Brentford’s Development Squad were unable to deal with a red card issued to George Pilbeam as they were beaten by Ipswich Town in an Under-21 Professional Development League Two South match at their Jersey Road Training Ground.
The bald facts are that Brentford were beaten 4-1, but that fails to tell the whole story.
When Pilbeam, promoted from the Youth Team to play in the match, was sent off midway through the second half, Brentford were 1-0 up and in control.
And they held on to that lead until there were just 15 minutes remaining.
But an experience Ipswich Town team, which included Republic of Ireland internationals Alan Lee and Stephen Hunt, won the game late on.
Their four-goal blast gave the score line a rather flattering look and Brentford will feel that if it had finished 11 v 11 they would have won.
However, Pilbeam’s enthusiasm in chasing down a back pass which caused him to clatter goalkeeper Scott Loach was always going to lead to a second yellow card.
His first booking, 17 minutes in, may have been a little harsh but there was no argument with the second.
Ultimately Brentford could not survive a man down and Ipswich took the win.
After an even start, Brentford took control and were well worth the lead they held before the red card.
An early Hunt free kick caused problems for The Bees and Lee headed wide when he should have scored while at the other end Kojo Awotwi had a shot saved and a Pilbeam effort deflected wide.
Alfie Mawson headed over for The Bees and Loach saved from Kieran Morris while at the other end Freddie Veseli blasted high and wide before Brentford goalkeeper Melvin Minter denied Eoin Wearen.
It was Brentford who took the upper hand as the first half reached its midway point.
Pilbeam and Joe Maloney worked tirelessly in the midfield and Awotwi and Josh Clarke had the beating of their full backs on the wing.
Brentford took the lead 25 minutes in when a corner was half cleared; Mawson turned free in the box and smashed a low shot in to the net.
And from then on, The Bees had control.
Loach saved superbly from Clarke and then denied the winger again while Awotwi shot wide.
Brentford’s only concern at half time was that they only had a one goal lead and they set about making the game safe after the break.
Wearen cleared when Clarke’s cross looked set to reach Awotwi at the far post and, after a Charlie Adams shot was blocked; Omar Sowunmi made a last ditch tackle to deny Richard Bryan.
Minter saved a Hunt free kick but with 67 minutes on the clock Brentford seemed to have the game under control.
That was before Pilbeam, who was otherwise very good, chased down a back pass and lunged in on Loach.
As soon as he caught the goalkeeper the end result was obvious.
Aaron Pierre had already gone off injured, Clarke followed and Maloney didn’t last much longer as Brentford’s resources were stretched.
And they couldn’t hold Ipswich back.
The visitors were fortunate to equalise when a free kick was half cleared and then Hunt’s cross fell to Lee, via a ricochet, to score.
Brentford tried to respond and Adams had a shot blocked before Paul Hayes saw an effort cleared.
But Ipswich took the lead when a long ball caught Brentford out, substitute Jordan Adekunle got in behind, rounded Minter and slotted home.
Awotwi shot wide and Adekunle fired across the face of goal before Ipswich got their third when Hunt’s free kick was flicked in by Matt Clarke.
Wordsworth made it four at the death, and gave the final score an unjust look, when he picked up a Veseli cross, turned and fired home.
Brentford Development Squad: Melvin Minter; Raphaël Calvet, Kieran Morris, Alfie Mawson, Aaron Pierre (sub Richard Bryan h/t); Joe Maloney (sub Josh Stockwell 81 mins), George Pilbeam; Josh Clarke (sub Fabian Rowe 64 mins), Charlie Adams, Kojo Awotwi
Subs (not used): Thomas Roberts
Bookings: Hayes (74 mins)
Sent Off: Pilbeam (67 mins) (second bookable offence)
Ipswich Town Development Squad: Scott Loach; Freddie Veseli, Omar Sowunmi, Eoin, Wearen, Kyle Hammond; Mark Timlin (sub Amir Berkane 72 mins), Anthony Wordsworth, Byron Lawrence, Stephen Hunt; Jack Doherty (sub Matt Clarke h/t), Alan Lee (sub Jordan Adekunle 75 mins)
Subs (not used): Jacob Marsden, Ted Bishop
Bookings: Lawrence (57 mins)
By Chris Wickham