First half goal from John Egan not enough to give Brentford win in Buckinghamshire
Brentford continued their pre-season programme in the build-up to the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship campaign with a draw against Wycombe Wanderers. As a sweltering day gave way to a warm evening, The Bees took a first half lead through John Egan. They dominated long stages of the second half but could not add to that goal and were made to pay as the hosts levelled late on.
The Bees once again used the match as a chance to give their squad some minutes on the pitch. A total of 17 players were used with only Jack Bonham, Tom Field, Yoann Barbet, Ryan Woods and Philipp Hofmann completing the 90 minutes. Wycombe did the same with only two players finishing of those that started and they made nine changes at the break, fielding six trialists. But the game was still a decent spectacle and an entertaining watch on a summer evening.
Brentford started with Egan and Barbet either side of Andreas Bjelland in the centre of defence. Field and Maxime Colin were high up the pitch as wing backs and with the hosts using two out-and-out wingers, there was space to exploit for both teams. Wycombe made use of it first with Myles Weston delivering a cross that was met by one of the home side’s many trialists. Bonham made a superb point blank save, not knowing that the attacker was in an offside position and the goal would not have counted.
Lasse Vibe went close at the other end when he got on to a powerful Bjelland header but Aaron Pierre made a recovery tackle and the Danish international striker had an effort blocked soon after. Bjelland made an important recovery tackle after a poor Bonham kick had presented a chance to Wycombe’s attacking trialists and Luke O’Nien headed the resulting corner wide after it had been played short.
The chances were getting more clear cut as half time approached. Bjelland made a vital tackle to prevent Wycombe’s trialists scoring from ten yards after good work by Weston while a Josh McEachran pass put Vibe clear at the other end but Wycombe’s trialist goalkeeper – one of two they used on the evening – made a fine block. That was the last time McEachran was really involved, he had to be substituted just past the half hour and was replaced by Lewis Macleod.
Matt Bloomfield blasted over for the hosts and the home goalkeeper saved at the feet of Vibe after Hofmann had headed on but six minutes before the break the opening goal came. Brentford recycled a corner and worked it right to Woods, his cross took a deflection and looped perfectly for Egan to finish at the far post. The Bees probably just about deserved to be ahead at that point given the chances they had created and in the early stages of the second half they should have put the game to bed.
Macleod hit the post within 90 seconds of the re-start when he latched on to a Barbet pass and turned well, hit shot beat the new trialists goalkeeper but bounced away off the post with Vibe lurking. Vibe had a shot blocked and Barbet headed wide as Macleod set up two more chances and when the visitors took a quick free kick, Vibe’s cross was met by Hofmann but his powerful header was blocked by Anthony Stewart and then scrambled clear.
Wycombe’s trialist striker – one of only two home players to complete 90 minutes – had a shot blocked and Stewart headed wide but Macleod was at the centre of things in the opening stages of the second half, linking superbly with Romaine Sawyers. Colin should have done better when Macleod picked up a Sawyers pass, turned superbly and set up the right back but he dragged a shot wide. Hofmann had a shot blocked and then pulled an effort wide before a Field effort was blocked after a weaving run in to the penalty area. Wycombe failed to clear and Konstantin Kerschbaumer then set up Field for a cross that was met by Hofmann but the header looped just wide.
Dayle Southwell hit a defensive wall with a free kick but it was still a surprise when Wycombe equalised inside the final 15 minutes. The Bees had dominated possession and maintained control despite changes that had seen Sawyers, Kerschbaumer and Jan Holldack introduced. But they had not scored in the second period and that gave Wycombe a chance to level. It came out of nothing when the trialist striker smacked a shot against a post from 25 yards, the ball bounced across the face of goal and out to the right where Paris Cowan-Hall delivered to the far post for Southwell to head in.
Both teams had chances to win the game in the dying stages. The best probably fell to Harlee Dean, who headed a Macleod free kick over from eight yards but Wycombe had theirs too. One of their plethora of trialists nodded a free kick over before a Michael Harriman shot was blocked at the death as the game ended level.
Wycombe Wanderers First Half: Trialist; Bean, Trialist, Pierre, Jacobson; McGinn, Bloomfield; Trialist, O’Nien, Weston; Thompson
Wycombe Wanderers Second Half: Trialist; Harriman, Stewart, Trialist, Jombati; O’Nien, Rowe; Cowan-Hall, Trialist, Trialist; Southwell
Brentford: Bonham; Egan (sub Holldack 69 mins), Bjelland (sub Dean h/t), Barbet; Colin (sub Clarke 76 mins), McCormack (sub Sawyers h/t), Woods, Field; McEachran (sub Macleod 35 mins); Vibe (sub Kerschbaumer 63 mins), Hofmann
Attendance: 1,338 (378 Bees fans)