Brentford B started November with their second showcase fixture at Griffin Park, this time Manchester United Under-23s were the guests. After their roller-coaster October, it was important that they perform well in front of over 1,000 supporters in West London.
In the end, a birthday double for Chris Mepham helped The Bees on their way to an unlikely 3-2 win. Joe Riley and Sean Goss had netted for United but a goal from Herson Alves secured a toughly contested victory for Brentford’s second squad.
Their next match took them to Wigan Under-21s in the North West. In a game that saw snowfall in the first half, Brentford were a goal down at the break. A pep talk from soon-to-be Head Coach Kevin O’Connor motivated the team to show a much better performance in the second 45 minutes. Aves grabbed a brace in the later stages of the game to complete the comeback, 2-1.
League of Ireland Premier Division and Europa League contestants Dundalk were up next for The Bees, who provided a very different challenge for the home side. Brentford scored two goals in the first half, then survived a late scare to complete their third victory in a row. Alves continued his run of fine form by scoring from the spot, before Jan Holldack tucked away the winner. The Irish side did get a goal back two minutes from time but it wasn’t enough to spur them on for a second.
Following the match, the Club announced that Flemming Pedersen was to leave his role early to take up the position of Technical Director at FC Nordsjælland. Rasmus Ankersen, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, said: “Flemming is a brilliant coach and his tactical insight and deep commitment to the game have made a big impact at Brentford FC. We are gutted to see him leave, but we wish him all the best in FC Nordsjælland.”
O’Connor’s first game in charge came at Cobham when his side met another Chelsea XI and managed a 0-0 draw. Despite heavy pressure from the home side, including them hitting the woodwork twice, the match ended goalless.
They completed November with a near perfect record after heading down to Southampton and coming away with a 5-2 victory. Danny Parish, Reece Cole, Luke Dunn and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown all scored in a professional display from The Bees.
There were only two more games in the 2016 calendar year for the B Team. Chinese League One side Hangzhou Greentown became Brentford’s fifth win in six games. They were also the team’s biggest victory until that point, six members of the squad getting on the score sheet in a 7-1 win at Jersey Road.
It was a remarkably dominant performance from O’Connor’s boys. It also included a first start and a first goal for new Swedish signing Henrik Johansson. Scoring just nine minutes into his Brentford B debut, he rounded off the match in the 74th minute.
Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s were the last opponents of 2016. Despite their outstanding form, and the inclusion of First Team players Konstantin Kerschbaumer and Philipp Hofmann, Brentford suffered a 3-1 defeat. Hofmann got the early goal but Spurs’ dominance showed in the second half and they rallied back to score three in reply.
January brought with it a first competitive tournament for Brentford B, the Kai Thor Cup.