Bees draw battle of Bragbury End
The Brentford B Team drew 1-1 with a Stevenage XI this afternoon at their training ground in Bragbury End, Hertfordshire.
On one of the hottest September days on record, Flemming Pedersen's side had Kyjuon Marsh-Brown to thank for getting an equaliser in first half stoppage time after an early opener from The Boro.
Brentford made several changes to the starting XI that beat Liverpool on penalties at Griffin Park. While the hosts started with five members of their First Team squad that had taken part in their last League Two game against Crawley Town.
It took five minutes for The Bees to get a shot away, Danny Parish seeing his effort blocked away for a corner. The following set piece found Manny Onariase unmarked but the big defender couldn't direct the ball goalwards.
Stevenage retaliated soon after, getting behind the Brentford defence only to be met by Dominic Kurasik. The goalkeeper stood up strong to the powerful shot.
He did the opposite for the opening goal. After Jamie Gray burst in behind, Kurasik threw himself at the striker's feet only to see him fly past and tuck the ball into the net.
Once they grabbed the goal, the hosts took their foot off the gas and relaxed into a defensive structure. Brentford found it hard to break through but managed to get a few more shots from distance. It was one of these that got them back into the match, right on the stroke of half time.
After breaking down the right wing, the ball came in to Marsh-Brown and he saw his chance. Hitting it from just inside the box, it sailed over the hands of veteran goalkeeper Chris Day and into the top corner.
Flemming and his assistant Kevin O'Connor rang the changes at the break, making seven alterations including between the sticks where Ellery Balcombe replaced Kurasik.
The second half was a marked improvement on the first, with The Bees controlling most of the play and chances.
The opening moments saw the visitors win a penalty. The substitute trialist on the wing drove into the box only to have his legs swept away by a late challenge. Bradley Clayton stepped up to take the kick, which was subsequently saved by Day. The goalkeeper threw himself to his left and palmed the tame strike away from danger.
A little later, there was a similar situation at the other end. Another late challenge, this time from one of the players in blue, gave the referee no choice but to point to the spot again. The penalty was well struck by Ben Kennedy but Balcombe got down low to the left and parried it back out. He was then up quickly to throw himself in the way of the follow-up and deny Stevenage a second time.
Either team could have snatched it towards the end, as both had good chances. The Boro nearly went ahead when a short pass from Ilias Chatzitheodoridis was picked off by Rowan Liburd but he couldn't convert the chance.
It was the Greek left-back's determined run that set Brentford's best chance on its way. He beat no fewer than four players on his way down the wing, to square for Marc Rio. Rio turned inside and curled the ball narrowly over the crossbar.
Brentford B First Half: Dominic Kurasik; Nathan Fox, Manny Onariase, Jarvis Edobor, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis; James Ferry, Reece Cole, Zain Westbrooke (c); Kyjuon Marsh-Brown, Jan Holldack, Danny Parish
Brentford B Second Half: Ellery Balcombe; Lukas Talbro, Chris Mepham, Jarvis Edobor, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis; Raphael Assibey-Mensah, James Ferry (sub Bradley Clayton 75 mins), Bradley Clayton (sub Zain Westbrooke 67 mins); Trialist, Marc Rio, Danny Parish (sub Kyjuon Marsh-Brown 75 mins)