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Match Report: Chelsea XI 0 Brentford B 0

23 November 2016

Kevin O'Connor's side match Chelsea all the way in Surrey

Brentford B drew 0-0 with a Chelsea XI at Cobham Training Centre this afternoon. The Bees were involved in a tight game played at a high tempo, which could have seen either side come away victorious.

Head Coach Kevin O'Connor, taking full control of the matchday squad for the first time since the departure of Flemming Pedersen, made two changes to the side that beat Dundalk. Dominic Kurasik returned in goal in place of Jack Bonham, and Tom Field replaced Jan Holldack. With Field slotting in at left-back, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis was moved forward into left midfield and Herson Alves started up front.

The game started at quite a pace, Chelsea hitting the post in the opening minutes before Alves saw a low shot saved soon after.

Once The Bees had settled into their rhythm, they controlled most of the first half play and created some good chances. After 26 minutes, Chris Mepham hit a long ball over the top to Reece Cole, who squared for Zain Westbrooke to poke narrowly wide of the left post.

When Chelsea did manage to break, they looked a real threat. Manny Onariase was on hand to deny The Blues their first big chance when he slid across to cut out the final ball across the box that would have seen a Chelsea striker all alone at the far post.

Kurasik was also in action with just over half an hour on the clock. The goakeeper got across his line quickly to claw a powerful header away from his right post.

Then, another combination on the wing by Cole and Lukas Talbro saw the Danish fullback race clear of his marker. His cross was a deep one that was headed away just as Chatzitheodoridis was setting himself to finish the chance on the far side.

The home side's next chance brought out the very best from both of Brentford's centre-backs. As a blue winger cut inside, Mepham timed his challenge to perfection as the last man back to sweep the ball away, then Onariase was on hand with another sliding tackle right behind his partner to deny any follow-ups from the advancing Chelsea midfield.

The final act of the half brought an important save from Kurasik. He had to react quickly to a low shot from the edge of the box, unsighted by the crowd in front of him, he tipped the ball onto the inside of the post. It rolled back across the line and shaved the other post on its way to safety.

After the break, the visitors were put under a lot more pressure as their hosts made several substitutions to freshen things up.

Despite this, The Bees could have taken the lead in the early exchanges. A long ball forward was misjudged by Chelsea's sub keeper, leaving Kyjuon Marsh-Brown with an open goal if he played the right shot. Unfortunately for him, his effort was blocked by a desperate defender who flung himself in the way in the nick of time.

Brentford's best chance came midway through the half. Field clipped a cross over the back three for Alves who was unmarked as he nodded the ball inches north of the bar.

Kurasik had to be alert as his counter-attacking opponents played a quick ball forward behind the back four. The keeper was quickly out to block the shot before a second ball in saw Mepham clear a low effort off the line.

The final chance of the match almost saw The Bees come away with a win. Field snatched the ball back on the half way line before playing Alves free down the left. His low cross was met by sub Raphael Assibey-Mensah but the shot was just wide of the left post as, moments later, the referee blew for full time.

Brentford B: Kurasik; Talbro, Mepham, Onariase, Field; Cole, Ferry, Westbrooke (c); Marsh-Brown (sub Dunn 84 mins), Alves, Chatzitheodoridis (sub Assibey-Mensah 74 mins)

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