Two late goals condemn Bees to defeat in Cheshire
Owen Dale and Harry Pickering both scored twice to thwart a Brentford comeback as the Youth Team fell to their fourth straight league defeat against Crewe Alexandra at Reaseheath this afternoon.
A bright start from Kenny Lunt’s side saw Dale open the scoring before Josh Bohui’s ninth of the season levelled the tie at the break. Pickering grabbed another from nothing just before the hour, before Shawkat Tahir’s toe-poke five minutes from time set up a tense finale.
But with two minutes to play, Pickering notched his second with a stunning curling free-kick from the edge of the area and deep into stoppage time, Dale arrowed in arguably an even better one from 35 yard to top it off.
Crewe deployed a 4-4-2 formation and looked like the better, well drilled side from the whistle; Tom Lowery hit the game’s first shot just wide after 4 minutes and, despite the scores staying level, Cameron Greaves was by far the busier keeper.
Brentford coaching team Gabriel Flores and Jon De Souza recognised this and switched things up 13 minutes in, replacing Julius Fenn-Evans with striker Austin and shuffling from a 4-2-3-1 formation to 4-4-2 to match The Railwaymen.
The change was beginning to take effect, but just four minutes later the Bees were pegged back. Dale picked up the ball 20 yards out and was allowed to approach the box unchallenged and hit a vicious shot that deflected off trialist Jacob Bodean and crossed the line via the underside of the bar.
Oliver Finney again took advantage of the unorganised Brentford back line two minutes later and would have put his side two up had it not been for the abdomen of Cameron Greaves.
The tireless Dale then saw another shot smash against the crossbar, before Brentford finally registered a proper chance when Pablo Gonzalez laid a pass off to Danny Parish, who turned out of the box and forced Jake Hilton into a smart save to tip over the bar.
It took a while, but Brentford were growing into the game as the half wore on and three minutes from the break they ended their three-game barren spell when Bohui tested Matthew Neal with some silky stepovers and took a shot that clipped the left-back and took it past Hilton.
The Bees were instructed to mark man-for-man in the second half to break down the Railwaymen’s attractive style of play but just before the hour, Pickering finished off a move out of nothing with a header that looped over Greaves at the far post.
Pablo Gonzalez is yet to score this season, but with 20 minutes to play, the Colombian midfielder wrestled the ball from the feet of substitute Josh Lundstram but caught a glimpse of goal; he chose to shoot instead of squaring for Danny Parish to his right and left Hilton with a simple save.
Lundstram had his own shot blocked minutes later, then Brentford’s patient build-up finally bore fruit when Tahir’s toe-poke made its way into the back of the net from just inside the area.
Just as Brentford looked to be holding on to take a first point in 4 games back to West London, Bodean stopped the run of substitute Luke Walley on the edge of the area; only Sean Bird’s advanced position prevented the substitute receiving his marching orders.
But from the free-kick that was awarded, Pickering stepped up and curled a great effort beyond Greaves to make it 3-2. And three minutes later, Crewe were given another free-kick 35 yards out: Dale stepped up smashed home to round off the win in sensational style.
Brentford: Cameron Greaves, George Harmes, Jacob Bodean, Sean Bird, Luke Dunn, Pablo Gonzalez, Giovanni McGregor, Josh Bohui, Julius Fenn-Evans (Courtney Austin 13), Shawkat Tahir, Danny Parish
Crewe Alexandra: Jake Hilton, Jamie Morgan, Matthew Neal (Ross Woodcock 54), Oliver Finney, Aaron Dowsett, Jamie Wilkinson, Harry Pickering, Tom Lowery, Jon Higham (Josh Lundstram 54) Lewis Reilly (Luke Walley 60), Owen Dale
Unused subs: Kieran Harrison