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Blues stung in final friendly
DOMINANT Brentford ensured Wanderers’ pre-season campaign finished on a low as they cruised to an emphatic win.
The Bees scored twice in each half as they swept their opponents aside on their way to a 4-1 win.
Blues boss Gary Waddock had been looking for his players to step up their performances now their fitness levels had reached their peak, so he will be left disappointed at the manner of this defeat.
Clayton Donaldson made the breakthrough shortly before a Grant Basey own goal, and although Blues reduced the deficit after another own goal further strikes from Stuart Dallas and Kevin O’Connor sealed things.
The final scoreline didn’t look likely early on as play swung from end to end. The first shot went the way of the visitors as Jake Reeves swept goalwards from a Jonathan Douglas pass, which was just about turned over the top by former Brentford keeper Nikki Bull.
Top scorer Stuart Beavon teed up Dennis Oli, whose shot rebounded away off a defender and into the path of Charles Dunne but the young defender couldn’t keep his effort down.
Beavon was making a typically energetic start to the game and his cushioned header presented an opening to trialist Courtney Harris, but the former Fulham midfielder volleyed way off target.
Chances were being created at both ends and imposing Bees striker Donaldson should have done much better when Reeves split the home defence with a perfectly weighted through ball, but with just Bull to beat he scuffed it wide.
Wanderers’ goalkeeper was called into action when new Brentford signing Farid El Alagui managed to muscle his way past skipper Gary Doherty, with Bull standing tall and turning away the striker’s effort with his feet.
Youngster Lee Angol then came close to his first Wanderers goal when his rising shot was batted away by Simon Moore before Blues had another let-off at the other end. Harry Forrester seized on a misdirected header from Doherty and Bull could only turn his fierce shot straight into the path of his strike partner El Alagui, but he pulled it wide of the far post with the whole goal to aim at.
He at least got his next effort on target as Basey cleared his close range shot off the line, before Forrester had a well-hit volley deflected behind.
The League One side were starting to turn the screw and Bull showed sharp reactions to turn away Douglas’s near post effort.
But Wanderers’ in-form goalkeeper could do nothing from Douglas’s next contribution as he parted the defence for Donaldson, who rolled the ball into the corner via Bull’s outstretched hand.
Minutes later the lead was doubled as, under pressure from an opponent, Basey nodded the ball past Bull for an own goal to make the half time score a deserved 2-0 in the visitors’ favour.
Waddock made eight substitutions at half time, with former Spurs and Norwich defender Taylor McKenzie the second trialist to make an appearance.
That didn’t alter the pattern of play as new goalkeeper Matt Ingram shovelled away a Reeves free-kick before making a tremendous clawing save from Douglas’s looping, floated attempt.
Then out of nowhere Wanderers hauled themselves back into the game as Moore turned away Matt Bloomfield’s skidding low effort. Blues kept possession from the corner that followed and a fierce low delivery was turned in by Harlee Dean for the second own goal of the evening.
The Bees had chances to extend their lead as El Alagui glanced a header off target and Douglas somehow shot into the side netting after Ingram could only parry a low shot from Forrester into his path.
They eventually made it three as a superb spell of passing football left Wanderers chasing shadows before Myles Weston burst past Josh Scowen and sent over the perfect cross for Dallas to tuck home.
Almost immediately Sam Wood smashed the ball at new Brentford keeper Antoine Gounet as he missed the opportunity to once again reduce the arrears to a single goal against his former club.
But when the next goal came it went Brentford’s way. Richard Logan made a total hash of a clearing header from a corner and sent it back into his own penalty area, Weston leapt above Ingram and headed goalwards and O’Connor nipped in to make sure the ball crossed the line.
The game petered out after that and the final chance fell Blues’ way as Harris dismally failed to convert a defence splitting cross from Joel Grant.
Wanderers: Bull (sub Ingram), McCoy (sub Scowen), Dunne (sub McKenzie), Doherty (sub Stewart), Basey, Kewley-Graham (sub Lewis), Spring (sub Bloomfield), Harris, Angol (sub Wood), Oli (sub Grant), Beavon (sub Logan).
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