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Match Reports

Match Report: West Brom U23 1 Brentford B 0

Baggies snatch narrow victory in West Midlands

24 July 2018

Brentford B lost 1-0 to a strong West Bromwich Albion Under-23s side on Tuesday afternoon. The Baggies’ West Midlands training ground played host to a narrow match settled only by a goal from Oliver Burke in the second half.

For the home side, Gareth Barry captained the team that also contained Kane Wilson, Jonathan Leko and Sam Johnstone.

The first chance fell West Brom's way when Wilson burst forward down the right and then crossed for Leko to try and poke home at the near post. Instead, Patrik Gunnarsson was able to collect the ball as it ran narrowly beyond the winger's touch.

A few minutes later it looked on for The Bees when Ali Coote intercepted a pass in the middle of the pitch and broke clear against two defenders. Joe Hardy clipped the ball over to the right wing as Coote ran beyond his striker, with David Titov collecting it down the wing. His ball in took a slight deflection but still found Hardy, whose shot was then blocked by the retreating back line.

Leko was almost in again with 23 minutes gone, this time finding space on the edge of the box to have a go at the target. Gunnarsson came racing out to narrow the angle and it seemed to work perfectly, as Leko's effort clipped the outside of the left post and went behind.

After 26 minutes, Gunnarsson was in action again, this time parrying the ball away from the feet of Albion's number ten, Sam Field. In the process, he took a knock to the head and needed treatment. Having been given the once over, he was given the all clear to play on. 

Coote thought he had scored when he took aim after half an hour. Receiving the ball from Kolbeinn Finnsson, he turned away from the advancing Barry and struck the ball low. Johnstone was alert and got down swiftly to his left and parried the ball behind.

After 35 minutes, Leko cut inside from the left wing and let fly but Gunnarsson was able to parry the ball away smartly, then Jarvis Edobor cleared long.

A few minutes later, the Bees' goalkeeper was clearly stuggling due to the earlier knock that he received and, after an assessment by the B Team Physio, he was brought off. The Icelandic stopper was replaced by Brentford's Trialist goalkeeper on the bench for the final 51 minutes of the game.

After the break for half-time, Brentford came out looking to find an opener. Hardy went close within five minutes, collecting the ball from Titov before forcing Brad House to tip his shot over the crossbar from close range.

Kevin O'Connor introduced two substitutes after 56 minutes, taking off one of the trialists as well as Jonny Mitchell in the middle of the park. They were replaced by two further trialists for The Bees. 

Just after an hour, West Brom took the lead. It was a somewhat fortunate goal for Burke. After Nigel Reo-Coker had won the ball from Coote, Burke burst past Edobor into clean air and raced towards goal. The trialist keeper came out well and spread himself, getting himself in the way of the shot that followed, however it bounced back off the leg of Burke and looped into the net. 1-0.

The two trialists linked up in the middle to almost get Brentford back in the game soon after. Latching onto a pass, the winger got clear and sent a shot narrowly over the bar.

A few minutes later, Luka Racic found Talbro with a long ball down the right. The Danish fullback slotted the ball inside to one of the trialists, who then forwarded it towards Hardy. Hardy did well to leave it and Titov was behind him to strike at goal. It zipped up off the surface to the keeper's right but House dived right and caught it.

With time ticking away, the B Team had more chances to pile on the pressure. First a long distance effort from the midfield trialist was caught by House once again, before Jack Fitzwater managed to block not one but two efforts from the trialist on the wing.

Brentford B: Gunnarsson (sub Trialist-GK 39 mins); Talbro, Racic, Edobor, Kirk; Mitchell (sub Trialist-MF 56 mins), Coote, Finnsson; Titov (sub Trialist-FW 72 mins), Hardy, Trialist-FW (sub Trialist-FW 56 mins)

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