Brentford U18 v QPR U18

Jersey Road, Osterley.

U18 Professional Development League 2

Team: Herdman, Barzey, Thompson, Eales, Williams, Clarke, Butler, O’Sullivan, Crichlow, Darbyshire, Elsom.

Subs: Corkery, Komodikis, Klass

Brentford had extended their lead at the top to four points following their 5-0 away win against Ipswich Town the previous week. Rangers sat in ninth place however back in September the R’s had defeated the Bees 1-0 at Harlington.

Although it was a sunny morning, a very strong, icy wind blew across the Brentford training ground. The travelling Saturday Morning Crew assembled and discussed recent events including the release of Tyrell Mitford and the appointment of David Magrone as Head of Recruitment.

Looking around at the QPR players it soon became apparent that this was a very depleted side, with something like eight squad injuries and others being rested for the forthcoming U21 game. In fact, the line-up included a trialist striker and two or three 16-year-olds.

Within 6 minutes the Rangers captain, George Butler, was forced off and replaced by Nathan Corkery. Eventually the unfortunate George Butler headed for the dressing room on crutches.

Corkery was soon in action and his shot was pushed around the post after a neat build-up. At the other end, the home side went close when the ball was screwed just wide of the post with Martin Herdman rooted to the spot.

The Bees custodian made a good save after the ball was pulled back to the lurking Ross Elsom. Further chances followed with Dan Darbshire and Ruudi Clarke going close with one effort being deflected off of a defender and flying over the bar.

However, Brentford had created chances of their own and apart from missing a sitter they also went very close when Herdman tipped a shot onto the post. They took the lead 5 minutes before the break following a run along the bye-line and the ball was belted low into the net off of a defender.

Rangers almost equalised a minute or so before the interval following a good passage of play involving Gianni Crichlow and the ball flashing just wide. Half -time: 1-0 to the hosts whilst on the adjacent pitch, the U16’s were 5-1 down.

Soon after the break, Martin Herdman magnificently produced a point-blank save. But Rangers went close with Crichlow’s shot dipping just too late as it flew over the bar. Then after 63 minutes, first-half substitute Nathan Corkery was replaced by Andreas Komodikis and Michael Klass came on for Brandon Barzey.

Brentford were continuing to look dangerous and were creating numerous chances. A smart turn by a Bees player in the box resulted in an outstanding save by Herdman.

Five minutes or so from full-time, the home side scored a second goal from close range. The Bees almost increased their goal tally when a long-range effort appeared to be clearing the crossbar but the strong wind factor suddenly brought it down and the ball bounced off the woodwork.

Rangers rallied in the closing stages but it finished 2-0 whilst the U16’s went down 6-3.

Steve Russell