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Match Report: Southampton U23 1 Brentford B 2

Bees come from behind to win against strong Saints side

3 August 2017

Brentford B had to come from behind to beat a strong Southampton U23 side at Carden Park on Thursday afternoon.

Saints' winger Tyreke Johnson scored midway through the first half, with Reece Cole and Theo Archibald scoring either side of half time.

The Bees started the game brightly, Bradley Clayton going close in the opening few minutes. Archibald's follow-up was tipped wide by the goalkeeper.

With 12 minutes gone, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis was lucky not to give away a penalty on the very edge of the Brentford box. Play went on and Mads Sorensen was on hand to make a great block as a shot came in from outside the area.

At the other end, Clayton was nearly on target again. This time he rolled his marker to send a shot spiralling inches wide of the left post.

With 20 minutes on the clock, Ellery Balcombe made a good save to deny The Saints an easy way into the match. An effort from range was deflected several times before it dropped in front of the goalkeeper, who stayed alert to catch the spinning ball.

In the next five minutes, Brentford had a few good chances to score. Reece Cole drilled one of his usual free-kicks just wide of the goal, before Joe Hardy saw a volley blocked on the edge of the box.

Against the general run of play, Southampton scored after 27 minutes. A controversial decision to let play go on after what looked like a handball ended in Johnson slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Cole had another chance to bend a free-kick into the net after half an hour, but this time it hit the wall. He crossed it back into the box where Clayton saw his header tipped wide.

The following corner was Brentford's best chance so far. Chris Mepham met the ball with his head and it darted towards goal, the goalkeeper reacted quickly and palmed the ball over at the last second.

Two chances in quick succession came and went in similar fashion for Southampton. Two shots came a few minutes apart, both dipping wildly as they approached goal but both narrowly fizzing over the crossbar.

With seconds remaining in the first half, Cole equalised. Cutting in from the left of midfield, he went past one defender and then another before drilling the ball into the bottom right corner.

It took just over a minute and a half for The Bees to take the lead after the break. Cole won the ball back in the centre of the pitch, then knocked it into the path of Archibald. The Scot accelerated past his marker before smashing a shot into the side-netting inside the goal. 2-1.

Three minutes later, the referee awarded Brentford a penalty. Clayton lost one defender with some quick footwork and then seemed to get past another before he had his leg swept from under him. With no hesitation, the referee pointed to the spot.

Cole took the kick, but on this occasion the goalkeeper guessed correctly and pounced upon the ball. It was still 2-1 to Brentford.

After 57 minutes, Cole had another chance at goal. This time from a free-kick to the left of The Saints' box. Trying his luck in the high wind, he spun the ball towards the far corner, where it cannoned back off the crossbar and Southampton managed to clear before Clayton could follow it in.

Just after the hour, Balcombe was in action again, this time to tip a deep corner away from danger at his far post.

For the next few minutes possession changed sides several times as both teams made changes to their lineups. Ali Coote and Marcus Forss were introduced for O'Connor's men.

With 15 to play, Coote burst down the left after Chatzitheodoridis had won the ball back deep in enemy territory. The Scot cut back then crossed for Clayton in the middle. The striker lept to meet it but could only direct his header wide.

A couple of minutes later, Balcombe was called upon again to hang on to a free-kick that fizzed its way through Brentford's wall towards him.

The final change of the afternoon, with ten minutes still to go, had Cole and Clayton swap out for Jan Holldack and Herson Alves.

Almost immediately the former was in action. Archibald went down the left side, chipping the ball into the path of Holldack. Taking a quick touch for control, the German then helped it on to Forss, who was racing through the middle. Into the box he went but his shot was deflected by a brilliant last-ditch challenge by Callum Slattery.

Brentford B: Balcombe, Talbro, Sorensen, Mepham, Chatzitheodoridis; Westbrooke (C), Cole (sub Holldack 81 mins), Kirk (sub Coote 67 mins); Clayton (sub Alves 81 mins), Archibald, Hardy (sub Forss 67 mins)

Southampton U23: Trialist GK (sub Trialist GK 45 mins); Trialist (sub Afolabi 62 mins), Wood, Jones (sub Cook 62 mins), Flannigan (sub Tella 62 mins); Little, Reed, Slattery; Johnson, Trialist (sub Bakary 62 mins), Barnes

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