U21 Premier League Cup Qualifying Round 2
Team: Lumley, Mitchell, Kakay, Wise, Haran, Sandro, Corkery, Comley, Polter, Manning, Gladwin.
Sub Not Used: Hudnott
I only heard about this cup game at Loftus Road prior to the day of the match. 47 clubs from Category One, Two and Three academies were competing in the U21 Premier League Cup and these included 13 from the Premier league.
Southampton were the current holders and Reading had been the inaugural winners in 2014.
The first chance of the tie fell to the visitors within the first minute following a rapid move down the left flank. The ball flashed across the 6-yard box but just evaded the on-rushing Bees player.
In the 11th minute, Ben Gladwin shot just over the crossbar whilst at the other end Joe Lumley made a smart save from close range following a corner.
Aaron Mitchell cut in from the right, continued solidly through a heavy challenge en route, but his shot was tipped over the bar. Jack Bonham made another superb save, from I think Ryan Manning, to deny the R’s just after.
Harly Wise made a superb block in the box to deny the visitors. There was a wonderful moment when Joe Lumley read a through ball and raced out to almost the centre circle to clear the danger.
Ben Gladwin fired over the bar and next it was Nathan Corkery’s turn, which saw the Brentford keeper get a slight touch, which was enough to put the ball out for a corner.
Both sides were creating numerous chances and an unmarked Bees player somehow headed over the bar from close range. At the other end, Sebastian Polter brought out yet another superb save from Jack Bonham.
Brentford broke the deadlock minutes before half-time after a good run down the left-wing. The ball ended up in the corner of the net from 20-yards after taking a slight deflection. After playing an additional minute, the visitors left the field 1-0 up.
The R’s started the second-half with Gianni Crichlow at the expense of Brandon Comley. Rangers had the best of the early stages and Osman Kakay forced Jack Bonham into another save. It was possibly going just wide but the Bees keeper thought otherwise and put it out for a corner.
However, the visitors doubled their lead close to the hour mark when Lewis Macleod headed home. Then R’s captain Sandro was taken off and replaced by Josh Bowler.
This seemed to contribute to Rangers losing their shape and Brentford went looking for a third goal. Two shots went just wide following good build-ups.
Jermaine Udumaga was booked after 66 minutes after a crunching challenge on Ryan Manning. Then Joe Lumley made another excellent save to deny the visitors.
A minute or so later, Rangers pulled a goal back following Gianni Crichlow’s deep cross from the right which found an unmarked Sebastian Polter who headed in from close range. The final R’s change was made on 72 minutes when Joseph N’Guessan came on for Ryan Manning.
Further chances fell to Aaron Mitchell, Joseph N’Guessan and James Haran. A further opportunity for Mitchell was set up in the 88th minute but unfortunately his shot flew well over the crossbar.
Five added minutes were signalled which saw Joe Lumley do well to clutch a powerful shot from close range.
The stars of the night for me were the two goalkeepers. Another excellent performance from Joe Lumley and Jack Bonham was outstanding.
Hillingdon Hoop later informed us on the Indy’s message board that the Bees No.6 Chris Mepham, is a Rangers season ticket holder, as is his Dad.