Flemming Pedersen's young side lose to strong home performance
Brentford's Development Squad were beaten 4-0 away at Huddersfield Town on Saturday morning. Although the scoreline didn't entirely reflect the play of the match, The Bees found themselves outdone by a bigger and more experienced Terriers squad.
Flemming Pedersen's side conceded a goal after only seven minutes but then held out until half time, creating a few chances of their own along the way. The home side's second half performance was nothing short of clinical and three more goals quickly came their way to secure just as many points.
The game started in the pouring rain, with little wind, making the pitch slippery and quick. This seemed to suit the visitors fine as, after only 40 seconds, a neat exchange on the left wing had Tom Field firing the ball narrowly wide of the left apex.
Seven minutes in, Huddersfield capitalised on some slow defending to take the lead. A long ball across the box by Jake Charles caught Brentford napping, allowing Rekeil Pyke to pass the ball back in unchallenged. His header was met on the volley by Fraser Horsfall and he easily found the roof of the net.
Were it not for goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe, The Bees could have found themselves further behind minutes later. Pyke drove into the box, turned his marker and forced a low save from his opponent. When Charles collected the ball on the wing, he looked up to see Ronan Coughlan steaming into the box. Charles crossed it perfectly but the onrushing midfielder could only nod his effort wide of the target.
The best chance of an equaliser came after 20 minutes. Jermaine Udumaga rounded two defenders with quick footwork, collected a one-two off fullback Nathan Fox, but found his path to goal suddenly blocked by a combination of both centre-backs. Eventually knocking the ball out to the left, Josh Bohui unleashed a quick shot that took the slightest deflection on its way through and sailed inches past the far post.
Both Pedersen and Kevin O'Connor thought referee Adam Smith had given them a penalty shortly before half time, but soon realised he was waving away their protests. Bradley Clayton had squared the ball to the centre of the box and Udumaga was bundled to the floor before he could properly control it. Despite angry shouts from the forwards, and a good few seconds of contemplation from the officials, Smith waved his hands at them and carried on.
The hosts started the second period just as quickly as the first. Within minutes of the restart, they had scored again. This time a deep cross found Charles in the air ready to head the ball down into the ground and away from Balcombe into the bottom corner.
Once more, Brentford came agonisingly close to responding immediately. Field drilled a low cross right along the six-yard box but Udumaga came sliding in a second too late and it raced past his outstretched leg away from danger.
Huddersfield then chose to sit back, as they had done in the first half, and defend their advantage. A tough midfield battle followed, with the rain still spilling down from above, making judging the weight of a pass almost impossible.
With 20 minutes to go, Pyke chose to disregard the complicated tactical game going on in the middle and simply have a go from distance. This surprised everyone, including Balcombe, and the keeper couldn't get across in time as the ball ricocheted in off the post.
The third goal drained the energy from the away side and Huddersfield pressed harder in search of a fourth. Fullback Jack Senior saw his attempt flicked away by Balcombe, then a scramble in the penalty area ended with Chris Mepham bravely sliding in to stop Town scoring at the near post from a corner.
On a rare break away from the back, Udumaga tried his hand at a pop from long range and it very nearly paid off. His swerving effort dipped away from goalkeeper Ryan Schofield but was clipped away at the last second by Senior, standing virtually on the goal line.
Substitute Jack Boyle managed to snatch the final goal with a rocket of a shot close to the final whistle. Breaking away from a tired back four with fresh legs, he didn't need much room to unleash a fierce strike into the back of the net.
There was still enough time on the clock for two Brentford subs to combine and almost notch a consolation. Jarvis Edobor pushed the ball across the box for Julius Fenn-Evans to attack. Schofield showed great spirit to come out and smother the cross at the striker's feet, earning him a clattering in the process but also keeping his clean sheet intact.
Huddersfield Town: Ryan Schofield; Jordan Williams, Fraser Horsfall, Danny Kane, Jack Senior; Regan Booty, Jamie Spencer (sub Lewis O'Brien 64 mins), Ronan Coughlan (sub Jack Boyle 78 mins); Flo Bojaj (sub Callum Charlton 86 mins), Rekeil Pyke, Jake Charles
Subs not used: Owen Brooke, Dylan Cogill
Brentford: Ellery Balcombe; Nathan Fox, Jan Holldack, Chris Mepham, Tom Field (sub Jarvis Edobor 58 mins); Zain Westbrooke, Reece Cole (sub Kyjoun Marsh-Brown 60 mins); Josh Bohui, Jermaine Udumaga, Herson Alves (sub Julius Fenn-Evans 77 mins); Bradley Clayton
Subs not used: Dimitrios Kyriatzis