Brentford's Development Squad come from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion
Brentford’s Development Squad came from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion on a wet and wild afternoon in West London.
In a match played in horrid conditions at Brentford’s Jersey Road Training Ground, The Bees fell behind to a Brennan Dickenson goal.
But they equalised before half time through a Charlie Adams penalty and Alfie Mawson scored late on.
It was Brentford’s first win in the Under-21 Professional Development League Two South since the end of September.
On the balance of play they probably deserved it but they had to defend well to preserve their lead in the later stages.
The playing surface was in reasonable shape considering the heavy rain that has fallen over the past few weeks.
However, it did cut up and was clearly heavy, making it hard for either team to pass the ball as they would like.
Conditions worsened as the game wore on, a bitterly cold strong wind and driving rain – with hail at times – affected the play.
The players had to battle the wind and rain as well as each other, which made life difficult.
It was a shame the weather worsened as the game was an entertaining spectacle when conditions allowed.
There were chances at both ends but Brentford had the better of it.
Apart from an early miss-hit effort from Jeffrey Monakana and Craig Mackail-Smith being unable to finish a Dickenson cross, the visitors were pressed back in the early stages.
Tyrell Miller-Rodney fired over and trialist Anderson Banvo was dispossessed as he threatened to finish a good run with a shot.
Mawson brought a save out of Brighton goalkeeper Grant Smith from an Adams corner and had another effort blocked soon after.
The central defender, an aerial menace all afternoon, then saw a header blocked before Adams cut inside and shot over.
Smith made a fine save to deny Miller-Rodney after Adams had burst through and the midfield man was then unable to connect with a Banvo cross.
Jesse Starkey shot wide for Brighton before having a pair of efforts blocked by Mawson and Aaron Pierre.
Mackail-Smith, who played 25 minutes as he returned from almost a year out through injury, had a shot blocked and Banvo shot wide.
The game entered a lull midway through the half but Brentford had the upper hand in terms of possession and territory.
Adams shot over as half time approached and Banvo had an effort blocked before Brighton went ahead against the run of play.
Brentford lost the ball in their defensive midfield area and Emil Ásmundsson burst forward, he squared for Dickenson to slot home.
Dickenson then shot wide from a free kick as Brighton pressed but Brentford responded well.
Miller-Rodney was possession and Adams’ run in to the box was cut short by a Glen Rea foul.
Adams stepped up to slot the penalty low to Smith’s right as the goalkeeper dived left.
Brentford started much the better in the second half and the introduction and Josh Clarke for Stuart Dallas gave them even more pace in attack.
From a Clarke cross, Miller-Rodney missed the target with an acrobatic overhead kick before Scott Barron burst in to the box and forced Smith in to a save with a low shot.
Banvo had two great chances from a Clarke crosses, firstly forcing Smith to save with his legs, when he should have given him no chance, and then, when another ball came in from the right, Miller-Rodney turned it towards goal and the striker’s effort was blocked.
Melvin Minter saved from Dickenson at the other end but Brentford were dominating, despite the worsening conditions.
Substitute Roman Michael-Percil, another trialist, was tackled by Tom Dallison as he prepared to shoot, Miller-Rodney had an effort blocked and, from an Adams corner, Pierre’s header was somehow diverted away from goal by a defender.
Brighton started to come back in to it – George Cole shot wide and then crossed for Dickenson to fire over – but Brentford then edged in front.
Adams delivered the corner from the right and when the ball dropped loose, Mawson reacted first to bundle it over the line.
There were 12 minutes left and the rain had given way to hail.
Brighton had the wind and the need for a goal so most of the later stages were played in Brentford’s half.
Charlie Harris shot wide and then had an effort blocked.
Harris the delivered the resulting corner, the wind took it underneath the crossbar, Minter scrambled it out and was then relived to see Dickenson smash it over from close range.
Dickenson missed again after being set up by James Muitt and Brighton’s chance for a share of the spoils had gone.
Brentford Development Squad: Melvin Minter; Raphaël Calvet, Alfie Mawson, Aaron Pierre, Scott Barron; Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Toumani Diagouraga (sub Louis Hutton 64 mins), Jake Reeves (sub Roman Michael-Percil 64 mins); Stuart Dallas (sub Josh Clarke h/t), Anderson Banvo, Charlie Adams
Subs (not used): Nik Tzanev, Kieran Morris
Brighton and Hove Albion Development Squad: Grant Smith; Robin Deen, Glen Rea, Tom Dallison, Robert Hunt; Emil Ásmundsson (sub Charlie Harris 72 mins); Jeffrey Monakana (sub James Muitt 57 mins), George Cole, Jesse Starkey, Brennan Dickenson; Craig Mackail-Smith (sub Courtney Richards 25 mins)
Subs (not used): Christian Walton, Ben Barclay
By Chris Wickham