Brentford B 3-2 Manchester United U23
Scorer(s): Chris Mepham ’12, ’60, Herson Alves ’22 – Joe Riley ’64, Sean Goss ’71
Brentford XI: Dominic Kurasik; Lukas Talbro, Chris Mepham, Emmanuel Onariase, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis; James Ferry, Reece Cole (Raphael Assibey-Mensah ’68); Herson Rodrigues Alves (Danny Parish ’87), Zain Westbrooke, Tom Field (Kyjuon Marsh-Brown ’76); Bradley Clayton.
#mufc XI: Kieran O’Hara; Matthew Olosunde (Charlie Scott ’58), Ro-Shaun Williams, Regan Poole, Joe Riley; Devonte Redmond, Matthew Willock, Sean Goss, Sadiq El-Fitouri (Josh Doughty ’83); Tosin Kehinde (Josh Bohui ’78), Demitri Mitchell (Kanye Diedrick-Roberts ’61).
Tommy Martin oversaw Manchester United’s under-23s losing 3-2 at Griffin Park to Brentford, despite coming close to a second-half comeback.
It was the first game for the young Reds since Warren Joyce’s departure to Wigan Athletic, having been at the club for eight years.
Brentford were by far the better side, outplaying United across the pitch, in the first half. Chris Mepham drove a sensational 30-yard strike past Kieran O’Hara to open the scoring after only 12 minutes.
Flemming Pedersen’s Brentford side saw their lead double as the impressive Herson Alves headed in from eight yards, having started the move himself, winning the ball of Ro-Shaun Williams.
With 1,056 watching at Griffin Park, a good experience for both sides, Brentford were in fine form. Mepham scored a second on his birthday to make it three for the Bees after United had come out of half-time looking far improved. The striker chested the ball down, unmarked from a corner, and struck it past O’Hara.
With thirty minutes remaining, it looked unlikely that United would have even a slim chance of mounting a comeback. The Reds’ best chances had been from Matty Willock on the edge of the area in the first half and Devonte Redmond’s whipped shot which rose over the crossbar after the break.
However, Joe Riley showed individual brilliance with a wonderful curling shot past Kurasik with 25 minutes to get a second and third. Only seven minutes later, Sean Goss grabbed a second for United, the midfielder continuing an encouraging return from long-term back injury.
His, too, was from long-range, drilling a shot from the edge of the area. United had chances to equalise, most notably Joe Riley missing the opportunity for his second of the game in added time, striking wide of an open goal. Joshua Bohui, who joined United from Brentford earlier this year (this fixture was arranged as part of that deal), almost scored in added time, too, his effort rolling inches wide of Kurasik’s post.