Kevin O’Connor’s Brentford B notched up a sixth straight win after they cruised past Shanghai SIPG Under-20s at Jersey Road on Tuesday afternoon.
Marcus Forss missed an early penalty for The Bees but O’Connor’s side took the lead just before the interval; Ali Coote crashing home from close range. Substitute Theo Archibald made it 2-0 shortly after the restart to kill the game off as a contest. The Bees created numerous chances in the second-half and it was left to Chiedozie Ogbene to keep up his fine recent scoring record as he netted twice in the closing stages to wrap up the 4-0 victory.
The visitors, whose starting line-up included four members of their Chinese Super League table-topping first-team squad, began brightly on a blustery afternoon in West London and were unlucky not to take an early lead. Ellery Balcombe did well to bravely block Zheng Haoqian’s effort on the edge of his box; the ball rebounding to Gao Zhijie who slipped at the vital moment with the goal at his mercy. Haoqian was again thwarted by The Bees' England youth international stopper shortly after but slowly Brentford began to get a foothold in the game.
B Team top scorer Marcus Forss brought a smart save out of Shi Xiaodong and Bradley Clayton fired over from 12 yards before The Bees were awarded a 13th minute penalty. Ogbene was the man bundled over inside the box but Forss' effort from 12 yards lacked conviction and Xiaodong made a simple save low to his left.
The visitors looked happy to defend in numbers and hit Brentford on the counter-attack, a tactic that should have paid dividends when Jiang Zilei crossed for Zhou Zheng, however, the latter could only steer his header wide from eight yards. Ye Meng also had a shot deflected wide by Jarvis Edobor but these were rare openings for the Chinese side.
Xiaodong was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers and he had to be alert to deny Forss, Westbrooke, and Clayton as The Bees continued to create the better chances. Having kept The Bees at bay for 44 minutes there was nothing the SIPG goalkeeper could do on the stroke of half-time as Coote controlled Ogbene’s cross on his chest and then lashed the bouncing ball into the roof of the net from close range.
The Bees doubled their lead four minutes after the restart through substitute Archibald; the Scottish winger has already flashed one shot narrowly wide after coming on but his second contribution saw him tap home at the far post after good work down the left.
Playing into the teeth of the wind and with The Bees growing in confidence in possession, Shanghai found it difficult to make any impression in the second-half. Westbrooke, Jaakko Oksanen, and Coote were able to move the ball at pace, probing for an opening. And as the visitors grew more tired those openings became more frequent. Ogbene brought an excellent low save out of Xiaodong after Clayton’s clever disguised pass while Tom Field flashed a drive wide after being afforded time and space on the edge of the box.
A third goal looked inevitable and it arrived with a quarter of an hour to play. Ogbene was the man to get it but it owed much to the hard work of Herson Rodrigues Alves. The Bees striker pinching the ball as Shanghai looked to play out from the back and rolling it square for the January arrival to tap into an empty net.
The same duo nearly combined three minutes later for a fourth but Ogbene found his route to goal well blocked by Wei Lai. Oksanen then drilled a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box before The Bees added extra gloss to the scoreline in injury-time. Archibald sent in a low cross from the left and Ogbene got the slightest of touches to divert the ball just inside the post from close range.
The full-time whistle blew moments later as Kevin O’Connor’s side warmed up for next Friday’s showpiece friendly against Anderlecht at Griffin Park in the best possible way.
Brentford: Balcombe; Kirk (Talbro 46 mins), Edobor, Sorensen, Field; Westbrooke (Archibald 46 mins), Oksanen, Coote; Ogbene, Clayton, Forss (Rodrigues-Alves 60 mins)
Subs not used: Trialist, Assibey-Mensah
Shanghai SIPG: Xiadong; Yuan, Yunkai, Lai, Meng; Chunjie, Zelong; Zilei, Zheng, Haoqian; Zhijie
Subs from: Zhe, Ming Jie, Wen Jie, Enge, Wenjie, Chunxin