B Team/U23 Friendly at Jersey Road
Team: Brzozowski, Felix, Genovesi, Orafu, Noel-McLeod, Wells, Tilt, Mesias, Walker, Bansal-McNulty, Alfa
Subs Not Used: Bettache, Kefalas, Omar, Oteh
ChrisPTenner alerted me to this midweek friendly at the Brentford training ground in Jersey Road. The match was initially scheduled to kick-off at 12 o’clock, but ended up being put back an hour.
The Bees had the best of the play in the early stages and on 12 minutes Rangers almost conceded an own-goal when Reece Cole’s cross was knocked narrowly past the near post.
Then, following a corner, Joe Hardy’s shot from close range hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced off the goal-line.
Joe Felix made a superb block in the box (which was to be the first of many), and then cleared the danger.
Brentford’s wide-right player cut in and had his shot deflected just past the upright for a corner.
Not surprisingly the hosts took the lead on 21 minutes after QPR had given the ball away. This led to Kolbeinn Finnsson setting up Joe Hardy who proceeded to tuck the ball into the far corner.
Rangers equalised a few minutes later with their first effort on target when Joe Felix belted the ball past Gunnarsson from a good 25 yards.
Apart from his excellent goal, Joe Felix was outstanding in defence, making a number of superb blocks and solid challenges.
The Bees restored their lead on 35 minutes. A free kick was tapped to Finnsson who, with the Rangers wall 12-yards or so beyond him, then let fly with an absolute screamer from fully 30-yards! Half-time: 1-2.
Three minutes into the half, Hugo Cardoso replaced Nathaniel Orafu.
The R’s began to get back into the game. Following a cross, Lewis Walker attempted to nod the ball over the Bees keeper, but he managed to hold on to it.
On 54 minutes, Paul Hall introduced Mickel Platt at the expense of Ody Alfa.
Joe Felix rose magnificently to head away safely a deep cross from the right-wing.
A third change was made on 57 minutes, which saw Chay Tilt replaced by Deshane Dalling. Mickel Platt was put in a wide-left position and Hugo Cardoso joined Lewis Walker upfront.
There was the unusual occasion of the linesman retrieving the ball for a Brentford corner.
Amrit Bansal-McNulty set-up Hugo Cardoso, and although he got some power behind it, his shot was aimed straight at the keeper.
The R’s got a deserved equaliser on 69 minutes after some neat footwork and close ball control from Bansal-McNulty. He then fed Mickel Platt who finished from close range.
The final substitution was made a couple of minutes later as 16 year-old Murphy Cooper replaced Marcin Brzozowski in goal.
Caden Genovesi made an excellent challenge in the box, whilst at the other end, a great run down the left-wing by Bansal-McNulty, saw him skip past a defender, cut in, and brought down just outside the 18-yard area.
He stepped up to take the free kick which he curled goalwards. Gunnarsson anticipated it and was well positioned to comfortably clutch the ball.
The hosts scored the winner in added time following a penalty appeal after a solid, but fair, challenge by Aiden Mesias. Mr Gill wasn’t interested and the ball went behind.
Murphy Cooper couldn’t cut out Cole’s corner, Sorensen knocked the ball down and Hardy was on hand to drive the ball into the net to secure a dramatic Bees victory.
Des Walker was in attendance and the R’s MOM for me was Joe Felix. Well done to him.