Three late goals give Bees win over Crystal Palace in Under-21 clash
Substitute Keshi Anderson scored a six minute perfect hat-trick for Brentford’s Development Squad as they beat Crystal Palace in an Under-21 Professional Development League Two South match.
Anderson scored his treble in the 83rd, 88th and 89th minutes as The Bees finally wore their visitors down on a chilly afternoon.
Brentford had dominated almost throughout but could not find a way through.
Palace had chances on the break but looked content with a share of the spoils before Anderson’s late trio.
The teams played very similar systems, Brentford’s Under-21 side sticking with the formation that has served the First Team so well.
Raphaël Calvet was moved out of defence to play alongside Nico Yennaris in Brentford’s midfield, along with new signing Josh Laurent and The Bees dominated that area.
Palace employed three speedy attackers and Morgan Ferrier, on their left, was particularly dangerous.
The Bees, however, dominated the ball and left Palace feeding off scraps.
The hosts could have been ahead inside a minute when an Aaron Green cross was turned just past his post by left back Jacob Berkeley and Charlie Adams had a shot blocked soon after.
Greene shot wide after getting on to a deep Sam Saunders cross, Adams missed the target when well-placed and a Jermaine Udumaga effort was saved.
Saunders did have the ball in the net early on when an audacious 50 yard lob from a free kick sailed over Palace goalkeeper David Gregory but referee Daniel Richardson decided the ball was moving and ruled out the strike.
Palace seemed content to play on the break early on, albeit they were given little option by Brentford’s domination of the ball.
Centre half Ryan Inniss headed a free kick over and Ferrier missed the target after cutting inside but the visitors were on the back foot.
Josh Laurent had a shot blocked for The Bees and Gregory saved a Saunders free kick before Josh Clarke, up from right back was crowded out after a fast break.
Ferrier had a shot blocked by Tony Craig on the break and then looked set to score before Daniel O’Shaughnessy made a fine recovery tackle, Reise Allassani then shot over when Brentford failed to clear.
Ferrier should have scored soon after when he got in behind but Richard Lee got down well to save and the Brentford goalkeeper denied Kyle De Silva later in the half.
Brentford were still looking to turn their domination in to goals – another Saunders free kick was saved and Gregory also denied the attacking midfield player in open play before Udumaga shot wide.
The Bees continued to hold the upper hand after the break and Gregory saved an Adams free kick before a Laurent shot was blocked.
Brentford came within inches of opening the scoring when Laurent got away on the right, his low cross was missed by Udumaga but fell to Adams, whose curling shot deflected narrowly wide.
Adams shot over and Laurent went close but Palace almost struck against the run of play when Allassani found space and fired an effort against a post.
Green made a fine tackle to deny Allassani soon after and a Sony Black shot was blocked while at the other end an Adams effort was blocked and Udumaga headed over.
Just when it seemed the game would end in a rare Under-21 scoreless draw, Brentford struck.
Yennaris found a pocket of space and picked the lock, Anderson raced on to it and smashed in a right-footed shot that flicked off Inniss, smacked the underside of the crossbar and bounced in.
Palace tried to respond and Mandela Egbo shot wide but the visitors’ desire to attack left space.
Udumaga made the most of it in the dying moments and let fly with a shot that Gregory could only palm out, Anderson reacted quickest to volley home with his left foot.
The third wasn’t long in coming, Clarke raced clear on the right and delivered a fantastic cross – Anderson darted ahead of Inniss and diverted a near post header in to the far corner to complete his trio.
There was still time for Laurent to smash wide, when he could have played in Anderson for a fourth, but Brentford had their win.
Brentford Development Squad: Richard Lee; Josh Clarke, Daniel O’Shaughnessy, Tony Craig (sub Bradley Clayton 60 mins), Aaron Greene; Raphaël Calvet, Nico Yennaris (sub James Ferry 84 mins); Charlie Adams, Josh Laurent, Sam Saunders (sub Keshi Anderson 66 mins); Jermaine Udumaga
Subs (not used): Gradi Milenge, Kyjuon Marsh-Brown
Crystal Palace Development Squad: David Gregory; Mandela Egbo, Paddy McCarthy, Ryan Inniss, Jacob Berkeley; Sonny Black (sub Fisayo Adarabioyo 85 mins), Hiram Boateng, Connor Dymond; Kyle De Silva, Reise Allassani, Morgan Ferrier
Subs (not used): Sam Magri, Luke Simpson, Ghassimu Sow, Jason Akiotu
Bookings: Dymond (48 mins)
By Chris Wickham