The First Team were back in action in the league after their success in the Capital Cup last weekend.
After hours of heavy rain, a late pitch inspection allowed their match away against Clapton Community WFC to go ahead. It was obvious from the start that the heavy and slippery surface would favour the home side’s more direct tactics, rather than Brentford’s possession based attacking game, and so it proved.
However, Karleigh Osbornes’ team started well, and were unfortunate to not take the lead after a long range shot from Sophie Troth was about ball’s width high. Kaitlyn Spencer-Dempsey and Rebekah Wiltshire had some good chances but couldn’t find the target or test the keeper.
The Bees strength this season has been by using their midfield to win and keep possession and play balls out wide and down the flanks for the speedy forward players to run on to. This was proving very difficult in the boggy central areas, particularly as the game wore on. Clapton with the advantage of knowledge of their home pitch, mostly played out through their back line towards half-way before long passes wide to wingers to chase.
This proved effective after just 10 minutes from the kick-off, and against the run of play, when a Clapton player ran through and beat stand-in keeper Molly O’Reilly to make it 1-0. Within five minutes the visitors equalised with a perfect finish from Wiltshire as she ran on to a pass through the middle after sprinting past the home defenders.
Just before the break, the home side made it 2-1 from a corner as the ball dropped to the feet of a Clapton player at the near post to tap in from a yard out.
The second half became even more difficult for the Bees as the hosts continued with their long range passing completely missing out the increasingly boggy and sticky midfield area. With about 20 minutes left, Clapton made it 3-1 and so it remained until the final whistle.
Wild celebrations from a vocal home support included a drum, and the three points mean they leapfrog the Bees to take second place, albeit having played a game more than those around them. The pitch certainly stifled the creative play normally associated with this Brentford team, but it could have been different altogether if the handful of good scoring chances in the first half had been converted. No shortage of hard work and effort but beaten by a poor playing surface and an opposition that knew how to play on it and take advantage of the weather.
This Sunday, 1 November the ladies are back at Bedfont Sports to welcome bottom-of-the-table Hampton & Richmond Borough, kick off 2.30pm.
BEES: O’Reilly; Goolab, Langston-Lloyd, Short, Webb; Troth, Holmes, Reid; Peters, Wiltshire, Spencer-Dempsey
Subs: Courlander, Furniss-Roe, Goodwin, Stickley, Baranowski
CLAPTON: Perez; Matthews, Spours, Steiner, Phillips; Mendonca, Adams, Holmes, Link; Lyons, Robinson
Subs: Amoaten, Monaghan, Plows, Riom