Brentford B were narrowly beaten 2-1 by a strong AS Monaco side on Wednesday afternoon.
It was a tough test for the young Bees, who came up against the likes of high profile names in Cesc Fabregas, Kevin Volland and Aleksandr Golovin. The side put in a wonderfully determined display but they were undone by a goal in each half in a match where Nathan Young-Coombes kept up his fine scoring form.
It was a first half where the side started with a composure about them when in possession as they eased themselves into the game against a vastly more experienced opponent.
It took until around 10 minutes for Monaco to threaten for the first time as Chrislain Matsima headed wide following a corner. Another set piece on 14 minutes then saw Yllan Okou head straight at Roco Rees which preceded Brentford’s first chance.
The tireless Young-Coombes managed to win the ball from Fabregas and break at speed as he set Dom Jefferies away. The ball then found itself at the feet of Ryan Trevitt on the left-hand side but the youngster could only curl his effort over the bar.
A couple more shots from Monaco saw Eliot Matazo shoot over from distance before a low drive from Golovin from the edge of the box whistled low past the post. It certainly wasn’t all one way traffic, though, as more good play from The Bees saw Paris Maghoma drive forwards from midfield and his low cross found Young-Coombes but his low shot was well blocked by the Monaco defenders.
That was followed up just a few moments later when Alex Gilbert managed to work himself some space when he was found in the right-hand channel but his low effort edged across goal.
Monaco almost went ahead on the half hour mark in style when Youssou Fofana hit a swirling effort from a long way out and it came off the top of the crossbar as the hosts looked to go ahead. That goal did come just a minute later in frustrating circumstances for Brentford as they were caught in possession before Maghnes Akliouche fired a powerful drive goal wards, which took a deflection which helped the ball past Rees to make it 1-0.
Golovin had a similar effort to that of his earlier strike on 35 minutes as, this time, his powerful drive crashed against Rees’ post and away before Matazo saw his shot saved by the Brentford keeper.
On 40 minutes Brentford got their goal when a Dom Jefferies ball down the right found Young-Coombes, who composed himself before finishing low past the Monaco keeper to net his 25th goal of the season.
The second period began with the young Bees threatening quickly after a ball over the top from Rees found Young-Coombes, who drove forwards but was under pressure from the defenders who were rushing back as the youngster attempted a chipped finish to beat the keeper, but the defenders got back to clear.
Just before the hour mark, the home side had a glorious chance to go back in front when they were awarded a penalty. Kevin Volland stepped up to take the spot kick but saw his low effort well saved by Rees, who dived to his right to save and push the ball away.
The second half didn’t see the flurry of chances that the first saw as both sides battled to go ahead. Good work from Oyegoke saw him drive down the right-hand side before he squared the ball for Gilbert who miscued. On 80 minutes, Monaco went back in front through substitute Eric Ayiah as the winger tricked his way into the box from the left-hand side before he powered an effort which beat substitute Ben Winterbottom in goal.
A glorious chance fell for Brentford very late in the game when Tristan Crama latched onto a deep free-kick towards the far post, and despite connecting well, he saw his volley well saved by the keeper.
AS Monaco: Majecki, Aguilar, Akliouche, Okou, Matsima, Jakobs, Fofana, Matazo, Fabregas, Volland, Golovin,
Subs: Lemarechal, Torres, Magasa, Semedo, El Maach, Hora Ribeiro, Bamba, Ayiah, Lienard
Brentford B: Rees (Winterbottom, 65) , Oyegoke (Adedokun, 82) Hockenhull (Crama, 82) Jones, Gordon, Oksanen, Jefferies (Hercules, 85) Maghoma, Trevitt (Syla, 75) Gilbert, Young-Coombes
Subs: Russell, Trialist, Trialist