Jon De Souza's Youth Team fall to defeat in South Wales
Zach Birse’s second-half thunderbolt proved to be a mere consolation as Brentford’s Youth Team fell to their third defeat in four games against Cardiff City in the Professional Development League Two South.
The Bees were aware of the Cardiff threat from the start, but fell behind 15 minutes in when Aidan Chappell-Smith squared for James Waite to open the scoring. Ibi So Sani doubled the lead soon after when he capitalised on David Titov’s mistake.
Mark Harris added a third five minutes before the break before Birse pulled one back when his 35-yard shot went in via the post.
The Bees had a chance to set up a nervy finale but Julius Fenn-Evans failed to further reduce the deficit when he hit the post with his late penalty.
Jon De Souza made two changes from the side that suffered a gutting last-minute defeat at home to Ipswich Town last weekend; Tyrick Mitchell and Seth Owens replacing Chris Mepham and Josh Bohui.
The Bees fell behind early on in the reverse fixture back in August, and so were on their guard against a strong Cardiff attacking threat that was successfully contained early on.
After stringing simple passes together well, both Jeremiah Kamanzi and Danny Parish tested Scott Coughlan, but just as Brentford were starting to gain momentum and settle into the game, they fell behind.
A determined Chappell-Smith bolted down the left-wing, outmuscled Luke Dunn and found James Waite who opened his account with a close-range shot that wrong-footed Cameron Greaves in the visitors’ goal.
The Bluebirds nearly doubled their advantage immediately after the restart, when Harris powered past Owens and unleashed a venomous effort, but it cannoned off the top of the post to safety.
Despite losing their grip on the game, Brentford went close when Fenn-Evans cleverly played in Parish, but Coughlan easily grasped his shot, and just three minutes later the Bees fell further behind.
In a seemingly harmless position on the halfway line, under-16s defender David Titov misplaced a simple pass to Kamanzi, allowing Chappell-Smith to pounce on the loose ball and square for striker Ibi So Sani to fired across Greaves for the second.
The scoreline appeared to somewhat flatter the South Wales outfit; Brentford admittedly had little to offer in the final third and were permitting Cardiff too much time on ball, whilst also misplacing a number of easy passes, but they were far from poor.
Harris bagged the third goal of the game when he intercepted Jarrad Welch’s ball forward, and advanced past Owens - who had slipped over in the process - to effectively win the match.
The second half saw the hosts gain confidence and limit their opponents to but a few half chances; substitute Kingsley Eshun broke forward in a rare attack but his premature shot was never troubling Coughlan.
But Brentford finally found a potential route back into the game 13 minutes from time when centre-back Zach Birse expertly controlled a ball back into defence, rolled it ahead and struck his second goal of the season past a helpless Coughlan from 35-yards, via the post.
This spurred on Jon De Souza’s boys who undoubtedly had the better of the remainder of the game; Dunn and Parish forced the Bluebirds’ keeper into a splendid double save, before a goalmouth scramble ended with Eshun’s shot being diverted over the bar.
But the improvement, as has been seen before with the Bees, came too little too late; Chappell-Smith almost grabbed a goal for himself when Sion Spence teed him up, but Greaves produced a top save to avert the danger.
And the Bees’ misery was compounded in the final minute of injury time; Rollin Menayese floored Danny Parish and Fenn-Evans stepped up to take the penalty, but the Wales U16 international couldn’t make it 3-2 as his shot struck base of the post with the keeper beaten.
Brentford: Cameron Greaves, Tyrick Mitchell, Seth Owens (Samuel Kifwasima-Mayuma 90), Zach Birse, David Titov, Jeremiah Kamanzi, Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco (Sean Bird 82), George Harmes (Kingsley Eshun 58), Julius Fenn-Evans, Luke Dunn, Danny Parish
Subs (not used): Jordan Carey
Cardiff City: Scott Coughlan, Cameron Coxe, Isaac Kelly, Lloyd Humphries (Sion Spence 64), Shane Parry (Rollin Menayese 82), Connor Young, Mark Harris, Jarrad Welch (Sam Bowen 79), Ibi So Sani, James Waite, Aidan Chappell-Smith
Subs (not used): Elvis Menayese, Kieran Proctor