Lars Friis’ tenure in charge of Brentford B got off to a winning start as his side beat local neighbours Queens Park Rangers Under-23s 3-1 at Jersey Road this afternoon. Mads Bech Sorensen netted inside 90 seconds with late goals from Henrik Johansson and Jan Zamburek securing the win, after Amrit Bansal McNulty had levelled just before the interval.
Life in charge of Brentford B couldn’t have started much better for Friis as his side found themselves ahead within 90 seconds. Sorensen, making his comeback following a knee-injury, saw an initial effort from a quickly taken corner blocked by his own man, but when the ball dropped to him again, he made no mistake from 12 yards.
A surging run through the middle from Jan Zamburek almost yielded a second goal shortly after: Marcin Brzozowski pushing the Czezh Youth International’s effort away to safety. Brentford continued to look bright in the early stages with Joe Hardy also seeing a shot blocked.
However, as the half developed it was Rangers who started to ask more questions of the Brentford backline. Only Lewis Walker will know how he didn’t make it 1-1 after 20 minutes; the striker somehow managing to steer a header wide of an open goal after his initial effort bounced back off the upright.
Patrik Gunnarsson had barely been called into action during the opening 25 minutes but he showed great agility when required to dive full-length to tip Amrit Bansal-McNulty’s free-kick over the bar.
At the other end, Joe Hardy had a great opportunity to take his tally to 20 in 25 games this term when played through by Zamburek but the trailing leg of Brzozowski kept his effort out. That save proved even more important moments later as the visitors found a leveller. Bansal-McNulty did well to control a fizzing pass before turning inside Luka Racic and drilling into the bottom corner.
The Bees created one more clear-cut opening before the half was out as Hardy and Matej Majka sprung a break which ended with the former playing the latter through only for his shot to fly across the face of goal from 12 yards.
Josh Clarke and goalscorer Sorensen were withdrawn at the break with Jayden Onen coming on for his first appearance since he signed an 18-month deal on Monday.
Kolbeinn Finnsson wasted a glorious chance to restore Brentford’s advantage seconds after the restart but he leant back and spooned his shot over the bar from ten yards. In truth, there was little to report in the opening stages of the second-period with both sides giving the ball away cheaply in attacking areas.
It was the introduction of Henrik Johansson, just before the hour, which seemed to inject fresh impetus into The Bees attack. He’d already seen a low cross create an opportunity for Nikolaj Kirk and had a shot blocked before he stepped up to rifle a free-kick past Brzozowski from just outside the D.
QPR tried to muster a comeback but, aside from a pair of tame efforts from Deshane Dalling and Bansal-McNulty, both of which were easy for Gunnarsson to claim, The Bees defence held firm. It was left to Zamburek to wrap up the win two minutes from time as he nodded a teasing David Titov cross into the far corner to ensure Brentford B ended 2018 on a high note.
Brentford B: Gunnarsson; Clarke (Dasilva 46), Sorensen (Onen 46), Racic, Kirk; Oliver; Finnsson (Titov 80), Zamburek, Coote, Majka (Johansson 55); Hardy
Subs not used: Andersson
QPR: Brzozowski; Dalling, Phillips, Rowan, Hämäläinen; Fox, Bettache, Mesias; Alfa, Walker, Bansal-McNulty
Subs (all used): Omar, Williams, Wells, Eshun, Kefalas