Brentford U18 (1) – QPR U18 (2)

Team: Smith, Furlong, Butler, Comley, Wise, Kpekawa, Young, Mitchell, Mitford, Corkery, Shodipo,

Subs: Kakay, Williams, Herdman, Page, Beckles.

I bumped into Rob Bennett at Acton Town Station and we later met up with the remainder of the travelling Saturday Morning Crew at Jersey Road, Osterley; Alan Barnes, Clive Kingham, Roger Stokes and Steve Bacon. An overcast sky was coupled with a strong wind blowing across the wide open spaces of Brentford’s Training Ground.

The R’s, playing in the light-blue away kit, relied initially on free kicks as the home side squandered better opportunities to score. Brandon Comley’s free kick from the right flank evaded everyone’s head as it continued across the box. Whilst at the other end, a good passage of play resulted in a final timid shot from close range that was comfortably saved by the Rangers custodian, Mark Smith.

At this stage Brentford were looking the more dangerous side and wasted further chances to take the lead. However, a shot from Tyrell Mitford was palmed on to the crossbar by the Bees keeper which then went out for a corner. There was a superb piece of defensive play from Darnell Furlong when he thwarted a dangerous cross by diving forward to chest the ball back safely to Mark Smith.

The Bees got their noses in front just before half-time. A ball across the six-yard box looked at the time as if it may have been an own goal, but Brentford have credited it to Kojo Awotwi.

The half-time interval seemed much longer than usual, but it was a good opportunity for us to have a chat with Richard Langley.

Rangers equalised soon after the re-start. Tyrell Mitford closed in and his shot from close range was well saved at the near post and the ball then went out for a corner. The keeper palmed Ryan Young’s corner into the net whilst under pressure from Tyrell Mitford. The Brentford players appealed in vain to the referee for a foul, but it was clearly an own goal.

The R’s went in search of a second goal and a cross from Darnell Furlong resulted in the ball being blasted over the bar after a previous attempt by I think Cole Kpekawa, had been blocked. QPR did take the lead soon after when a lovely chip from Nathan Corkery took a slight deflection before hitting the back of the net.

The Brentford No.7 was booked following a very poor challenge on Olamide Shodipo. The home side struck the crossbar as the wind seemed to pick up the momentum of the ball. Nathan Corkery had a goal ruled offside after some neat finishing.

Corkery then chipped the ball into the box and as the Brentford keeper advanced he collided with Aaron Mitchell. Tzanev was booked and Aaron Mitchell stayed down requiring treatment. He was eventually helped off, somewhat dazed and with what looked like a cut nose. Ryan Young stepped up to take the penalty which the keeper saved low to his left.

There was then another incident midway through the half which resulted in the best part of a three minute delay as the referee consulted with the linesman after a flare-up between Cole Kpekawa and one of the opposition. The referee eventually issued a warning, but it has to be said tempers had been simmering for a while.

Some tidy defending by Harly Wise thwarted a dangerous Bees attack. Mark Smith was having a very steady game and he made another good save when the Brentford player let fly from 20 yards which was followed by an even better one when he dived full-length to his left.

Nathan Corkery was replaced by Trey Williams after 79 minutes and within a couple of minutes the referee booked him for tugging at an opponents’ shirt. In the closing stages a third Brentford player was yellow carded and Rangers should of scored a third, but the ball was blasted just over the bar from close range.

The U18’s will take on Cardiff City next at the Concorde Club on Friday.

Steve Russell