Brentford FC Futsal Club were knocked out of the FA Futsal Cup at the last 16 stage earlier this month. The Bees took on Escolla Futsal Club’s Development Squad for a place in quarter-final but came up short. Despite a bright start, Brentford fell three behind and there was no way back, eventually 10-4.
With a noisy crowd in place at Wycombe Leisure Centre, The Bees were at full strength with Mark Simmons and Luke Brooks-Smith coming through late fitness tests. Escolla Development, whose First Team are top of The FA Futsal Super League and who themselves are FA Futsal Division Two Midlands champions, have a high pedigree, so it was always going to be a tough challenge.
It was Brentford, made up of West London College students and Brentford FC Futsal players, who created two great chances in the opening exchanges with former England Futsal international Simmons coming closest when his shot beat keeper Jack Walsh only to be denied by the post. Another chance for Brentford went begging and Shay Khan gave Escolla the lead after three minutes on a counter-attack. Two goals in as many minutes from Bruno Faria saw Head Coach Luis Melville call a time-out, after seven minutes, to stop the game running away from the Futsal Bees.
It had the desired effect with Frankie Finn scoring with an excellent finish from eight metres out to make it 3-1 with nine minutes played. Escolla regained their three-goal lead when Vinicius Sampaio scored with a shot that beat Bees keeper Bahaa Jahlki on his far post. With three minutes to the interval Faria completed his hattrick but Mason Roseboom scored from close range to make it 5-2 with 2twominutes to play.
Brentford enjoyed some further good possession but were dealt a blow when another chance was missed and were punished on the counter-attack by James Dirkin to leave the score 6-2 at half time. The second half saw a tactical change. Brentford pushed higher up the court looking to take the game to Escolla.
Several missed Bees chances were countered when Shun Ishinaru was able to score from five metres out to make it 7-2 to the Wycombe based team. Three minutes later Sampaio scored his second as Escolla stretched the lead to six. To Brentford’s credit, they kept going and it was Azhan Iqbal who got on the score sheet with another close-range finish with Escolla now leading 8-3. The final minutes of the game saw two more goals for Escolla with West London College student Said Gutale getting a consolation goal for Brentford to make the final score 10-4 for the home side.
Afterwards Luis Melville said: "We had a good start with two good chances in the opening minutes and the width of a post denied us. In games like this, you need them to go in to change the dynamic of the game. Overall, I am proud of this team as we have had to come through a very tough regional qualifier and an equally tough First Round tie. For us to score four goals and create so many chances against the FA Futsal Division Two Midlands champions, is a testament to our squad.
"It’s been a great experience and our club can hold their head high with their efforts. Good luck to Escolla in the next round."
Brentford FC Futsal Club: Bahaa Jahlki, Said Gutale, Naz Abdullah, Jamie Tompkins, Mark Simmons, Luke Brooks-Smith, Mason Roseboom, Frankie Finn, Abas Ali, Azhan Iqbal.
Bees scorers: Finn, Roseboom, Iqbal, Gutale.