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22 July 2014

Brentford beat Barnet in pre-season outing

Alan Judge scored twice as Brentford came from behind to beat Barnet in a pre-season friendly.

The Skrill Premier side took the lead when Charlie MacDonald scored, and the hosts offered a real test for long periods.

But Stuart Dallas equalised for Championship Brentford, who trailed for just six minutes, and Judge grabbed two before half time as the visitors took control.

Andre Gray and Montell Moore scored after the break as Brentford moved through the gears and the win could have been even more convincing than the eventual 5-1 score line.

Barnet named just 16 players in their match day squad and it was clear from the early moments they viewed the fixture as much more than a training exercise.

They pressed Brentford high up the pitch, chased balls deep in to corners and tackled hard.

Former Brentford strikers MacDonald and John Akinde led the pressing and caused problems when they had the ball.

With Barnet keen to attack and harry it meant the match was a decent spectacle and, particularly in the first half, a good contest.

Judge almost scored in the first seconds, only for David Stephens to divert a Nico Yennaris cross away from him, and Gray had a shot blocked soon after.

Akinde then fired across the face of goal for the home side, who went ahead nine minutes in.

Andy Yiadom got away from Jonathan Douglas in midfield and lifted a ball in to the box, MacDonald, in yards of space, controlled on his chest, turned and fired in to the bottom corner.

Stephens shot narrowly over after a foray forward but Brentford’s leveller was not far away.

Judge got away on the left and cut back inside, his cross eluded Gray but not Dallas, who arrived at the far post and headed in.

Alex Pritchard miss-hit from ten yards out with the goal gaping after Jake Bidwell had exchanged passes with Dallas and put a low ball in.

There were chances at both ends as the first half ticked towards the midway point.

MacDonald shot wide from 25 yards and David Button denied Luisma Villa while, at the other end,  Graham Stack made a fine save high to his right to deny Gray.

A corner hit Akinde and flew straight at Stack before, after a good run from Toumani Diagouraga, Dallas delivered a cross just ahead of Pritchard.

A Judge cross-cum-shot was blocked but the wide man did not have to wait much longer to get his name on the score sheet.

Diagouraga played a ball through, Gray – looking offside – ran over the ball and Judge dashed on to it before calmly slotting home.

Curtis Weston could have equalised immediately but blazed over when well-placed and it was three soon after.

Gray’s goal-bound shot, after he picked up a Bidwell cross, was blocked by Jack Saville for a corner.

From the second delivery the ball came back to Gray, the striker’s first effort did not breach the defence but Judge was there, his first effort was blocked but he reacted quickest to dink the ball over Stack and in to the far corner.

Button blocked an Akinde shot as half time approached and Stack denied Dallas just before the whistle.

Barnet started the second period brightly – Bidwell blocked an Akinde volley that looked destined for the net and Bondz N’Gala headed wide – but Brentford soon took control.

They made seven changes at the break and four more on the hour mark, giving 22 players a run out.

The strength in depth Brentford now possess was obvious as Moses Odubajo, Scott Hogan and Moore prospered against tiring defenders as Jake Reeves took over from Diagouraga in pulling the strings.

Brentford’s fourth came from a half cleared corner, Bidwell played it down the line and Pritchard fed it across for Gray to roll in.

Moore fired just over from 15 yards after good work by Odubajo and Hogan had a shot blocked before the fifth came.

Moore grabbed his first goal in a First Team outing when his low shot took a deflection and flew in.

Bonham denied MacDonald after the Barnet striker had been put through by Jon Nurse before Odubajo was fouled by Stephens and Brentford were awarded a penalty.

Captain Kevin O’Connor aimed a fraction high and fired a powerful penalty over the crossbar.

Reeves fired against the crossbar from an Odubajo lay off and Moore shot straight at Stack after Hogan had eased the gigantic Stephens off the ball by the corner flag and laid it back.

Hogan had a shot blocked but Barnet perhaps ended slightly the better.

Nurse had a shot blocked and then saw a header deflected wide before Bonham saved from Jack Saville.

The final whistle was blown soon after and Brentford left North London with a comfortable pre-season win.

Barnet: Stack: Stephens, N’Gala, Saville, Johnson; Yiadom, Mahon, Weston, Villa (sub Nurse 61 mins); Akinde (sub Vilhete 74 mins), MacDonald

Subs (not used): McKenzie-Lyle, Lowe, Cain

Brentford: Button (sub Bonham h/t); Yennaris (sub O’Shaughnessy 61 mins), Dean (sub Calvet h/t), Craig (sub Tarkowski h/t), Bidwell (sub O’Connor 61 mins); Diagouraga (sub Reeves h/t), Douglas (sub Tébar h/t), Pritchard (sub Smith 61 mins); Dallas (sub Odubajo h/t), Gray (sub Hogan 61 mins), Judge (sub Moore h/t)

Subs (not used): Adams, Clarke

Attendance: 852

By Chris Wickham

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