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Pre-Season Report: Brentford 3-2 Crystal Palace

PUBLISHED

17:42 2nd August 2014


Crystal Palace suffered their first defeat of pre-season as they lost by the odd goal in five against Championship side Brentford at Griffin Park. 

Tony Pulis split his squad in two as Eagles fans had the novelty of following two first team friendlies at the same time just two weeks ahead of the big Premier League kick-off against Arsenal on 16th August.

Whilst new signings Fraizer Campbell and Brede Hangeland took to the field at Forest Green Rovers under the tutelage of David Kemp and Ben Garner, Pulis and Keith Millen took charge of a Palace team featuring 11 of the players who were named in the squad for the final game of last season against Fulham.

Wayne Hennessey started in goal in a familiar Palace line-up with Glenn Murray up front supported by Marouane Chamakh, but it was the home side who caused a worry early on as midfielder Stuart Dallas out-jumped the Palace defence at the back post in the second minute to force Hennessey to make a fingertip save under the bar and out for a corner.

Brentford, recently promoted to the second tier, passed the ball around effectively in midfield with both Andre Grey and Dallas keeping the visitors busy in the middle of the park. 

In the 8th minute Palace had their first chance as a well-executed long-range strike from Mile Jedinak was deflected for a corner and it was the Australian again, just six minutes later, who had a back-post header well-saved by David Button in the Brentford goal following a smooth short corner routine from Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie.

But Brentford were quick to show their goal threat as forward Grey slipped in behind the Palace defence, dinking the ball over the onrushing Hennessey but the Welshman had Adrian Mariappa to thank as he cleared off the line to keep the score at 0-0.

Seconds before the break Grey had an even better chance to open the scoring as he somehow managed to put over from close range following Dallas’ good work at beating Mariappa in the box and squaring it to the Brentford forward in the six-yard box.

Pulis brought on Julian Speroni for Hennessey at half-time and the Argentinean’s first job was to pick the ball out of his net as Jonathan Douglas calmly curled the ball past the Palace keeper following a good run in the 47th minute to make it 1-0.

More was to come from Brentford just seven minutes later as Grey skipped past the Palace defence on the edge of the box to drill home an inch-perfect shot into the bottom corner to double the Bees' advantage.

But this goal seemed to bring the Eagles alight as less than a minute later they halved the deficit, after some fancy footwork from Bolasie allowed him to play in Murray who fired the ball into the roof of the net from a few yards out.

At 2-1 down Palace started to take control of the match and they deservedly bagged an equaliser in the 57th minute. Bolasie again caused the Brentford defence problems and following his cross, Joe Ledley’s shot was spilled by Button right to the feet of Chamakh who will not score an easier goal, finishing from less than a yard out.

However, Brentford were keen to finish the match on a high in front of the 3,624 inside Griffin Park and send the 1,527 Palace fans amongst them back to south London with a loss.

The decisive moment of the match fell to Moses Odubajo whose run down the right wing saw him one-on-one against Joel Ward and the former Leyton Orient man cleverly lifted the ball over the Palace left-back, cut inside to the box and clinically passed the ball into the net to make it 3-2 and secure a home win.

Palace will now travel to Germany to face Bundesliga opponents Augsburg on Saturday, although a number of squad players are expected to feature in the Bromley XI fixture on Tuesday night.

Brentford: Button, McCormack (Yennaris 73), Tarkowski (Dean 73), Craig, Bidwell, Tébar (Diagouraga 73), Douglas, Judge, Odubajo, Gray (Moore 73), Dallas (Smith 61).

Crystal Palace: Hennessey (Speroni 46), Ward, Delaney, Dann, Mariappa, Bolasie, Ledley, Jedinak, Puncheon, Chamakh, Murray.
Unused Subs: Kaikai, Boateng, Gray, Inniss