An 89th minute Aaron Pressley strike secured Brentford B a 3-2 win over Arsenal Under-23s at Bisham Abbey on Easter Sunday.
The young forward, who had found the net earlier on from the penalty spot, struck late following a Brentford corner to give Neil MacFarlane’s side the win as Folarin Balogun found the net on two occasions for The Gunners.
The young Bees had one First Team member involved in the starting XI as Jan Žambůrek gained important minutes, whilst the likes of Lachlan Brook, Aaron Pressley and Gustav Mogensen once again lined up as a dangerous front three.
It was a scintillating first 45 minutes from the young Bees where they created a host of chances in a dominant opening period. The game was just a few minutes old when Brook had his first opportunity after he pounced on a loose ball just outside the box before he flashed an effort just over the bar.
The opening 10 minutes then saw Arsenal test Nathan Shepperd for the first time when Kido Taylor-Hart broke from midfield to drive towards the Brentford back line, but his effort lacked conviction as the Welshman collected with a relatively comfortable stop.
Žambůrek was lively just off the front three and he continued to knit some nice play together with the likes of Brook and Pressley both involved too. Both Žambůrek and Brook would have attempts in quick succession with the latter doing really well on the right with some clever footwork but for a block on the line from the Arsenal defenders. A Pressley header at the far post was well stopped just moments before the Bees had a chance a golden opportunity to go ahead.
After Brentford sustained an attack the industrious Mads Bidstrup managed to get on the wrong side of an Arsenal defender before he was brought down in the area leaving the referee with little choice but to point to the spot. Pressley stepped up to find the net low into the left-hand corner with composure as the young Bees took a deserved lead.
Brook would shoot just over on 30 minutes but the Australian atoned for his earlier miss when more good work out on the right saw him drive into the box before slotting home with the inside of his left foot to make it 2-0.
Arsenal were given a boost when they pulled a goal back just seconds before half-time following a foul by Ethan Robb in the box and Balogun stepped up to replicate Pressley’s confidence as he converted going into the break.
Though there were perhaps fewer clear-cut chances for the young Bees after the interval they were certainly not giving a great deal away defensively. They could have furthered their lead just before the hour mark when Ryan Trevitt tried his luck from the edge of the box, but his attempt edged wide of the Arsenal goal.
A spell of good play from The Gunners saw them level things through a clinical Balogun as good play down the right-hand side saw the ball chipped to the far post for the Arsenal man to head home despite the best efforts of Shepperd and his defenders.
Both sides made changes going into the final 20 minutes and it was substitute Wraynel Hercules who provided a real outlet for Brentford as they looked to go back in front. The winger added pace to the side, and he created a good moment for Žambůrek, who turned to shoot, but saw his effort well blocked.
Not disheartened by their surrendering of a two-goal lead the mantra from the sidelines from Neil MacFarlane and his assistant, Sam Saunders, was to be patient and continue to probe for another opportunity. That golden moment came when a corner came into the box, and as Arsenal tried to clear, Pressley with his striking instinct was in the right place to slam home at the far post to give the side a deserved win.
Brentford B: Shepperd, Stevens, Gordon, Trialist (Hercules, 73) Robb, Bidstrup, Trevitt (Trialist, 80) Pressley, Žambůrek, Mogensen (Trialist, 82) Brook
Subs not used: Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist
Arsenal U23: Smith, Alebiosu, Lopez, Dinzeyi, Monlouis, Akinola, Lewis, Azeez, Moller, Taylor-Hart, Balogun
Subs: Bola, Graczyk, Coyle, Cirjan, Hutchinson