Kristoffer Ajer and Vitaly Janelt both played 65 minutes as a Brentford XI beat Eastbourne Borough 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Monday.
The Bees took a first-half lead through the German midfielder, but Eastbourne levelled on the hour thanks to Leone Gravata’s neat finish. However, the home side weren’t to be denied at Jersey Road, Marcus Forss heading home the winner with just over 20 minutes to play.
Less than 24 hours on from the victory over Aston Villa, Saman Ghoddos, Mads Bidstrup, and Dominic Thompson were all among the Bank Holiday starters. There was also a first outing between the sticks for new signing Jonas Lössl.
There was no going through the motions on a breezy Monday lunchtime. The Bees, led by Brian Riemer and Kevin O’Connor, flew around the pitch, hassling, harrying, and closing down their National League South opponents.
Ajer was a constant threat as he stepped up his recovery from a hamstring injury, linking up with Fin Stevens down the right, while Ghoddos, Bidstrup, and Janelt kept the ball moving in the middle.
The opening goal came just past the midway point in the first-half; Myles Peart-Harris played a delightful flick around the corner for the on-rushing Janelt to collect and hammer home from 12 yards.
Eastbourne, who sit 15th in the sixth tier, had moments of their own in the opening 45 minutes but found Lössl in their way. Our new Danish stopper spread himself well to block a close-range effort following a low cross and then showed good hands at full-stretch when The Sports next threatened.
The Bees could have gone into the break two goals to the good but Peart-Harris moved just too early as he met Stevens floated cross with a powerful header and the linesman’s flag went up.
The early stages of the second-half followed a similar pattern to the first with The Bees pressing hard and high, forcing Eastbourne to play a more direct game. It was from one of those balls forward that Borough levelled; Gravata raced in behind The Bees backline and gave Lössl no chance with a finish across the keeper and just inside the far post.
However, The Bees didn’t have to wait long to regain their advantage. Switched over to right centre-back following the planned withdrawal of Ajer, Daniel Oyegoke got to the byline and stood up an inviting cross which Forss planted firmly into the bottom corner.
The Finnish striker was denied another shortly after by a fine block while the afternoon’s final action saw substitute Max Haygarth shoot straight at the keeper from the edge of the box.
Brentford: Lössl; Ajer (Crama ’66), Hockenhull, Oyegoke; Stevens, Ghoddos (Haygarth ’72), Bidstrup, Janelt (Young-Coombes ’66), Thompson; Peart-Harris, Forss