12:30PM, Wednesday 12 January 2022
Maidenhead United 1, Brentford B 5
Maidenhead United were able to gain some valuable game time this week as they hosted Brentford’s B side in a friendly at York Road on Tuesday.
Having been forced to withdraw from both the FA Trophy and Berks & Bucks Senior Cup and seen their festive fixtures against Wealdstone postponed – due to COVID cases inside and outside of the camp – United have had a fairly quiet Christmas period.
Following Saturday’s encouraging 1-1 draw at Aldershot Town they also have a 10-day break before playing four matches in 11 days, starting at home to second placed Chesterfield on Tuesday.
Taking advantage of the club’s burgeoning links with the West London Premier League club, Alan Devonshire was able to arrange a behind-closed-doors friendly with the Bees’ talented understudies, with many of their players looking to press their claims for a first team start.
As such it was always likely to be a difficult run out for the Magpies – who handed opportunities to players who are returning from injury or having played many minutes recently.
Two of the Bees line up were also on the substitute’s bench for Brentford’s FA Cup tie at Port Vale at the weekend, so it was no surprise to see them stroll to a rather comfortable 5-1 win.
The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges and came close to taking the lead when Dylan Asonganyi’s looping header from a right-wing cross was well held by Ben Winterbottom.
But Brentford edged in front midway through the half thanks to a quickfire hat-trick from Nathan Young-Coombes, one of the players named on the Bees bench for their FA Cup tie at Port Vale. He bundled home his first from close range after good work on the right by the impressive Max Haygarth, and the teenager netted his second from the spot when Dan Gyollia – who later signed a permanent deal to stay with the Magpies – was harshly judged to have fouled Haygarth.
In between times Emile Acquah tested Winterbottom with a superb header from Ryheem Sheckleford’s cross.
Brentford made it three when Young-Coombes slotted home from the edge of the area to complete a nine-minute hat-trick. Devonshire used the game to give a runout to three triallists and one of those supplied the pass for Reece Smith to scamper clear and finish tidily past Winterbottom. However, the Bees’ convincing victory was secured with two goals by Jude Russell either side of the interval.