Match Report from the offical Bentford FC Website
Brentford’s Youth Team are still searching for their first win since October as they succumbed to a 3-2 defeat to Watford at Jersey Road in the U18 Professional Development League Two South this afternoon.
The visitors had raced into a two-goal lead through Michael Folivi and Ogochukwu Obi before the half-hour mark, but Josh Bohui’s penalty on the stroke of half-time had given The Bees a route back into the game.
Kingsley Eshun equalised soon after half-time when he poked home following a 45-yard run, but with the tie level heading towards the final whistle, Folivi managed to squeeze a shot past Balcombe to take the points – an all-too-familiar occurrence at Jersey Road this season.
There were five changes from the side that lost to Leeds United in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday; George Harmes, Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco and Kingsley Eshun returned, whilst 16-year-old goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe made his under-18s debut and Giovanni McGregor made his first start since 12 September.
The Hornets had already beaten Brentford once this season, just seven weeks ago, and were clearly buoyed by that advantage, starting at a very high pace and dominating possession in Brentford’s final third.
But despite the Bees having a composed back four, Denilson Carvalho went close to breaching their defensive line when he audaciously slinked past three players and released a shot that just passed the post 10 minutes in.
It was not long after that Watford had the ball in the net for the first time; an unmarked Folivi took one touch from Dion Pereira’s lofted 30-yard free-kick and volleyed across Balcombe at the far post.
Four minutes later Obi doubled the lead with an almost identical goal; Pereira the architect once again. This time Obi beat the offside trap and latched onto Pereira’s pass, before curling past debutant Balcombe from inside the area.
The Bees were failing to trouble a confident side that had lost just three times this campaign and were sitting just a point behind Charlton Athletic in the league table. Until the stroke of half-time that is.
A rare Brentford attack saw Ian Carlo Poveda make a mazy run into the Watford area and draw a foul out of captain Charles Rowan; Josh Bohui stepped up to convert his penalty past Jamie Lacy and into the bottom left corner – the winger’s seventh of the season.
Three minutes into the second-half a mistake from Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco saw Folivi pick up the loose ball on the counter and fire a powerful shot at goal, but Balcombe was equal to it and managed to tip it over.
Just five minutes later, the pace of the game was to shift entirely. Bohui worked his way out of a crowd of three players and set Eshun free with a short pass, the latter made a nigh-on 45 yard run to poke a shot past Lacy for the equaliser.
Jon De Souza’s side appeared a completely different side after this, but were still on the back foot; Pereira poked wide from an Obi cross, whilst Denilson Carvalho had a shot deflected away off Seth Owens and McGregor skied a free-kick in a prime position.
Heading into the final minute of the game, Brentford clearly had their sights set on a first point since the draw with Crystal Palace on 21 November but were denied once again when Folivi picked up the ball six yards out and fired his second into the corner of the net, leaving no time for Brentford to recover.
Brentford: Ellery Balcombe, George Harmes, Seth Owens, Chris Mepham, Zach Birse, Giovanni McGregor (Sean Bird 75), Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco, Josh Bohui, Kingsley Eshun, Ian Carlo Poveda, Danny Parish
Subs (not used): Cameron Greaves, David Titov, Samuel Kifwasima-Mayuma
Watford: Jamie Lacy, David Sesay (Andrew Eleftheriou 37), Brandon Mason, Joshua Roe, Charles Rowan, Connor Stevens, Denilson Carvalho, Max Makaka (Jacob Cook 80), Oguchukwu Obi (Ashley Charles 70), Michael Folivi, Dion Pereira
Subs (not used): Will Dennis, Maximillian Ryan