Callum McFarlane scored the winner as Fulham’s under 21s saw off local rivals Brentford B by winning an absorbing local derby 5-4 at Motspur Park this afternoon.
The summer signing produced another sensational finish of a superb summer since signing from Bradfield College, finding the net from an acute angle to settle a see-saw thriller in Fulham’s favour. The Whites were indebted to a double from captain – and former Brentford midfielder Ollie O’Neill – that helped Steve Wigley’s side recover from 3-2 down inside an incredible first half an hour, with forwards Terry Ablade and Jean-Pierre Tiehi adding the other goals.
The home side went ahead inside the opening ten minute with Ablade thumping home off the underside of the crossbar after a fine cross from Sylvester Jasper. But Brentford were level three minutes later when a rash challenge from Ziyad Larkeche on Ryan Trevitt led to a penalty, which the midfielder coolly converted. The Bees went ahead just after the twenty minute mark with Halil Dervi?o?lu robbing Jay Williams of possession and finding the far corner as George Wickens desperately dashed off his line.
Fulham went straight up the other end to equalise. The impressive Kristian Šekuklarac produced a fine cross to the back post, which Jasper allowed to run all the way to O’Neill, who lashed in emphatically. Brentford went back in front – penalising a horribly square as Dervi?o?lu played in Alex Gilbert – before O’Neill equalised on the stroke of half-time, forcing home after a ridiculous goalmouth scramble.
The second half was somewhat sedate in comparison to what had preceeded it. Jean-Pierre Tiehi tucked away a spot-kick after a foul by a Brentford trialist to put the hosts ahead for the first time in the afternoon, but Brentford roared back when the young Whites went to sleep at a set play and a substitute trialist produced the perfect header. Fulham clinched victory nine minutes from time when McFarlane latched onto a low cross and magicked up a magnificent finish to settle a breathless encounter.
Brentford wiped out Fulham’s advantage when Wigley’s charges went to sleep at a set play – but McFarlane popped up to clinch the local bragging rights.
FULHAM UNDER 21s (4-3-3): Wickens’ D’Aurio-Henry, Larkeche, Bowat, Williams; Okkas, Pajaziti, Šekuklarac; Ablade, O’Neill, Ablade. Subs: Borto, Parkes, Tanton, Godo, Tiehi, McFarlane, Sanderson.
GOALS: Ablade (10), O’Neill (23, 38), Tiehi (pen 57), McFarlane (82).
BRENTFORD B: Winterbottom, Dickov (Trialist, 45) Trialist, Crama, Jones (Racic, 45) Fosu (Trialist, 76) Trialist (Wilcox, 78), Dervi?o?lu, Gilbert (Yarmoliuk, 63), Trevitt, Peart-Harris (Lisbie, 71). Subs: Rees, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.