Brentford’s youngsters cruised through to the 2nd round of the prestigious F.A. Youth Cup with a 5-1 hammering of Barnet at Griffin Park on Wednesday evening.
Without a win in the League this season and having lost 1-3 to the same opponents just a few weeks previous the Brentford lads rose to the occasion and progressed through goals from Josh Stockwell (2), Myles Hippolyte, Michael Onuvwigun and Fabien Rowe.
Straight from the off it was Brentford in the ascendancy and Hippolyte spurned a glorious chance to open the scoring on 11 minutes when somehow failing to connect with an inch perfect Richard Bryan cross. The same player made amends just three minutes later though when rifling home a super drive in to the corner of the net following a delightful Montell Moore pass.
Hippolyte was engulfed by his joyous team mates on scoring the goal but in the midst of his exuberant celebrations removed his shirt for a twirl around his head and picked up the mandatory yellow card from the referee.
Several further chances to increase the lead fell to Brentford and the only real surprise was that it took until the 43rd minute to take one when Josh Stockwell struck home with a cool close range finish after good approach play by George Pilbeam. Barnet had hardly been in the game first half but were thrown a lifeline in stoppage time when Latvian under 16 international Audrius Laucys rather uneccessarily conceded a penalty which Barnet striker George Sykes, rather oddly the only player on the pitch to be wearing gloves on a mild night, cooly converted.
After a brief spell of Barnet pressure early in the second half Brentford regained their momentum again and went close to scoring again through efforts from Hippolyte on 52 minutes and Stockwell on 54, both drawing fine saves from the Barnet custodian Dillon Barnes. On 64 minutes Brentford,s third goal did arrive though when after Pilbeam was denied by another excellent save from Barnes, the visiting keeper somewhat blotted his copybook by flapping at the subsequent corner and allowing Stockwell to head home.
Both sides started to use their subs as cramp set in for a number of players but it was Brentford who continued to boss the game and finished in style with two late goals to confirm their superiority. The fourth goal coming on 84 minutes from Onuvwigun after fine approach play from Moore, and the fifth in injury time from Rowe, the goal of the night, a 25 yard beauty which the keeper hardly sniffed.
It was the perfect way to end an excellent display from the Brentford youngsters who can now hopefully build on this performance in the League before tackling, their as yet unknown opponents in the next round.
Team - James Bransgrove, Richard Bryan, Audrius Laucys, Lionel Stone, Max Herbert, Michael Onuvwigun, George Pilbeam, Lewis Lavender, Montell Moore, Myles Hippolyte, Josh Stockwell. Subs - Fabien Rowe (for Lavender h/t), Courtney Senior (for Hippolyte 77), Ryan Makhosini (for Herbert 87). Unused subs - Lee Taylor, Daniel Webster.
Man of the match - Josh Stockwell.
Match Reporter – John Hirdle