Mensah clinches Brent’s dramatic late win at Barnet
PUBLISHED: 15:10 21 November 2012
Saul Mensah snatched a late winner to complete a memorable comeback as Brent under-12s overturned a 3-1 deficit to edge out Barnet 4-3 in a lively Middlesex Cup tie.
Mensah went close early on, while striker Joshua Okello had a goal ruled out for offside as Brent more than matched their hosts at Chase Lodge.
But Barnet began to gain the upper hand and, despite two outstanding saves from Brent goalkeeper Nathan Barnard, it was the home side who took a 1-0 lead into the interval.
The visitors fought back in the second half, with Drillon Krasniqi gaining influence in midfield, but Barnet broke against the run of play and doubled their lead despite the best efforts of Barnard.
Midfielder Kyle Mathews began the Brent recovery as he sent Delgado Smith clear to make it 2-1 with a solo effort – only for Barnet to restore their two-goal cushion immediately with an unstoppable 30-yard drive.
But Mathews then combined with Mensah and Krasniqi to release Damani Ayre on the right, and he cut the ball back for Smith to glance home his second goal at the near post.
Brent pressed hard for the equaliser while their defence, with Odain Donaldson making a solid debut at centre-back, worked tirelessly to repel the home side’s attacks.
Man of the match Mathews was in sparkling form, linking up with Sphresim Sheta for a move that enabled Ayre to gallop clear and fire past the keeper to make it 3-3.
Barnet broke again, but Barnard came to his side’s rescue, diving to smother the chance in a one-on-one and that spurred Brent on to grab a decisive fourth goal with just two minutes left.
Reece Weekes, Lorenzo Simon, Smith and Ayre were all involved in a slick move that ended with Mathews picking out Mensah, who dribbled past three defenders and smashed a shot against the underside of the crossbar, reacting first to outjump the taller Barnet defenders and head the rebound into the net.
Brent coach Chris Ampofo said: “The whole squad contributed – they showed real spirit and determination and worked hard for each other. They are getting stronger and will take a lot of confidence from this.”
Brent: Mensah (Princess Frederica), Ayre, Mathews (Wembley High), Roble (Crest), Krasniqi (Newfield), Patel (Copland), Weekes, Adjei (St Gregory’s), Barnard, Dallmeyer, Simon (QPCS), Okello (Ark Academy), Sheta, Smith, Donaldson (Capital City Academy).
Brent under-11s paid the price for poor defending as they went down 3-0 in their Witney Cup quarter-final fixture against Chiltern and South Bucks.
Goalkeeper Stephen Browne produced a number of good saves, while Matthew Lenihan also limited the damage with an impressive display in defence.