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New deal for Judge and drama at Burton

Our 2016/17 season review reaches late March

3 June 2017

Late March saw a disappointing home defeat followed up by an incredible win on the road before a number of The Bees young stars headed off on international duty.

After defeat at home to high-flying Huddersfield Town four days earlier, Wolverhampton Wanderers scored twice in the final five minutes to take the points at Griffin Park. The Bees were second best for much of the evening but held an advantage thanks to a first half goal from Maxime Colin. Matt Doherty equalised for the visitors, the second full back on the score sheet, with four minutes to go and they kept pushing on. Hélder Costa then converted from ten yards inside the final 90 seconds of normal time to give Wolves the win they merited.

Back-to-back defeats threatened to turn into three in a week as Dean Smith’s side found themselves 3-1 down at half-time away at Burton Albion the following Saturday. However, during a scarcely believable second-half of football, Lasse Vibe scored twice either side of Sergi Canos’ second of the afternoon before Jota rounded things off to guarantee The Bees first-ever trip to The Pirelli Stadium was an unforgettable one.

It was a similar story for The B Team in late March, although in not quite such dramatic circumstances, as a late defeat to Oxford United was followed up by a comeback win against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Two fine strikes from Reece Cole and Jan Novak had brought The Bees back into the game against United after going 2-0 down, but the visitors struck late to take the win. Against Wolves, Chris Mepham and Justin Shaibu were on target as The B Team recovered from an early setback to register the win.

A new face also arrived at Jersey Road in the shape of 18-year-old Manchester City striker Joe Hardy who agreed a three-year deal to keep him at Griffin Park until the summer of 2020.

Brentford Women’s FC ended their Greater London Women's Football League Division One campaign on a winning note after a 3-0 victory over Luton Town Development at Stockwood Park Athletics Stadium. Mollie Holmes, Rhia Benjamin, and Bahrati Keeping got the goals which sewed up a fourth-place finish in the league.

The final third of March was taken over by the last international break of the season and there was plenty of Brentford involvement across Europe and beyond.

B Team goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe earned his third cap as England’s Under-18s beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 in Doha in the first game of their three game tour to Qatar which they would end with a perfect record.

In France, Rico Henry played in all three games as England’s Under-20s won their Four Nations Tournamant against Portugal, France, and Senegal. Rico made his Under-20s debut as Portugal scored a 90th minute goal to snatch a point from an opening game 2-2 draw in Saint-Brieuc before earning his second cap as a late substitute during The Young Lions’ 1-0 win over hosts France. A successful week for Rico, and for the team, came as a comfortable 2-0 win over Senegal saw Rico earn his third cap and England lift the trophy, following an unbeaten campaign.

Another player to make an international debut in March was John Egan, with the Irish defender lining-up for his nation against European Championship Quarter-Finalists Iceland in Dublin. The only goal came midway through the first-half as the visitors took the win but nevertheless it was a proud moment as John joined the ranks of Irish international Bees.

Another of Brentford’s Irish internationals, Alan Judge, ended speculation about his future by signing a new two-year contract at the end of March. The 28-year-old hadn’t played since April due to a double fracture of the lower leg but his future was now committed to Brentford until the summer of 2019.

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