Kevin O’Connor’s men travelled to the Etihad Campus to take on a tough Manchester City development side on Saturday morning. Lewis Macleod made his second start for Brentford B as he continues his recovery from injury, while Herson Alves wore the armband.
The game started bright with City attacking from the off. Within 3 minutes Brentford’s Mads Bech Sorensen looked to release Lukas Talbro down the left wing and exploit City’s high back line. City continued to press with good build up play through the midfield resulting in a well taken effort from City number 8 Tommy Doyle on the edge of the Bees box that beat Balcombe on 8 minutes.
The Bees made an immediate reply two minutes later though, Alves converting from close range to level the score. Bradley Clayton released Joe Hardy down the right wing moments later, forcing the City keeper into a close range save, with The Bees looking for a quick second.
The game continued at a fast pace, with City having most of the attacking play and putting Brentford under pressure. Despite City’s pressure, Brentford counter attacked and Hardy popped up in the box to meet a well worked Bees cross on 20 minutes to put Brentford ahead. Brentford were now in full swing, with Macleod breaking up play well in midfield and playing Hardy though on 26 minutes to force another save from City’s keeper.
34 minutes and City broke into the box from the left wing, resulting in a low shot from number 11 Ian Carlo-Poveda finding it’s way into the bottom corner to level the score. A fine left handed save from Balcombe in the Bees goal kept things even on 40 minutes, as City pressed for a third. An immediate response from Brentford, saw Hardy cross for Alves, who’s shot was another warning for City’s defence.
The Bees went into the break level with their City counterparts at 2-2, having displayed some fine counter attacking play and composure in front of goal. The second half again started at pace. An early warning came for the Bees within two minutes of the restart, when City had a goal ruled offside following some quick forward play.
Clayton and Hardy were linking well in the final third for Brentford with some neat play in front of the City goal. A few late challenges meant the game was in danger of getting out of control on 50 minutes, with Sorensen and Clayton both on the receiving end. Clayton continued to be a danger, breaking into the area and firing a fierce left footed effort that forced a fine save from the City keeper.
Hardy was again in the right place at the right time, picking up the ball inside the City box and driving a shot into the top left hand corner to put Brentford ahead on the hour mark. Moments later, Clayton let a powerful shot go from inside the area, forcing City into another fine save.
The Bees were in full control, playing with confidence in all areas of the pitch. Brentford continued to press forward, Assibey-Mensah and Alves both causing City problems at the back. City began to find their feet again by 70 minutes, forcing Brentford to defend on the edge of their own box.
Talbro continued to push down the left wing for Brentford, and made the City keeper produce a low save from inside the box. Hardy’s hat-trick was completed on 80 minutes when the referee played some fine advantage to allow for Joe’s third of the afternoon. Clayton then delivered a superb curling strike from outside the area to put Brentford three ahead and kill off the game
Full time: Manchester City 2-5 Brentford B
Brentford B Starting XI:
1 - Balcombe
2 - Titov
3 - Talbro
5 - Edobor
6 - Kirk
7 - Clayton
8 - Macleod
9 - Hardy
10 - Assibey-Mensah
11 - Alves
14 - Sorensen
Brentford B are next in action when they travel to Italy this week to take on AC and Inter Milan.