henry Jones 84 mins), Adam King; Alex Bray, Jay Fulton, Gwion Edwards (sub Kenji Gorré 75 mins); James Loveridge
Subs (not used): Ryan Hedges, Oliver Davies, Joseph Jones
Brentford Development Squad: Jack Bonham; Joe Maloney, Raphaël Calvet (sub Richard Bryan 75 mins), Alfie Mawson (sub Kieran Morris 90 mins), Aaron Pierre; Tyrell Miller-Rodney (sub Kojo Awotwi 89 mins), Louis Hutton, Jake Reeves; Stuart Dallas, Emmanuel Oyeleke, Martin Fillo
Sub (not used): Melvin Minter
Bookings: Mawson (90 mins)
By Chris Wickham