Bees beaten in friendly
Brentford started their 2016/17 pre-season friendlies with a defeat against Boreham Wood. The Bees used 20 players on a warm summer evening in Hertfordshire with only goalkeeper Jack Bonham completing 90 minutes. He could do nothing about the only goal of the first half, scored by former Queens Park Rangers midfield man Bruno Andrade, and was a spectator for most of the evening. Bonham conceded and then saved a penalty in the second half but the taker, Connor Clifford, reacted quickest to make it 2-0 and Brentford could not fight their way back.
The game was used as a training exercise by The Bees. Of the outfield players, only Jan Holldack was not substituted at half time and only the German and his fellow B Team players Bradley Clayton and Herson Alves joined Bonham in playing more than 45 minutes. Lewis Macleod and Andreas Bjelland both came through 45 minutes after long spells out injured and the former scored Brentford’s goal late on. It was not, however, enough to prevent Brentford slipping to defeat.
The Bees should probably have ended the first half in front and but for the form of home goalkeeper Grant Smith they would have done. He made a fine early save from a Clayton volley after a marauding run down the left from Tom Field and a stop from a diving John Egan header late in the half was even better. Clayton and Egan also went close early on with a lofted effort and header respectively while Holldack and Philipp Hofmann saw shots blocked.
Boreham Wood’s goal came 18 minutes in when a cross was half cleared and Andrade smashed it in to the top corner from 15 yards from the left side of the penalty area. Bonham did not have time to react to it and had no chance of keeping it out. Jordan Chidozie also blasted over for the hosts but most of the action was at the other end.
Field hit a defensive wall with a free kick before a 35-yard shot from Yoann Barbet was saved by Smith after a couple of deflections and then scrambled away. Sam Hatton sliced a cross just past his own post and an Egan header was saved before Hofmann shot wide late in the half. Brentford had dominated the first half and with both teams ringing the changes at the break, the same pattern continued after half time.
A low Macleod shot was saved before Scott Hogan headed an Andy Gogia cross wide. After a good run from Josh Clarke, Gogia met a Hogan cross but Smith saved again and when a corner was half cleared soon after, a Zain Westbrooke shot was blocked, Smith saved a curling Macleod effort and Alan McCormack blasted over the bar. It seemed like a matter of time before Brentford levelled but instead an error at the other end gave Boreham Wood a goal.
Gogia failed to connect properly with a header and Ricky Shakes beat Bonham to the bouncing ball before going down as the pair collided. Referee David Rock decided Bonham had committed a foul and pointed to the penalty spot. The Brentford goalkeeper went full stretch to his right to save Clifford’s spot kick but the Boreham Wood man smashed the loose ball home as it bounced up invitingly for him.
The goal did not change the flow of the game and Brentford continued to press. Gogia had a shot blocked and then fired wide while Holldack fired narrowly over and Macleod also missed the target. Clayton fired over after turning well and Gogia fired a free kick in to a defensive wall before Brentford scored with four minutes left. A short corner was worked from left to right and Harlee Dean delivered a cross for Macleod to head in. Brentford pushed forward looking for an equaliser but Boreham Wood’s defence held firm and they took the win.
Boreham Wood (First Half): Smith; Nunn, Paine, Stephens, Hatton (sub Collicot-Stephens 43 mins); Chidozie, Moke, Ricketts, Andrade; Ferrier, Uchechi
Boreham Wood (Second Half): Smith (sub Russell 62 mins); Gibbs, Morrison (sub Goodliffe 89 mins), Devera, Woodards; Davis, Clifford; Gibbons (sub Roberts 85 mins), Shakes, Daniels; Holgate
Brentford (First Half): Bonham; Colin, Egan, Barbet, Field; Holldack, Woods; Clayton, Kerschbaumer, Alves; Hofmann
Brentford (Second Half): Bonham; Mepham, Dean, Bjelland; McCormack; Clarke, Holldack (sub Clayton 76 mins), Westbrooke, Gogia; Macleod; Hogan (sub Alves 84 mins)