Brentford B added another scalp to their ever-growing collection as Anderlecht fell victims to a 4-0 defeat at Griffin Park.
Goals from Bradley Clayton (2), Reece Cole and Nikolaj Kirk handed Kevin O’Connor’s side a convincing victory ahead of next week’s trip to Portugal.
The Bees made two changes following the 4-0 win over Shanghai SIPG last time out; Lukas Talbro came in at full-back and Cole was selected alongside Ali Coote and Jaakko Oksanen in a midfield three.
It was Brentford who carved out the first opening of the game with six minutes on the clock. Cole’s dead-ball delivery evaded a queue of players inside the area and was just about claimed by Seb Moutha at the back stick.
Tom Field made his first contribution on ten minutes, collecting Chiedozie Ogbene’s through ball on the left flank and delivering the wrong side of the on-rushing Marcus Forss.
The hosts chalked up another opportunity ten minutes later. Lukas Talbro’s first-time cross was met by Ogbene in the six-yard box but the Irishman nodded wide of Moutha’s right-hand post.
Following a quick breakaway from a corner Clayton was hauled down on the edge of the Anderlecht area on 26 minutes. Ali Coote laid the ball off to Cole whose dipping volley thumped the crossbar with Moutha beaten.
After plenty of sparring it was The Bees who delivered the first blow on 29 minutes. Clayton – who had looked lively on the right-hand side during the opening stages – jinked past the defender and nestled a shot past Moutha and into the bottom corner.
Clayton almost doubled his and Brentford’s tally six minutes later. Having cut inside his marker, the diminutive forward lifted his head and planted a left-footed strike that looked destined for the far corner, only to see the ball rebound off the upright.
Cole attempted a carbon copy of his earlier free-kick routine in stoppage time but cleared the crossbar in the final action of a dominant first period.
Brentford began the first half as they had concluded the second, working the ball through the thirds and looking to exploit the pace of Ogbene down the left channel. Mads Bech Sørensen collected a loose ball in the area shortly after the restart, hitting one on the turn and into the hands of the keeper.
Loris Tinelli fizzed a shot from distance with the hour-mark approaching but it didn’t have the power behind it to bother Ellery Balcombe.
A one-goal advantage was scant reward for The Bees’ dominance and it was Cole who put that right on 62 minutes. Having found his range with two earlier free-kick efforts, the 20-year-old hit this one with inch-perfect precision, lifting the ball over the wall and into the corner with Moutha stranded on the opposite side of the goalmouth.
Mike Tresor showed a good turn of pace during a rare Anderlecht attack, advancing to the byline and delivering a cutback that was claimed by the diving Balcombe.
Clayton was a flame that couldn’t be extinguished as the game entered its dying embers - his second goal of the evening a stroke of genius that caught everybody off-guard. Having collected the ball 35 yards from goal, the forward let fly into the bottom corner leaving Moutha with no chance.
Substitute Kirk converted from the spot three minutes from time to round off a dominant performance from the home side. Up next, Braga.
Brentford B: Balcombe, Bech Sørensen, Clayton, Cole (Archibald 73), Coote, Edobor, Field, Forss (Rodrigues Alves 81), Ogbene (Novak 86), Oksanen, Talbro (Kirk 73)
Subs not used: Thompson
Anderlecht: Moutha, Stevens, Bergier, El Kababri, Nzita (Guldix 73), Katalay (Olivera 46), Meddour, Bwamgombo (Hannach 78), Tresor, Tinelli, Mayanga (Doore 62)
Subs not used: Dermul, Chaban, Bakkali