Brentford beaten

Wednesday 7 August 2002

Fulham 2-1 Brentford

Lee Clark made his long-awaited return to competitive football, as Fulham's reserves took on Brentford in this behind closed doors reserve friendly at Craven Cottage on Wednesday afternoon.

After last week's seven-goal victory against Barnet, Fulham found their neighbours a far tougher proposition, as was demonstrated in the opening exchanges.

Despite Fulham having the sharper attacking edge through Stolcers and Willock, they were restricted in their efforts on target by a well-organised Bees back line.

With Brentford not creating opportunities of any real consequence, Tom Hutchinson was adjudged to have illegally brought down his man and the Bees were awarded a 25th minute penalty. The kick was despatched to Hahnemann's left to give Brentford the lead, against the run of play.

However, their lead was short-lived. Only a matter of seconds after the restart Calum Willock put the Whites level with a fabulous finish. Receiving the ball some 30 yards out in a central position, Willock shifted the ball to his right and arrowed his shot inside the 'keeper's right hand post.

On 52 minutes Fulham had their own appeal for a penalty turned down, after Willock's pace saw him leave Brentford's central defensive pairing trailing in his wake. With only the 'keeper to beat, Willock was cynically brought down from behind. The verdict: no penalty.

With Fulham gradually upping the pressure, Stolcers tricked his marker into bringing him down on the edge of the area in the 72nd minute. From the ensuing free kick, Kieran McAnespie gave the 'keeper no chance with a stunning strike.

Credit should also go to Dean Leacock, whose willing run from right back created the opportunity.

Throughout the match, Leacock displayed a superb range of passing and despite playing out of position at rightback; he did more then enough to suggest that Steve Finnan has an extremely able understudy.

Fulham: Hahnemann, Hudson, Hutchinson, Leacock, Harley, Goldbaek, Clark (Capt), Shevel, McAnespie, Stolcers, Willock

Subs used:

Timlin on for Clark 37
Thompson on for Hahnemann H/T
Cornwall on for Willock 75
Hammond on for Goldbaek 85