Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Match Report: Reading U23 3 Brentford B 2

Royals record victory in rainy rematch

24 January 2018

Brentford B lost 3-2 to Reading U23 at their Hogwood Park Training Ground on Wednesday afternoon.

Bradley Clayton and Theo Archibald scored the goals for Kevin O'Connor's side but it wasn't enough to see The Bees past The Royals for the second time this week. 

Conditions were bright as kick-off approached but by the time the referee blew his whistle to start the game, the rain was heavy and the pitch was slow.

It made the match an encounter that required each player to concentrate not just on their own first touch, but also the way the ball would sit on the ever-slowing surface throughout the match.

It took nine minutes for The Bees to take the lead. Reece Cole played a long cross-field pass to Archibald on the right wing. The Scot turned inside his marker and lifted the ball into the box towards the far post. Getting away from his man, Clayton shifted his feet and volleyed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.

It didn't take long for Reading to level things, just six minutes in fact. Lukas Talbro was judged to have brought his man down as they both jostled their way into the penalty area. The blue and white shirted player hit the floor, the referee pointed to the spot. It was converted into the middle of the goal. 1-1.

The wet pitch made things tricky for both keepers, something Archibald tried to take advantage of after 26 minutes. He hit a low shot through a crowd of players that zipped up off the turf right in front of Reading's stopper. Luckily for him, he had got his body behind the shot and managed to hold on.

After half an hour, Brentford were awarded a penalty. Clayton sliced open the defence with a ball through to Herson Rodrigues Alves who, despite remaining on his feet after the challenge, was awarded a spot-kick.

The Portuguese winger decided to take the kick himself, but couldn't keep the shot down and it sailed over the crossbar.

Taking full advantage of their opponent's momentary shock at missing from the spot, Reading scored at the other end. A quick break that took just a few passes to make it from goalkeeper to striker, ended in a Reading forward slotting the ball under Ellery Balcombe to make it 2-1.

Five minutes later, Achibald went close to an equaliser. A free-kick from the right side edge of the box was lifted over the wall and dropped towards the keeper. He caught it but the ball slipped out of his grasp and under his body. He quickly dropped to the floor to smother the chance and prevent the ball from rolling behind him.

At the other end, almost straight away, Balcombe was on hand to keep the score down with a save of his own. Breaking with a neat one-two into the area, Reading got space to shoot but the English keeper got his foot across to block the shot and divert it away from danger.

Just before the break, he was in the way again. This time he was tested by a shot from distance that skipped its way across the turf towards him in the wet. He did well to catch the ball and keep it between his gloves as he dived to his left.

The second half started at quite a pace as Brentford wondered how they hadn't got back into the game. 

Just a few minutes in, Marcus Forss passed the ball out to the wing for Tom Field on the overlap. He crossed deep for Archibald at the far post, the 19-year-old getting a good connection on it to send it back the way it came. Somehow, the Reading keeper got his hand across to tip the ball wide.

From the resulting corner, Jarvis Edobor volleyed the ball against the post before a scramble ended in Reading clearing their lines. 

Soon after, Clayton took aim from distance and saw his shot deflected which took it against the crossbar and back into the box. Forss couldn't get himself across to the ball in time and it was once again cleared. 

After an hour, completely against the run of play, the home side scored a third. A long ball saw Mads Bech Sørensen and a Reading forward chasing a ball into the penalty area. Balcombe came out swiftly but the Royals' striker got his foot to the ball just in time to lift it over the keeper and into the net. 

A minute later it could have been four were it not for some brave defending. A low shot was blocked by Edobor as he dived across to cover the near post, then Balcombe saved the follow-up well as it rose towards his top corner.

With just over 20 minutes to go, Archibald struck a thunderbolt to give The Bees a way back into the match. From about 25 yards out, Archibald took aim and fired powerfully at goal. The keeper got a full hand to the ball but couldn't keep it out and it found the top corner.

As time slipped away, Raphael Assibey-Mensah and Joe Hardy were introduced and nearly had an instant impact. Assibey-Mensah slotted a pass through a crowd of players to Archibald, who whipped a cross in for Hardy to chase. The forward caused havoc in the box but couldn't get enough on the ball to turn it in. 


Brentford B: Balcombe; Talbro, Edobor, Sørensen, Field (sub Assibey-Mensah 78 mins); Kirk, Cole, Clayton; Archibald, Forss (sub Hardy 78 mins), Alves (sub Novak 81 mins)


Advertisement block