Brentford draw with Swansea City in Under-21 Professional Development League Two South clash
Brentford’s Development Squad were held to a draw by Swansea City in their latest Under-21 Professional Development League Two South match.
The Bees probably had the better of it overall, although Swansea may consider they were on top in the first period, but could not find a way through.
They defended well in tricky conditions but couldn’t turn a clean sheet in to a win and had to settle for a 0-0 draw.
The match was played on a very wet pitch at Brentford’s Training Ground.
The surface, although true, was heavy and that made it hard work for the players of both teams.
When Brentford made Swansea chase the ball they looked likely to find a way through but they did not pass the ball well in the first period and then could not get the killer goal after the break.
Both teams tried to play the ball on the floor and there were many good openings but few really good chances.
Liam Shepard fired across the face of goal early on for the visitors before Brentford goalkeeper Melvin Minter held on to a Rory Donnelly header.
At the other end Alfie Mawson headed over and Charlie Adams missed the target with a free kick.
What proved to be the best chance of the match fell to Swansea 12 minutes in.
After a series of nice passes, which became more difficult as the afternoon wore on, Kurtis March fed Alex Bray, who had cut in off the right to receive the ball in the centre, he raced away from then defence and rounded Minter but then shot across the face of the goal with the net gaping.
Mawson blocked well from Gwion Edwards after Raphaël Calvet was robbed and Swansea missed another golden chance soon after.
A long ball over the top caught Brentford square and Donnelly raced in behind, Minter dithered before rushing out late and the Swansea striker knocked the ball past him, only to put his hands on his head as he watched the ball roll wide.
Anderson Banvo had a shot blocked for Brentford but it was a rare Brentford attack in the first half hour.
At the other end Mawson diverted a March ball across the face of his own goal and the Swansea man cut inside and fired over soon after.
Brentford improved as the half wore on but were forced to move Adams in to the central striking role, albeit slightly withdrawn, as trialist Banvo limped off.
Adams saw a free kick late in the first period blocked and Mawson’s follow-up was scrambled away.
The change up front meant Emmanuel Oyeleke moved from right back to the centre of midfield and, coupled with a half time team talk from Development Squad Manager Jon De Souza, Brentford were markedly improved.
They kept the ball better and moved it through central areas.
Trialists Louis Hutton had been mainly forced in to defensive work in the first period but he linked well with Oyeleke and Tyrell Miller-Rodney to move The Bees up the pitch.
Left Back Aaron Pierre was more offensive and he had a lot shot saved early in the second half.
Swansea goalkeeper Oliver Davies narrowly avoided turning a Josh Clarke cross in to his own net and Calvet headed an Adams corner wide.
Brentford seemed to be stronger and better equipped to deal with an energy-sapping surface and they played on the front foot.
Davies saved a lot Hutton shot before an Adams shot was deflected wide.
From the resulting corner, Mawson and Miller-Rodney saw efforts blocked and soon after Adams was released in the inside right channel but shot wide with only Davies to beat, albeit from a tight angle.
Brentford were pushing men forward and Swansea were able to break.
Minter saved a low Donnelly effort and when a Henry Jones cross dropped in the box, Kristian Scott pulled it across the face of goal and Bray could not turn it in.
Brentford almost won the game with a wonderful goal 17 minutes from the end.
At least six players were involved in a move that started in the right back area and ended with Pierre latching on to an Oyeleke pass, he only had Davies to beat but the goalkeeper turned away the defender’s low shot.
Pierre headed wide soon after and Davies saved a deflected Oyeleke effort as time ticked down.
Brentford continued to press but couldn’t find a goal and had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Brentford Development Squad: Melvin Minter; Emmanuel Oyeleke, Raphaël Calvet, Alfie Mawson, Aaron Pierre (sub Kieran Morris 77 mins); Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Louis Hutton, Charlie Adams; Josh Clarke, Anderson Banvo (sub Richard Bryan 37 mins), Roman Michael-Percil
Sub (not used): George Pilbeam
Swansea City Development Squad: Oliver Davies; Liam Shepard, Alex Gogic, Scott Tancock, Jazz Richards; Josh Sheehan, Henry Jones; Alex Bray (sub Ryan Hedges 85 mins), Kurtis March (sub Kristian Scott 60 mins), Gwion Edwards; Rory Donnelly
Subs (not used): Lewis Thomas, Samuel Evans, Tom Atyeo
By Chris Wickham