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Match Report: Wingate & Finchley 2-3 Brentford B AET

Hardy sends Bees through in Extra Time

15 January 2019

Brentford B advanced to the Semi-Final of the London FA Senior Cup after beating Wingate & Finchley 3-2 After Extra Time in North London. Joe Hardy scored twice from the spot after Marcus Forss had netted the first.

Head Coach Lars Friis brought Ellery Balcombe and Marcus Forss into the lineup at either end of the pitch, both recovering from injury spells away from the First Team squad. Mads Bech Sorensen also started in the back line alongside captain Nikolaj Kirk.

The first quarter of an hour was managed well by the home side, dominating possession and allowing The Bees just one chance. 

Balcombe was in action several times, the best for him being the dive at the feet of Rob Laney. The striker had broken beyond Sorensen and was on his way to goal when the keeper snatched the ball away from him.

Reece Cole opted to a float a free-kick over the top after 25 minutes, not going for goal himself. Sorensen couldn't manage a good connection on the header, but it was followed up by Jan Zamburek. The Czech's effort soared narrowly wide of the target.

After 33 minutes, The Blues took the lead. A set-piece from the left was floated over the top, it fell kindly via Ahmet Rafit for captain Sean Cronin to volley on the right side of the box. His strike flew low into the bottom corner via slight deflection through a crowd of players. 

With five minutes to go until the break, it was almost a second. Charlie Ruff turned on the edge of the box and hit one low with his left foot, which nipped past the post on the left side.

The Bees were straight on the attack in the second half and equalised almost immediately after the restart. Just two minutes went by before Theo Archibald chased down goalkeeper Shane Gore and the ball dropped kindly for Forss. The Finnish striker slotted it calmly into the empty net.

A few minutes later it could have been another. A ball from the right was let run by Forss in the middle, only for Jayden Onen to blast over the crossbar.

With 68 minutes on the clock, Rifat picked up a booking for a foul on Archibald. From the free-kick, Cole fired a shot at the target and it took a fine save from Gore to tip it on to the woodwork. 

At the other end, a few minutes later, Balcombe was on hand to stop a low shot from Ruff. The striker cut into the middle of the park and struck one towards the bottom corner, the keeper able to get across and parry it wide.

With 10 minutes to go, Brentford B got a penalty after David Titov was brought down by Sam Tring in the box. Hardy stepped up to score the kick into the bottom corner, his second successful penalty in as many games.

The hosts were stright down the other end to level things. Sorensen picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Ruff. The free-kick was played over the top and Cronin nodded it in off the crossbar. 

With five minutes to go things looked over for goalkeeper Gore. He landed heavily after a collision with Hardy in the box and both physios raced on to the field as he looked out cold. Three minutes later, he was on his feet and ready to go again.

Brentford could have won it two minutes into stoppage time. Archibald rounded the keeper after sub Henrik Johansson had played him in. The shot was from a tight angle but heading in when Cronin got back to clear off the line.

Then The Blues might have snatched it at the death. Ruff was played in behind and got to the ball ahead of Balcombe, his shot wasn't great and it dipped over the crossbar.

So the game went to Extra Time. Brentford creating two great chances in the first half an hour. Matej Majka squared one for Onen to hit early on, Gore getting down to his right to clutch it to his chest.

Then it was a five-on-two as The Bees broke away from defending a corner. Archibald waited slightly too long to release Hardy and the assistant raised his flag for offside.

Just before the end of the half, Titov went into the book for a challenge on Luke Ifil. Frustration was setting in for The Bees as Wingate were intent on parking the bus.

After 106 minutes, Archibald saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box. Majka collected the ball and hit a shot that curled narrowly over the bar. Johansson struck one from very similar range soon after, which also missed the target.

With 111 minutes on the clock, Majka was brought down after a raced into the left side of the box. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot for a second time. Hardy stepped up again, scored his second of the night and his 24th of the season overall.

As time ticked away, The Bees held on. The Blues kept pushing forward, at one point testing Balcombe twice in quick succession. Cole picked up a late booking for blasting the ball away from a free-kick when the referee had blown his whistle. The final set-piece went to Gore, launching it forward only to have Balcombe collect it.

Brentford B: Balcombe; Titov (sub Racic 106), Kirk, Sorensen, Dasilva; Cole, Zamburek (sub Majka 82), Onen; Archibald, Hardy, Forss (sub Johansson 61)

Subs: Andersson

Wingate & Finchley: Gore; Njie (sub Williams 70), Cronin, Tring, Ifil; Beckles-Richards (sub Monsheju 78), Rifat, Hutchings, Cole (sub Ekpiteta 85); Ruff, Laney

Subs: Stewart, Boateng

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