Emiliano Marcondes continued his return from injury with a goal as Brentford played West Ham United in a behind closed doors game at Griffin Park this afternoon. The Danish attacker has not played a competitive game this season after picking up a foot injury in July but has been training and got through 60 minutes of the game at Griffin Park. And he marked it with the equalising goal just before his exit. It was not, however, enough for Brentford to earn a draw as West Ham scored a second goal late on to secure a 2-1 win.
There was more good news for The Bees as Rico Henry came through his first 90 minute after returning from a serious knee injury. Henry has been building up his fitness since recovering from the injury, sustained last September at Middlesbrough, and he got through the full game as Brentford were beaten by a West Ham team which included Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Andy Carroll. And while the Premier League side deserved a half time lead given to them by Robert Snodgrass, Brentford were much improved after the break and could have got a draw but for a late Chicharito penalty.
Brentford had started the game quite brightly, attacking early on, but West Ham soon took control. The only goal of the first half came two minutes before the break when Snodgrass headed in after a goal mouth scramble. He saw an initial shot blocked before Luke Daniels pushed a shot from Chicharito on to the post. Lucas Pérez smashed the loose ball on to the underneath of the crossbar and when it bounced up, Snodgrass looped a header over Luka Racic and in.
That was a goal they merited as they had dominated the first period. Daniels had made a fine save when Chicharito went through and denied the Mexican striker when he let fly from the edge of the penalty area. Chicharito also had another great chance when he robbed Henry after a Brentford corner, but Josh McEachran made a superb recovery tackle and Lucas miss-controlled as he prepared to bear down on Daniels.
Brentford were not able to create much in the first period. Josh Clarke was just unable to get to a clever Alan Judge pass and Sergi Canós failed to deliver to the awaiting Emiliano after getting clear, but Brentford were mostly forced back. They were, however, able to change the game after the break and levelled just before the hour. Emiliano weaved in off the left and let fly with a shot that whistle past Adrián and in to the net from 20 yards.
It could have been better for The Bees as the game stretched in the second period. Clarke put Canós away but he was unable to beat Adrián and Nico Yennaris arrived late at the far post to head over a Judge cross from close range. The ball bounced up to Yennaris but he would have expected to hit the target. Moses Odubajo also saw a shot saved.
At the other end, Carroll was just unable to reach to convert an Arthur Masuaku cross while Chicharito, playing a little deeper after the break, was also a threat. He put a low cross wide and then arrived late to meet a ball from Felipe Anderson but steered it wide.
The Mexican striker did, however, win and convert the match-deciding penalty. It was adjudged that Henry had fouled Chicharito as they came together when a cross came in from the left. Chicharito took the responsibility from the spot and sent Daniels the wrong way to win the game for The Hammers.
Snodgrass had chances to make it three, lashing just wide from 20 yards and then forcing Daniels in to a low save. But at the other end Brentford could have levelled when substitute Joe Hardy got free in the inside left channel but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.
Brentford: Daniels; Odubajo, Racic, Barbet, Henry; McEachran (sub Yennaris h/t); Clarke (sub Hardy 78 mins), Dasilva, Emiliano (sub Oksanen 62 mins), Judge; Canós
Subs (not used): Cole, Carroll
West Ham United: Adrian; Antonio (sub Zabaleta 69 mins), Rice (sub Oxford h/t), Ogbonna, Masuaku (sub Cresswell 69 mins); Coventry (sub Carroll h/t), Noble; Snodgrass, Lucas, Holland (sub Felipe Anderson h/t); Chicharito
Subs (not used): Anang, Johnson, Powell