Brentford B drew 2-2 with Atalanta in Bergomo, Italy on Wednesday afternoon. Raphael Assibey-Mensah and Joe Hardy scored goals either side of half time to earn Kevin O’Connor’s side a draw.
The early part of the game saw chances for both sides. Erdis Kraja’s shot from distance troubled Ellery Balcombe after seven minutes, sailing inches wide of the keeper’s right post.
Then Bradley Clayton was in to worry the hosts. A neat pull back from the right landed at the attacker’s feet and he fizzed a shot narrowly wide of the left post.
Balcombe was in action for the first time when Roberto Corna found space to run down the right and take an effort on goal. The Englishman held onto the ball well.
Joe Hardy came close with 23 minutes gone, setting one up for himself and then striking the ball narrowly north of the crossbar. Alessandro Pavan in the host goal was scrambling back to his line and was clearly relieved to see it dip over the bar.
With 32 minutes gone, Atalanta scored the opening goal of the game. A low cross by fullback Corna was met by Andrea Rinaldi but Mads Bech Sørensen got in the way. Unfortunately for the big defender, he diverted the ball into the path of Luiz Felipe. The striker took advantage of the fact that Balcombe had been wrong-footed by the deflection and poked the ball into the net at the far post.
Just five minutes late, Assibey-Mensah levelled the scores. A neat one-two with Hardy on the edge of the box allowed him space, then he beat two defenders before tucking the ball into the bottom corner of the net. 1-1 it stayed going into the break.
After the restart, it took the home side about 10 minutes to find the net again. This time, taking advantage of a quick counter-attack, Atalanta broke forward with numbers. Alex Frana overlapped on the left side, then cut the ball back across the box where Panagiotis Louka was waiting to sweep the ball home.
Kevin O’Connor introduced two trialists into the game in the next few minutes, in place of Assibey-Mensah and Jan Novak.
Jarvis Edobor had two great chances one after the other with 15 minutes to go, and they were almost identical. The first saw him powerfully head the ball towards goal, only for Pavan to produce a top save to deny him. The next one, was another header, this time it found the base of the left post as Pavan scrambled to try and get something on it.
Soon after, with time ticking away, Joe Hardy scored. A crowd of players met a long throw from Sørensen in the box. Clayton tried to volley it in but it was blocked, then Edobor attacked it again. It fell suddenly for Hardy who, almost at the same time as Clayton, swung for the ball. It found the net, with Hardy looking the most likely to have got the final touch.
There was still time for Balcombe to be called upon once more. This time substitute Matteo Pedrini managed a bicycle kick in the penalty area, which the Brentford keeper reacted to quickly to tip it over the bar.
Atalanta: Pavan; Corna (sub Cavagnis 45 mins), Bencivenga, Vedovati (sub Pedrini 45 mins), Frana; Pina (sub Capanna 45 mins), Rinaldi, Kraja (sub Louka 45 mins); Cambiaghi, Da Riva (sub Fanti 45 mins), Felipe
Brentford B: Balcombe; Titov, Edobor, Sørensen, Talbro; Clayton, Kirk, Assibey-Mensah (sub Trialist M 66 mins); Novak (sub Trialist L 72 mins), Hardy, Alves