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Brentford continued pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw against Wycombe in sweltering heat on Tuesday evening.

A few niggles restricted Dean Smith to naming just 18 players for the trip to Buckinghamshire but it was still a strong side that took on our League 2 neighbours.

With Smith continuing the new 3-5-2 formation, Jack Bonham lined up in front of an impressive looking trio of Barbet, Egan and Andreass Bjelland – who took the captains armband.

In the stifling heat it was always going to be a tough work out for both sides with Wycombe naming a number of trialists amongst the ex-Bees and it was the home side that started the better.

With Smith favouring three centre halves it became very obvious that the wings backs of Maxime Colin and Tom Field were directed to play high up and in the early exchanges it looked as if Myles Weston in particular was going to make good use of the space in the wide areas.

Inside the first two minutes, the former Brentford winger found space behind Maxime Colin and squared for the onrushing forward but John Egan saved with a firm block.

The Bees got their first sight of goal just a minute later when Lasse Vibe was set free but his heavy touch allowed the ball to roll through to Wycombe’s traillist goalkeeper.

The Bees should have found themselves behind early on though when Bjelland, in possession on the edge of the box,  played the ball back to Bonham who was immediately put under pressure. Rather than hit the ball long, Bonham tried to be too cute and cut the ball back to Barbet to his left. The misplaced ball instead found a Wycombe forward who fired high when well placed.

Brentford’s three centre halves then began to settle and looked assured with Wycombe pressing high. Woods was his usual busy self and was working tirelessly to get a foothold in the game.

Alan Mac and Josh McEachran were having less of an impact and with Colin and Field playing so high it did leave the back three exposed at times. Bjelland having to come to the rescue after Barbet had allowed a cross into the box which fell kindly to a blue shirt.

Josh McEachran then fell to the turf and appeared to be clutching his groin which fortunately appears to have been more of a precautionary measure rather than anything more sinister – but on 33 minutes he was withdrawn and the travelling Bees fans were able to get a glimpse of Lewis Macleod.

Brentford by this point had started to get a foothold in the game and slowly began to have more of an influence. Macleod and Vibe were finding pockets of space and Hoffmann was always the out ball although getting it to stick was proving more difficult for the big German striker.

John Egan then gave the Bees fans a glimpse of what to expect as O’Nien for Wycombe attempted to burst through. Egan was having none of it as he put in a crunching tackle to block his advances leaving the forward on the turf as he played the ball out.

On 39 minutes Brentford went in front when a corner was cleared only as far as Alan McCormack who found Woods in space. The midfielder was allowed time to pick out John Egan who had stayed forward and he calmly slotted past the Wycombe keeper to give the Bees the lead.

The first half had been a tough workout for both sides. Brentford were able to find some rhythm and with Woods becoming more dominant as the half wore on, the Bees looked reasonably comfortable.

At half time Brentford made two changes with Bjelland being replaced by Harlee Dean and Romaine Sawyers replacing Alan McCormack as the Bees started the half on the front foot.

One thing was immediately obvious from the start of the half – Lewis Macleod intended to be busy. The Scottish midfielder continually found areas he could exploit and showed neat touches whilst providing the link between the two forwards and the midfield.

With just five minutes of the second half gone Macleod showed real class after Woods had picked him out with along ball, controlling the ball beautifully as he closed in on the edge of the box. After a neat check back he picked out the onrushing Lasse Vibe who carried the ball into the box. Unfortunately Vibe delayed his shot and the Wycombe defender was able to block his attempt at goal.

From the resulting corner Barbet was picked out at the back post but his header flew harmlessly over the bar.

Romaine Sawyers – who had replaced the combative McCormack at half time – had begun to show his ability and the midfield three of Woods, Macleod and Sawyers were linking up nicely with Brentford playing some good football.

Phillip Hoffmann who had worked hard all evening for little reward then received the ball near the halfway line played a tidy pass to Sawyers who laid off to Woods. The young midfielder then played a delicious ball forward to find Macleod who expertly turned and slipped the ball into Maxime Colin but the wing back shot well wide when really he should have scored.

Vibe was replaced by Kershbaumer on the hour mark and not long after Holldack replaced John Egan as Brentford seemed to tire. Field, who had been up and down all evening, began to fatigue and on occasions allowed Wycombe’s fresher wingers to get beyond him.

On 76 minutes Wycombe drew level after Jan Holldack pressed a Wycombe forward. He was beaten and it took Barbet to clear the resulting cross – his header falling to one of the many Wycombe triallist’s who hit a spectacular 30 yard drive. The ball cannoned off Bonham’s upright and fell kindly to Paris who delivered a pin point cross for Southwell to nod past Bonham.

The only real action after that came when Brentford were awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal. Lewis MacLeod delivered deep into the box and found Harlee Dean free in space but he could only head well over.

It is easy to read too much into pre-season games as Brentford were held by a League 2 Wycombe fielding a number of triallists – making nine change at half time. But you could start to see Dean Smith’s thinking.

In particular the back three of Barbet, Egan and Bjelland looked good after they settled and Woods looks fitter then most. MacLeod was a huge plus and he continually found pockets of space. Sawyers too looked tidy.

Smith will know he will need someone to help out young Field and he may have concerns about how often Wycombe were able to find space behind the full backs but all in all it was a good workout in difficult conditions.

Wycombe Wanderers First Half: Trialist; Bean, Trialist, Pierre, Jacobson; McGinn, Bloomfield; Trialist, O’Nien, Weston; Thompson

Wycombe Wanderers Second Half: Trialist; Harriman, Stewart, Trialist, Jombati; O’Nien, Rowe; Cowan-Hall, Trialist, Trialist; Southwell

Brentford: Bonham; Egan (sub Holldack 69 mins), Bjelland (sub Dean h/t), Barbet; Colin (sub Clarke 76 mins), McCormack (sub Sawyers h/t), Woods, Field; McEachran (sub Macleod 35 mins); Vibe (sub Kerschbaumer 63 mins), Hofmann
Attendance: 1,338 (378 Bees fans)

Carl Massey