Brentford B began 2021 with a 3-0 win on the road at Maidenhead United yesterday.
Two finishes from Aaron Pressley were followed up by a Max Haygarth strike all within the first 20 minutes as Neil MacFarlane’s side impressed in their sixth consecutive win.
The young Bees’ starting line-up featured one first teamer in Mads Roerslev as he stepped up his return from injury, whilst it was also welcome news to see Nathan Shepperd named on the bench for the first time following his return from a long-term injury sustained in June last year.
It was The Bees who took the early initiative with the lively Alex Gilbert having two attempts within the first eight minutes, the first of which saw his shot blocked, before his second was just over the crossbar.
Just a moment later the first goal of the game would come when Brentford broke down the left and Lachlan Brook fed the ball inside for Pressley to turn smartly before firing an inch-perfect effort into the bottom right-hand corner to make it 1-0.
It would take him just three minutes to grab his second when more counter-attacking play saw Valgeirsson find Roerslev in behind down the right, and his pull back found the attacker who controlled before finishing from close range.
Just four minutes later it would be three as Brentford B put the game well out of sight when an incisive pass from Gilbert found Haygarth in behind the back line, but with work to do from a tight angle, the youngster finished expertly with the inside of his left foot to make it 3-0.
It took until the 30-minute mark for Maidenhead to really threaten, and they almost scored when Jared Thompson’s punch found Danilo Orsi, who struck towards goal and forced the Brentford keeper into a smart stop. The follow-up United effort from close range was then cleared off the line by Ben Hockenhull.
That would precede an important block from Roerslev to deny Ryheem Sheckleford before the final chance of the half fell to Haygarth after he was teed up by Valgeir Valgeirsson, but the attempt was straight at the Maidenhead keeper.
With their 3-0 lead Brentford B were very much in control of the match and had another chance to find the net shortly after the restart with Valgeirsson missing the target.
Alan Massey then went close for the hosts from a free-kick, as he tried to outwit Thompson by swinging a low effort towards the bottom corner, but thankfully for The Bees, his attempt was just wide of goal.
Maidenhead would have the ball in the net just before the hour mark when a deep cross to the far left-hand post saw Dan Sparkes head home, and despite Maidenhead thinking they were back in the game, the goal was ruled out by the officials for offside.
Another powerful attempt from the lively Valgeirsson would see Taye Ashby-Hammond forced into action once again before The Bees made a number of changes with Nathan Shepperd getting the final half an hour, and Sam Saunders entering the field for the final 15 minutes.
It was so close to being four going into the final eight minutes when Roerslev’s deep cross bounced back off the crossbar, and when it looked as if Pressley would tap home for his hat-trick following the rebound, he was denied by an important defensive challenge.
Maidenhead United: Ashby-Hammond, Massey, Parry, Clerima, Sheckleford, Twumasi, Sparkes, Comley, Smile, Upward, Orsi
Subs: Ince, Keetch, Smith, Barratt, Donnellan, Blissett
Brentford B: J. Thompson (Shepperd, 60) Roerslev, Gordon, Haygarth (Hercules, 75) Pressley, Gilbert (Saunders, 75) Brook, Hockenhull (Koutsimouka, 54) Stevens (Carre, 60) Valgeirsson, Crama