Pre Season Friendly.
Boreham Wood 1 Brentford 3,
by John Mead.
Wood produced a decent performance against Mark Warburton’s strongest possible squad. With the visitors keen to get started after a twenty two season wait for another crack at tier two professional football, chances were created at both ends in the opening half.
Then as the searing heat of the day subsided and the inevitable introduction of fresh legs after the interval, Wood were forced to serve up a team defensive display against their South West London opponents.
Matty Whichelow and Ricky Shakes had a hand in most of Wood’s attacking play, a promising feature of the early exchanges. Ian Allinson’s side looked fit and Richard Lee was forced to rush out and smother the ball with Lee Angol getting on the end of a Scott Thomas interception.
Graeme Montgomery went close with a fierce left footed drive before ex Luton Town striker Andre Gray headed just over at the other end from a pinpoint curling ball delivered from the left side by Stuart Dallas.
With 19 minutes played the lively Moses Adubajo, Brentford’s record £1 million signing raced into the penalty area on the right, going to ground under the challenge of Josh Hill, allowing “Mr Brentford” Kevin O’Connor to give his side the lead from the spot.
Stout defending from Callum Reynolds denied Gray, yet Wood continued to mount attacks and were rewarded with a spot kick themselves when Ben Nunn’s cross flicked up onto the arm of Alan McCormack.
Luke Garrard levelled the game with a coolly taken penalty sending the vastly experienced Lee the wrong way.
It took The Bees just two minutes to regain the lead in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. The impressive Gray got past Reynolds before forcing James Russell into a superb save only for the ball to hit the covering Hill and end up in the net.
Gray then tricked his way past Thomas and set up Adubaju for what would have been a fine goal, save for the excellent cover provided by Greg Morgan who forced the former Leyton Orient starlet to shoot wide.
Whichelow then went close after a superb ball from Shakes beat the offside trap. Spotting Lee off his line his lofted effort went just over. The half ended with Jonathan Douglas spurning a fine opportunity to increase the lead, his connection with the head poor after a fine supply from Adubajo.
Warburton sent on nine fresh men for the start of the second half, yet Wood were not overawed and created the first chance of the period. Whichelow’s left sided corner caught out keeper Jon Bonham who failed to clear. The ball was worked to Garrard whose fine goal bound rising drive needed a quick response from Bonham who tipped over.
With Allinson ringing the changes the visitors settled into their game. Playing their best football of the evening in the last twenty minutes Toumani Diagouraga was played through down the left only to be denied by the impeccable Russell.
Wood defended well as a unit but could do nothing about Brentford’s third goal after 75 minutes. A quick interchange between Alan Judge and Montel Moore played Josh Clarke through down the right wing. His cross was perfect for Jake Bidwell, Everton’s youngest ever capped player in a European Cup game, who side footed home ending a superb move.
Two minutes later Charlie Adams was given too much time and space on the edge of the area and hit a crashing drive that struck the crossbar with some venom.
Charlie Day, playing out of position did well covering for the injured Greg Morgan, who Allinson confirmed at the final whistle, “ Will be fine for Saturday. I was overall very pleased. That was our first game on grass and against a Championship side I thought we looked strong fit and organised. Obviously we were chasing things in the second half when we faced a fresh eleven. That said we did not let ourselves down and they all stuck to their jobs.”
Team: Russell, Nunn, Morgan ( Day 67), Garrard ( Hope 60), Reynolds ( Mawer 45), Hill, Whichelow ( Noto 67), Thomas ( Cox 53), Angol ( Sterling-Parker 73), Shakes ( Donnelly 53), Montgomery.
Subs not used: Courtnage.
Goals: Boreham Wood: Garrard 29 pen.
Brentford: O’Connor 20 pen, Hill og 32, Bidwell 75.