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Match Report: Tottenham U23 3 Brentford B 1

20 December 2016

Bees suffer first defeat in seven despite Hofmann strike

Brentford B lost 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur U23s at the North London Club's training ground on Tuesday afternoon. Philipp Hofmann scored an early goal for The Bees but it wasn't enough as Spurs scored three in reply.

As well as the German striker, B Team Head Coach Kevin O'Connor was able to use the services of First Team squad member Konstantin Kerschbaumer and he recalled Manny Onariase after injury.

There was a scare for goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe in the opening stages when Spurs hit the bar from close range. Moments later, Brentford took the lead. With only 11 minutes gone, the referee played a good advantage to allow Kerschbaumer to turn and cross for Hofmann to sweep home in the centre.

After 20 minutes, Tottenham found space down the left and worked the ball towards the box. A quick bit of thinking from the left-back saw him shoot from range and narrowly miss the crossbar once more.

The home side scored as a direct result of the following goal kick. Balcombe played it short to Kerschbaumer on the edge of the box, but the midfielder's touch was too heavy and he was closed down. With only Balcombe to beat, the striker slotted the ball home to equalise.

Five minutes later, Brentford were nearly behind. Spurs forced another ball behind the back four but this time Balcombe was ready and produced a strong save with his left hand.

Lukas Talbro had the best chance of the first half when Reece Cole picked out his run down the right side of the oppositon penalty area. The Danish fullback took a touch before striking at the near post but the goalkeeper managed to palm it away.

At the break, Parish and Ferry were withdrawn. Luke Dunn and Zain Westbrooke replaced the duo, with the latter creating a chance soon after the restart. Drawing two defenders away from the box, he squared the ball for Cole to shoot from distance but it soared over the bar.

Spurs took control of the game after 67 minutes. Balcombe made a great save down to his left to concede a corner, then was let down by his defence from the resulting set piece. A long ball over the top saw a Tottenham player sneak unmarked to the far post and volley the ball home.

The third goal came soon after, from virtually the same situation. This time it was a ball into the centre that found a Spurs head and the ball bounced down over the line.

Ilias Chatzitheodoridis could have notched one back for The Bees in the late stages of the match. Cole sent a ball from left to right for Talbro to run onto, with the right-back crossing low into the box. It went all the way through to the Greek at the far post, who couldn't control his first-time strike and it went narrowly wide.

Balcombe still had time to make yet another save when facing a shot from distance. A neat ball through the middle saw the striker turn a shoot quickly, with the goalkeeper pouncing across his line to parry it away.

Brentford B: Balcombe; Talbro, Mepham, Onariase (sub Trialist 79 mins), Chatzitheodoridis; Ferry (sub Westbrooke 45 mins), Cole, Kerschbaumer (sub Assibey-Mensah 77 mins); Parish (sub Dunn 45 mins), Hofmann, Alves

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