The Bees emerged victorious on Tuesday night in a ferocious Vanarama National League encounter, beating Stockport County 2-1 at Edgeley Park.
Goals from Joe Widdowson and Reiss Greenidge either side of half-time saw Dean Brennan’s side pick up all three points in a game which saw three red cards.
The match got off to a frenetic start and the Bees nearly opened the scoring within five minutes when Wesley Fonguck spotted the run of Ephron Mason-Clark who broke clear of the Stockport defence before dragging a shot wide of the target.
The hosts then went close to opening the scoring themselves as new signing Antoni Sarcevic shot towards goal from the edge of the box, but his shot cannoned back out off the post.
Another chance fell to the home side shortly after as John Rooney fired over after some tricky work down the right from Macauley Southam-Hales.
Simon Rusk’s side looked to open the scoring when Ash Palmer headed the ball up field which set Paddy Madden in on goal, but his tame effort was comfortably saved by Aston Oxborough.
The deadlock was broken moments later when Kian Flanagan’s corner towards Joe Widdowson at the back post who rose the highest to head down into the ground and into the back of the net.
The hosts levelled the score on the stroke of half-time when a cross-field ball found Stockport winger Ollie Crankshaw who chested it down before thumping the ball into the top right corner whilst under pressure from Widdowson.
In the second half, Mason-Clark went close after breaking clear before his shot deflected up and onto the roof of the net.
From the resulting corner, the Bees took the lead once more as Harry Taylor’s flick on found its way to Reiss Greenidge who slammed the ball into the roof of the net on the turn to score his first goal for the Club.
The home side were then reduced to ten men as Southam-Hales was shown a straight red card after a nasty challenge on Widdowson that led to him being stretchered off the pitch.
Moments later, it was ten versus ten as Jordan Thomas given his marching orders after a foul on Scott Quigley, who was deemed to be the last man.
Stockport were pushing for an equaliser and substitute Scott Quigley threatened down the left, before firing a shot towards goal which was comfortable for Oxborough.
Ryan Rydel almost equalised on the verge of full-time – his shot from the left going narrowly wide and behind to all but confirm victory for the Bees.
There was still time for the referee to brandish another red card, this time for Dean Brennan who kicked the ball away to slow down a Stockport throw-in.
The Bees defended resolutely and held out for a well-earned three points to take back to The Hive London.
Stockport: Ethan Ross, Mark Kitching (Ryan Rydel 69’), Liam Hogan ©, Ash Palmer, Macauley Southam-Hales, John Rooney, Paddy Madden, Ben Whitfield (Scott Quigley 62’), Ryan Croasdale (Alex Reid 90+10’), Antoni Sarcevic, Oliver Crankshaw. Subs (not used): Will Collar, Jordan Keane.
Goals: Crankshaw (40’).
Bees: Aston Oxborough, Jordan Thomas, Mitch Brundle, Ephron Mason-Clark, Adam Marriott (Ben Richards-Everton 88’), Reiss Greenidge, Kian Flanagan, Wesley Fonguck (Serhat Tasdemir 90+7’), Harry Taylor ©, Joe Widdowson (Mason Bloomfield 80’), Sam Woods. Subs (not used): James Callan, Sam Granville.
Goals: Widdowson (21’), Greenidge (51’).
Referee: Thomas Parsons.