Brentford B earned an impressive 1-1 draw away against a strong Crystal Palace XI on Tuesday afternoon.
The young Bees, who came up against players with vast experience in the Premier League as well as some impressive talents from the side’s youth setup, matched their opponents throughout and were very unfortunate not to walk away with a win after a Lachlan Brook goal was ruled out after the referee adjudged the attempt to not have crossed the line after it hit the post.
Fin Stevens grabbed Brentford’s goal in the second half in a game where Neil MacFarlane will be very proud of his players.
The Palace XI consisted of the likes of Jack Butland, Christian Benteke, Martin Kelly, Nathaniel Clyne and Conor Gallagher- on loan from Chelsea.
As for Brentford B, they had the likes of Stevens and Max Haygarth available to them for the first time this season after their involvement with the First Team in pre-season. Mads Bidstrup, who was officially promoted to Thomas Frank’s side in the summer, also got 60 minutes of game time under his belt.
The Bees started well and it was Bidstrup himself who had an early attempt as he found the ball following Kelly’s header out and struck a powerful effort which was well blocked behind for a corner.
A Gilbert shot from distance followed just before 10 minutes which preceded Palace’s first real attempt when they charged down the right before the ball was pulled back for Scott Banks to curl just over.
Despite seeing a bit more of the ball in the opening half hour or so the side couldn’t quite create that final moment as a reward for their positive start. As expected, a clinical Palace didn’t need too many moments to go ahead, and they did so on 37 minutes. An incisive pass through the middle found Benteke, whose first touch was expert as he managed to work some space and fire home past Matthew Cox in goal.
Going behind seemed to focus the minds of the young Bees and they almost equalised just before the break when Lewis Gordon’s initial low effort was saved by Butland, and as Stevens ran across goal to claim the rebound, he struck with his left foot against the crossbar as the sides went into half-time.
Just five minutes after the interval Brentford B were given a golden chance to level when a handball in the penalty area left the referee with little choice but to point to the spot. Alex Gilbert stepped up with a low effort which Butland managed to get down well to and claw away.
They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, though, as just a minute or so later an excellent cross following a corner found Stevens at the far post and he headed expertly low past Butland to deservedly put the side level.
Benteke then saw his powerful drive go wide of substitute Ben Winterbottom’s goal before a flurry of substitutes for both sides around the hour mark. The hard working Nathan Young-Coombes went down in the area 20 minutes from time but the referee adjudged there to not have been enough contact to award a second penalty.
The main talking point then came five minutes from time as substitute Brook cut onto his left foot from the right before curling an exquisite effort towards the far post. The ball crashed against the inside of the post and down, and despite footage post match showing the ball having crossed the line, the referee’s initial judgement was that it had not crossed and waved away the Brentford appeals as the match finished 1-1.
Crystal Palace XI: Butland, O’Briend, Hannam, Boateng, Rak-Sakyi, Wells-Morrison, Banks, Clyde, Benetze, Gallagher, Kelly
Subs: Whitworth, Robertson, Steele, Street, Omilabu
Brentford B: Cox (Winterbottom, 45), Oyegoke, Russell, Hockenhull (Crama, 64), Stevens, Maghoma, Bidstrup (Jefferies, 60), Gordon, Haygarth (Brook, 75), Gilbert (Trevitt, 75), Young-Coombes (Trialist, 75)
Subs not used: Hercules