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Brentford Leave Stones Turned | Wealdstone 0 Brentford B 2

Brentford Leave Stones Turned | Wealdstone 0 Brentford B 2
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Beesotted contributor, Craig Whitehead, made the tip to Ruislip to see the Bees’ B side take on Wealdstone… here’s what he saw.
 
The B squad made the short trip across west London on Tuesday evening to take on National League South Wealdstone who are managed by Reading fan, Bobby Wilkinson, who was appointed to the Stones’ dugout last September, replacing Gordon Bartlett after 22 years in charge at the club. 
Wealdstone plays in Ruislip, and local Bees fans boosted the crowd to 190, including chairman Cliff Crown, to the surprise of many.  Brentford’s involvement in this competition has certainly raised attendance levels where an average game in the competition, bar the final, rarely gets more than 70 people attending.
 
Our team was made up of largely B squad players, while Wealdstone was a mix of first team and U18s players looking for game time. One surprise addition was Anton Rodgers, son of Brendan, playing in Wealdstone midfield. 
 
 
We took an early lead in the third minute when Cole knocked the ball back to Hardy in the six yard area for him to slot the ball home and take the lead. Ali Foote was forced off in the 10th minute with what looked like a hamstring injury and was replaced by Henrik Johanson. The B squad dominated the early exchanges with slick passing, including some quick moves from both wingers. There was a chance to increase the lead in the 32nd minute when Nikolaj Kirk made a surging run down the wing and unleashed a shot inside the box which hit the bar and rebounded out to Theo Archibald who’s header fizzed wide of the post. A few more chances came and went before the half time whistle came with us leading 1-0. 
 
Wealdstone had two opportunities early in the second half to draw level but in the 70th minute, we extended our lead when Theo Archibald won the ball in the midfield and ran nearly 30 yards going past two Wealdstone defenders and rounding the keeper to slot the ball home to make the game 2-0.  Shortly after Lars Friis made his second change of the evening, taking off Johanson and replacing him with Jam Zamburek.
 
A few minutes later Hardy knocked the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-0 much to the protest of the Wealdstone players claiming the ball had hit his arm. After much deliberation, the referee asked Hardy if he had handled the ball – he admitted he had and the goal was not given.
 
In the closing minutes of the game Eoin McKeown went close for Wealdstone but was unable to reduce the deficit and it is Brentford who progress to the next round. While the B team dominated this match, I can’t see any of the players currently making the step up to the first team anytime soon after this display against Wealdstone. The three other ties in the competition take place next Tuesday, so the team will have to wait a short while to find out who they will take on in the semi-final.
 
The B squad’s next game is away to Bayern Munich on Saturday, followed by a London senior cup game against Wingate and Finchley FC who are managed by Glenn Little. 
 
A little note for other Bees fans, if you’re a season ticket holder, Wealdstone will allow you half price entry for a league game just by showing your season ticket, not a bad little offer if you don’t fancy a long away trip to Middlesbrough! 
 
Craig Whitehead

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