After coming off the back of a 9-0 victory over Hemel Hempstead last weekend, the Bee’s struggled to find the honey in their 0-0 stalemate against AFC Phoenix.
In the opening stages of the game Brentford looked threatening going forward, with AFC Phoenix parking the bus and sitting comfortably in their own half.
The Bee’s had a good shape and positive intention in their play, with centre midfielders Vicky James and Claire Richardson being pivotal in creating opportunities and switching play. Both full backs provided an additional attacking outlet on the flanks, linking well with wide players and giving the opposition trouble in wide areas.
Whilst the Bees where constantly penetrating the final third, AFC Phoenix compact shape made them difficult to break and their centre backs showed a good aerial influence, dealing with Brentford’s countless crosses with relative ease.
AFC Phoenix set up with great defensive discipline, with a flat back four and a midfield five holding shape well within the final third of the pitch. This left them with one lone striker as an outlet, but on the odd occasion where AFC Phoenix where able to clear the ball beyond the half way line, both Manu Naprta and Laura Huse where far too comfortable dealing with the opposition’s poor attacking efforts.
Whilst the second half saw AFC Phoenix bite back, Brentford still spent the majority of the half in control however they struggled to create any convincing scoring opportunities.
The best chance of the game came to AFC Phoenix, who managed to play a clearance over the top of an advanced Bee’s back line, leaving Goalkeeper Caroline faced with a one on one situation. Almost unphased by the striker striding towards her, Caroline made herself big and pushed the shot well clear of her right post.
In the closing few minutes of the game, Brentford looked like they could steal the points when Ashley Cheatley picked up the ball on the half way line and darted in behind the opposition’s back line. Striding with ease passed two defenders she found herself in the box, about to pull the trigger, before a superb recovery run by AFC Phoenix’s left back saw the ball cleared for a corner.
A creative and yet frustrating game of football for the Bees.