Brentford B's first European tour of the 2018/19 season was to Switzerland. Three games on the schedule included a double-header with Grasshopper Zurich and a game with SC Freiburg.
Arriving in Northern Switzerland, the squad based themselves in Aarau near Zurich. On 26 September, GC Campus played host to a three-team tournament between The Bees, Zurich and Freiburg.
The first game saw Freiburg fall 1-0 to Brentford B. Birthday boy Joe Hardy scored the only goal of the game, latching onto the end of a pass from Kolbeinn Finnsson. The game also saw Simon Andersson start his first game of the season.
A short break between games, with Zurich playing Freiburg, was then followed by Brentford's evening game with the hosts. An intense game, it included a red card and two penalties.
Kevin O'Connor made five changes to the starting lineup. 20 seconds in, Hardy had his second goal of the day and put Brentford into the lead. David Titov had charged down the goalkeeper and the ball fell nicely for Hardy to score.
GCZ levelled after 8 minutes and then were in the lead by half-time. The second half was a fiery affair. An early goal saw Zurich take a 3-1 lead, this one from the penalty spot given away by Nikolaj Kirk. It looked like the foul might have taken place outside the box, but it was given as a spot-kick.
Brentford had a penalty of their own after 74 minutes, Kirk fouled on his way into the box. Taking the kick himself, the Zurich keeper guessed right and pounced on the shot. Reece Cole was then shown a red card for dissent as tempers flared in the final minutes.
The rematch took place two days later, Zurich falling to a 2-0 defeat. The Bees scored in either half, Joe Hardy making it three from three while Canice Carroll netted his first of the campaign.
The Irish youth international's strike came in the first half. A corner from Jan Zamburek was fizzed into the box, reaching the far post where Carroll swept it home from close range.
A few minutes into the second half, a ball from the left came in for Hardy to sort out his feet and smash the ball into the net.
In between, the squad got the chance to watch the Zurich first team play FC Thun at Stadion Letzigrund. The Swiss League tie ended in a 2-0 win for the away side, Nicola Sutter and Kenan Fatkic scoring in the final minutes of the game. Former Brentford striker Marco Djuricin missed out on the match through injury, but came to see the B Team train at GC Campus in the week.
Brentford B 1-0 SC Freiburg U21
GC Zurich U23 3-1 Brentford B
GC Zurich U23 0-2 Brentford B
Up Next, Part Four: The Bees enter the cup
Our next part sees the first domestic cup game of the season, CB Hounslow United the hosts at Green Lane. There's also our first West London derby with QPR and a rematch with The Saints.
Missed part two? Click here for our start of the season round-up.