Team: Barnes, Kakay, Wallace, Wells, Masterson, Kefalas, trialist, Frailing, Walker, Kendall, trialist
Sub Not Used: Dickinson
Last week the U23’s were up against a Brentford B side in a friendly match at Harlington.
Lee Wallace made his long-awaited debut, Conor Masterson captained the side, Dillon Barnes was in goal, whilst Charley Kendall was at No.10. Three trialists were included on the team sheet, two in the starting line-up plus a further one on the bench.
The visitors went close to taking the lead in the opening minutes. The ball flew past the far post following some indecision in the Rangers defence.
Whilst at the other end, the R’s No.11 trialist shot low, but the ball evaded the upright.
But it was Brentford who took the lead on 12 minutes. A good passing move into the box, which involved two one-two’s, led to Dru Yearwood shooting into the net, despite Dillon Barnes getting his hands to the ball.
The Bees were awarded a free kick outside the ‘D’. The ball dipped slightly as it went over the crossbar, but it looked as if Dillon Barnes had it covered anyway.
The R’s keeper made a very good save from a fierce shot. After palming it away, the ball was cleared to safety.
Although the Bees player was clearly offside, he continued his run. His effort forced the Rangers keeper to put the ball behind for a corner. Half-time: 0-1.
Paul Hall made a number of changes for the second-half. Aaron Drewe replaced Osman Kakay, Lee Wallace made way for Kai Woollard-Innocent, Joe Gubbins was introduced at the expense of Themis Kefalas and Charley Kendall was moved out to the wing.
Two minutes in and the visitors demonstrated their intent of increasing their lead when a shot closely evaded the post.
Then a couple of minutes later, a Bees trialist brought down Charley Kendall in the box and Mr Smith pointed to the spot. Lewis Walker stepped up and his penalty kick was saved by Ellery Balcombe.
The trialist who had given away the penalty then doubled his team’s lead in the 57th minute. Located in an unmarked position he headed home following a corner.
Rangers did pull a goal back a few minutes later when the No.7 trialist unleashed a shot from fully 25 yards. Ellery Balcombe was left wrong-footed as the ball took a deflection. My gaze then returned back to outside the box where the scorer had somehow been left injured in the process and was down receiving treatment!
Brentford increased their lead directly from the re-start after Reece Cole had set-up Ali Coote, who ran through two defenders before placing the ball in the net.
Paul Hall made his final change of the afternoon on 66 minutes when he brought on the No.15 trialist for Jake Frailing.
The visitors added a fourth six minutes later. Initially Dillon Barnes made a good save, but Dru Yearwood was well placed to successfully follow-up.
Balcombe made a very good stop from the R’s No.11 trialist and in the closing stages Barnes was outstanding when he saved a powerful effort one-handed.
Next up for Paul Hall’s side is a trip to Turf Moor.