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Match Report: Brentford B 3 Manchester United U23 1

A report on the action as Brentford B beat Manchester United at home

20 March 2018

Brentford B defeated Manchester United U23s 3-1 at Griffin Park on Tuesday afternoon. Ali Coote, Marcus Forss and Reece Cole scored the goals to make it two wins in two for Kevin O'Connor's side.

It took United just 160 seconds to take the lead and it was a bizarre goal that put them ahead. The Bees' trialist goalkeeper went for a one-two with Jaakko Oksanen, but the return pass had too much pace for the keeper and it rolled behind him and into the net. Just two minutes and 40 seconds gone, Brentford B were a goal behind.

Moments later at the other end, Ali Coote had a chance for Brentford to get back into the game with an immediate response. Tom Field cut inside from the left fullback position and played a ball through the middle of the park to the Scottish midfielder. Coote ran on, got himself past the last man and then dragged his shot wide of the left post.

After five minutes The Bees had another big chance to get level. Bradley Clayton collected the ball from a throw-in and played it first-time to Coote. Again he drove into the box and shot low, this time goalkeeper Theo Richardson got himself down to make a save. The ball popped out for Marcus Forss to strike, Richardson again getting in the way and it bounced off his body and then the crossbar. As it dropped for Forss again, it looked like an easy chance to score but the forward knocked it over the bar.

Frustration was growing in the Brentford midfield as the chances came and went. Reece Cole showed what he thought of the pressure after 14 minutes as he let fly from distance. The ball went high over the bar.

With 21 minutes gone, Forss went close again. A Cole free-kick found the striker in space on the left edge of the box, he turned quickly and shot low and it took a deflection on its way wide of the goal.

From the resulting corner, Brentford had their best chance of the opening stages. A deep cross found Herson Rodrigues Alves with a volley in the middle, the Portuguese forcing a tremendous save from Richardson at close range.

Halfway through the first half Field had a good chance to bring things level with The Bees in complete control. Cole chipped a pass over the United defence into the path of Field, who was racing into the box from the left wing. He made contact with the ball but it wasn't perfect and his shot fizzed wide of the right post.

Clayton and Coote both had chances to make an impact as well as the half went on. After half an hour, Clayton had put the ball narrowly over the top while Coote swept one wide from the edge of the box.

After 37 minutes, the away side were appealling for a penalty. A corner swung into the far post saw Tyrell Warren and Jarvis Edobor battling in the air. The United player hit the ground as the ball bounced past them, signalling a push but the referee waved him away.

At the other end, Brentford made it 1-1 through Coote. Cole started the move on the left wing, playing a deep pass towards Clayton on the right side of the penalty area. Clayton did well to nod the ball back into the centre of the box, where Coote was waiting to volley it into the bottom corner.

Half-time came with Kevin O'Connor's side looking like the most likely side to score again before the whistle. The teams emerged for the second half with United making five changes, while O'Connor opted to keep his side the same.

Just three minutes after the restart, Brentford took the lead. It all started with Jarvis Edobor breaking forward from the back four into the United half. He played it left to Field, who exchanged a neat one-two with Alves before crossing low into the box. Forss got himself to the ball just slightly ahead of United captain Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and drove home his 17th goal of the season from close range.

With an hour gone, United exchanged goalkeepers as Richardson was replaced by Matej Kovar. They also had their first chance of the half as Borthwick-Jackson rose highest to nod a corner towards goal. The header wasn't angled as he'd have liked and dropped wide of the target.

At the other end, just a few minutes later, Zain Westbrooke saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box as he collected the ball from Nikolaj Kirk playing right-back.

With 63 minutes gone, Field whipped in a cross from the right that had Alves ready to tap the ball in at the far post. That was until Joe Riley got behind his goalkeeper to clear the ball over his own crossbar.

Straight down the other end, United forced a good opening. Tosin Kehinde dispossessed Oksanen in front of his penalty area, then played it back for Demani Mellor. He squared it for Ethan Hamilton to shoot, the ball caught by the Brentford keeper as he dived to his left.

Back in possession with The Bees, they took it straight up the field and worked an opening. Coote got into the box to cut it back for Oksanen, who shot but Kovar managed to get his legs in the way.

Cole added Brentford's third after 67 minutes. A one-two on the edge of the United box saw Forss set the ball back for his midfield counter-part. Cole did the rest, taking on the shot first time into the bottom right corner of the goal.

With 20 minutes to go, former Bees youngster Josh Bohui created an opening for his new side. Cutting in from the left and losing Kirk to some nifty footwork, he crossed for Hamilton to head wide of the target.

Hamilton worked another opening soon afterwards with United looking to get back into the game. A long ball across the field from Dion McGhee found Warren at the far post. He cut the ball back for Hamilton, who took a touch and then shot through a crowd of players. It took a slight deflection from Westbrooke but the home keeper was able to adjust his body and dive on top of the ball.

With just five minutes to go, United hit the post. Kehinde crossed from the left wing, Warren was all alone in the box but he guided his header onto the left post and wide.

The 86th minute saw Henrik Johansson make his return to action after being sidelined for over a year with a muscle injury he picked up against Reading in February 2017. The Swedish forward replaced Cole and then switched out to the right wing with Clayton tucking inside.

Brentford could have worked a chance in the dying seconds as Johansson cut the ball back from the right wing to fellow substitute Raphael Assibey-Mensah. The German didn't take on the shot, instead opting to slide it across for Theo Archibald to chase. The Scot did his best to cross the ball back but it was cleared by Ro-Shaun Williams.

Brentford B: Trialist; Kirk, Edobor, Westbrooke, Field; Oksanen, Cole (Johansson 86), Coote; Clayton, Forss (Assibey-Mensah 86), Alves (Archibald 72)

Man Utd U23: Richardson (Kovar 60); Olosunde (Riley 60), Dunne (Williams 46), Borthwick-Jackson, Warren; Whelan, Galbraith (McGhee 46), Buffonge (Hamilton 46); Dearnley (Kehinde 46), Bohui, Kenyon (Mellor 46)

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