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B Team Season Review: Big tests at Griffin Park and on the road

The first of three games at Griffin Park, alongside trips to Birmingham, Stevenage and St George's Park

23 May 2017

Brentford B began September by hosting Liverpool Under-23s in front of 687 fans at Griffin Park, a game that went all the way to penalties. Herson Rodrigues Alves and Danny Parish scored the goals before the visitors staged a late comeback.

Substitute Ben Woodburn, who went on to make his senior debut a few months later, scored a brace that sent the game to penalties. Goalkeeper Jack Bonham was the hero, saving the decisive spot-kick from Joe Maguire, and handing The Bees a 5-4 victory from 12 yards.

The next match saw Flemming Pedersen’s side travel to Stevenage for a match against a mixture of senior and youth players. The Bees managed to escape Bragbury End with a 1-1 draw in preparation for a meeting with Queens Park Rangers at the end of the month.

The R’s went down 3-0 to the hard working Bees. Manny Onariase scored his first goal for the Club while Herson Alves and Justin Shaibu added strikes of their own. The slightly small scale West London derby included some more minutes for new signing Raphael Assibey-Mensah.

The following month of October was a roller coaster for the B Team.

First up, a young B side travelled to Wast Hills to face a Birmingham City XI that included names like Diego Fabbrini, Rhoys Wiggins and Paul Robinson. They were outplayed and outmatched as the changed system enforced upon Pedersen’s side failed to cope with the stronger opponent, eventually losing 5-0.

A week later, the B squad rallied to a 4-1 victory over Reading Under-23s. Assibey-Mensah got his first start and repaid that with a hat-trick before Danny Parish rounded off the scoring in the 66th minute.

Nine days later the news broke that B Team Head Coach Pedersen would be stepping down from his role at Brentford to take up a new job at FC Nordsjaelland. Assistant and former Club captain Kevin O’Connor would be taking charge of the team going forward, but the Dane still had some time to guide the B Team against their next opponents.

The Nike Academy play their games at St George’s Park in Burton, the base of the England national team. So at the end of October, Brentford B travelled to the venue for a friendly against ‘The Academy’.

After a hard fought first half, The Bees went into the break with a one-goal lead. Bradley Clayton had scored in the opening stages and Nike hadn’t found a response. They lost the second half 0-4. Neither Pedersen nor O’Connor could account for their sudden dip in performance as the match wore on, with the former using his post-match interview to exclaim his shock at the turnaround.

Their next match would be another showcase fixture at Griffin Park, this time against Manchester United.

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