Under-21s win cup tie against Reading 2-1.
Brentford won their U21 Premier League Cup tie 2-1 against Reading on Friday afternoon. The 90 minutes, played at Wycombe Wanderers Adams Park, were played mostly in heavy rain, and a superb goalkeeping performance from Nik Tzanev - plus goals from Jermaine Udumaga and Herson Rodrigues Alves - ensured The Bees passage to the next round.
Brentford included First Team squad members Lewis Macleod and Yoann Barbet, playing Udumaga as a lone striker. Udumaga had the game’s first chance when a he turned and spun to fire in a shot that was narrowly wide of Stuart Moore’s left hand post. Fosu’s run and shot three minutes later went close but Bees goalkeeper Nik Tzanev wasn’t troubled.
Kevin O’Connor was forced into an early change, when Lewis Macleod went off injured. The Scotsman was replaced by Josh Laurent in midfield. Reading’s Liam Kelly had a shot pushed away 20 minutes in, as the home side began to make forays into the Brentford penalty area.
Reading could have capitalised on a Tzanev clearance that was scuffed just before the half hour mark but Jack Stacey’ lob fell in to the Kiwi’s goalkeeper’s grateful hands. Shortly afterwards Brentford took the lead; Jermaine Udumaga’s superb strike from outside the box after 30 minutes gave Moore no chance.
The hosts should have equalised six minutes from the break but Royals midfielder Pierce Sweeney could not connect with Stacey’s right wing cross with an open goal gaping. Four minutes later, Tzanev saved well from Fosu’s snap shot.
Leading at the break, Brentford had to withstand early pressure from Reading on the turnaround with Tvanev producing excellent saves. Fosu’s shot was narrowly wide after good build up play from Shane Griffin. Tzanev tipped a Griffin strike round the post shortly after and in the 55th minute produced a fantastic set of reflex saves to deny both Dominic Samuels and Lisandro Semedo at point blank range.
Up the other end, Barbet’s direct free kick whizzed close to Moore’s left hand post, awarded after Sweeney was booked for a cynical foul on Courtney Senior in 57th minute. Tzanev again was up to the task on the hour mark, smothering a shot from Novakovich at close range. Mid-way through the half, Laurent was booked for kicking the ball away.
Brentford weathered the early storm from the hosts but could not create any openings to trouble Moore. Laurent combined with substitute Herson Alves but his shot wasn’t powerful enough. However, Alves would kill the tie off with 12 minutes left on the clock with a shot that comfortably beat Moore.
Reading captain Sweeney pulled one back with three minutes left as The Royals sought an equaliser to take the tie into extra time; Laurent was dismissed for a second bookable offence sixty seconds before the end but after a disallowed Reading goal and several home attacks, Brentford held on to win.
Brentford: Tzanev, Mepham, Field, Ferry, Barbet, O'Shaugnnessy, Senior (sub Alves 75 mins), Macleod (sub Laurent 13 mins), Udumaga, Westbrooke, Holldack.
Subs (not used): Clayton, Qarri, Greaves.
Reading: Moore, Stacey, Griffin, Shaughnessy, Hyam, Sweeney, Semedo, Novakovich, Samuels (sub Fridjonsson 75 mins), Kelly, Fosu
Subs (not used): Owusu, Ward, Rhimometo, Cardwell