Team: Bulmer, Harriman, Waters, Smith, Wright, Bailey, Nanetti, Davenport, Ehmer, Parker, German.
Subs: Brittain, Perring, Morley, Vanterpool, Fernandez
Considering the recent inclement weather, the pitches at the Brentford Training Ground looked in surprisingly good condition. As the Saturday Morning Mob gathered, the talk was of recent news. Shabazz Baidoo had signed for Lewes and the U18’s had won 2-1 at Reading’s Training Ground during the week. There were a couple of changes to the R’s line-up and Martin Allen’s son Charlie, started for Brentford.
A bad foul on Josh Parker resulted in a booking for the culprit. The long free kick brought out a fantastic save from their keeper. As Nanetti was about to take the corner, the referee approached him and asked for the ball as it was “rubbish” Within a few seconds and hardly an inspection, he threw it straight back to a rather bemused Christian Nanetti ? The Brentford keeper took a blow to the head and play was stopped for a few minutes while he received treatment. He played on for a while but was unable to continue and was replaced 20 minutes or so into the game. A high cross-field ball was met by a wonderful strike on the volley by Antonio German from outside the box and their keeper made a superb save. After 28 minutes, there was another good effort from the R’s when a Josh Parker strike went inches wide of the post. Virtually on the stroke of normal time, a fumble by Bulmer allowed a simple tap-in to put the home side 1-0 up. The referee played 3 added minutes before blowing his whistle for half time.
About 12 minutes into the 2nd half, Brentford scored again from close range following a counter-attack after Rangers had lost possession. Steve Brown then made triple substitutions with Vanterpool coming on for Parker, Perring for Ehmer and Brittain replaced Harriman. Josh Parker was having a very good game and needed to be rested I guess as it was his first match for months. Niki Bulmer managed to keep the ball out when it looked like Brentford were going to go further ahead. Nanetti was looking more lively this half and after a weaving run down the left, he was then tripped just inside the box but the referee judged it to be a foot outside !!! German received a lovely through-ball from Nanetti but he couldn’t quite connect after a good first touch. Then a Terry Smith shot just clipped the outside of the post. Another good run by Nanetti and he cut into the centre to pass to the advancing Vanterpool but he put the ball just wide of the post. Christian Nanetti was tripped again but this time a few feet outside the box and his free kick took a slight deflection but the Brentford keeper made a superb finger-tip save. Vanterpool’s free header from the corner went wide unfortunately.
Blustery conditions and the dark clouds threatened heavy rain that came later but there was light intermittent rain during the game. Although Rangers had most of the chances, it has to be said that they weren’t at their best today. The travelling contingent also consisted of Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett, Clive Kingham and Roger Stokes. Pat and Tom Harrison had interrupted their holiday to attend. With Osterley Station closed, I appreciated the lift from Clive to Ealing after the game.