Brentford B cruised to a 3-2 victory against Salisbury FC on Saturday afternoon thanks to goals from Alex Gilbert and two Trialists.
The Bees were twice knocked out by their non-league opponents but eventually came top with a second-half goal to make it 3-2 in what was a good run for the team in pre-season . The trip to Wiltshire allowed staff to take a look at a selection of Trialists, with the likes of Nathan Young-Coombes, Daniel Oyegoke and Ryan Trevitt having had the chance to play for the first team during their match at Boreham Wood.
The starting XI featured six signed players with debuts for Max Wilcox and Max Dickov, while Nico Jones and Tristan Crama started in defense with team captain Alex Gilbert and Ben Winterbottom in goal.
The Bees have forged a positive relationship with Salisbury over the past year following the arrival of former B team player Dom Jefferies last season. The young midfielder became another player to sign for the non-League Youth Bees and captained the side extensively in 2021/22 before sealing a move to League Two side Gillingham.
Although they didn’t necessarily play together regularly, it was the Brentford side who had an early chance at six minutes as one of the Trialists did well down the right before beating his man and deliver a low center. It was just behind Gilbert that Salisbury managed to clear, but it was really a warning sign for the home side.
Five minutes later the Trialist striker, who was leading the line as part of a leading three, had a chance on goal when Dickov, who was deployed at right-back, crossed well but the header from the attacker has gone past the top right corner.
A few minutes later, Brentford got in front and it came from a good impression. Left wing pressure Trialist saw him with the ball high before combining with the centre-forward and slotting into the bottom right corner from around eight yards out.
Salisbury hadn’t seen the ball too much in the attacking areas but they leveled up minutes later when a long forward ball found Ben Thompson, who turned his body well before firing a half -shining volley in the top corner from a distance. past Winterbottom.
It was almost 2-1 for Brentford just before the 20th minute when the ball was crossed from the left and fell for Wilcox, who controlled well, before launching an effort against the crossbar. The ball bounces but the Salisbury defenders manage to clear the danger.
It became 2-1 against Brentford in the 24th minute when Jones slid in to regain possession before the initial cross was cleared into Gilbert’s path. The Bees captain then wrapped a brilliant effort around a host of bodies and into the bottom right corner.
In the heat of Salisbury, the game settled into a little more rhythm as the two teams traded possession with the Bees still looking the most dangerous. The Trialist left winger continued to threaten as he crossed in the 40th minute for the centre-forward, who fired a powerful shot at the near post who was saved by the keeper’s chest. The winger then chained the rebound but once again the goalkeeper was up to it.
The Bees made a change at the break with Roco Rees coming in for Winterbottom in goal as the players continued to develop match fitness.
Just before the hour mark, it was Salisbury who scored the game’s next goal as Sam Roberts headed home from a corner from the non-league side which the defender nodded at the far post.
This preceded a host of changes as more Trialists were able to get minutes under their belt to impress as Jones, Crama, Dickov, Wilcox and Gilbert were substituted after a good hour of play.
It took nine minutes after that for the Bees to get back in front, and that came from a Trialist full-back. After Brentford worked the ball well to the right, he fired from a tight angle to the right of the box as the ball entered the left post as Neil MacFarlane’s side restored their lead and carried the score at 3-2.
The team will now target a game with Maidenhead Unted on Saturday July 16 at York Road.
FC Salisbury: Gunston-Grey, Davis, Diaz, Wakefield, Roberts, Gillela, Arnold, Mullings, Thompson, Ashton, Goodship
Subs: Cooper, Holmes, Roocroft, O’Callaghan, Penny, Fox
Brentford B (First 60 minutes): Winterbottom (Rees, 45) Trialist, Trialist, Crama, Jones, Trialist, Wilcox, Gilbert, Dickov, Trialist, Trialist
Brentford B (From 60 min): Rees, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist