O'Connor's side continue winning run away from home
Brentford B won 5-2 against a young Southampton XI in Hampshire this afternoon. Goals from Danny Parish, Reece Cole, Luke Dunn and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown secured The Bees' fourth win in five games.
Head Coach Kevin O'Connor made five changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Chelsea last week, including Ellery Balcombe's return in goal and Jarvis Edobor slotting back into defence.
It took the visiting team eight minutes to take the lead. A corner from Cole was floated to the edge of the box, where Parish volleyed it into the bottom corner without the ball touching the ground.
Almost immediately, Cole got the chance to make it two. The midfielder was brought down on his way into the box by a late challenge, but got up moments later to slot the ball home from the spot.
The Saints could have got back into the game quickly when a low cross had the Brentford back four in trouble. It took both Edobor and Ilias Chatzitheodoridis to clear away under pressure.
Dunn saw his first clear chance come and go as Brentford countered. Heavy pressure from Marsh-Brown allowed Dunn to steal the ball and run at goal. His side-footed shot was saved by the keeper and the rebound was deflected wide.
With just under half an hour gone, Raphael Assibey-Mensah sent the ball back to Balcombe but it was severely underpowered and allowed Southampton to break clear. The finish was an easy one against the onrushing England stopper, who wasn't best pleased with his midfielder's attempted pass. Against the run of play, the home side were back in the match.
They could have equalised soon after. A deep cross was clipped back across the box, which Balcombe managed to palm away but Edobor nearly saw it rebound of his leg into the net. Luckily, Balcombe was alert and got in the way of that effort too.
The Bees' third goal before half time started with Cole. His cross-field pass from left to right allowed Marsh-Brown to run clear on goal. His first shot tested the keeper but was saved, so he changed tact and squared the ball for Parish. Running onto the ball at pace, his finish was another neat first-time shot that found the back of the net.
As the break came and the sun started to set, the temperature plummeted. Brentford showed no sign of cooling off however, as they scored 33 seconds after the restart. A deft chip from Zain Westbrooke was met by Dunn, who played it with one touch that was enough to beat the keeper and make it over the line for a fourth.
A few minutes later, Marsh-Brown was on his way into the box when his marker stuck out a leg and both tumbled to the floor. The referee waved play to continue despite heavy protests from The Bees. This was moments before Cole should have scored his second; latching onto a loose ball, his shot fizzed narrowly wide of the right post.
Another goal against the run of play allowed Southampton to narrow the scoreline. The Saints made good use of the advantage given to them by the referee to set the ball in behind the back four. Westbrooke did his very best to get back and stop the first effort by diving in the way, the second attempt was placed too well for Balcombe to reach.
Not willing to let the momentum shift out of their favour, O'Connor rallied his boys from the dugout and the fifth goal came in a matter of minutes. The scrappiest of all the goals, Marsh-Brown managed to see off a crowd of players to poke the ball over the line.
The scoreline could have been worse for the home side, who were fading fast, but Brentford couldn't find the net again. Assibey-Mensah and Chatzitheodoridis had shots saved from distance, then Cole sent another effort narrowly wide before the final whistle.
Brentford B: Balcombe; Talbro (sub Fox 60 mins), Mepham, Edobor, Chatzitheodoridis; Cole, Westbrooke (c), Assibey-Mensah; Marsh-Brown, Parish (sub Rio 70 mins), Dunn (sub Trialist 80 mins)