BRENTFORD dug themselves out of an Oll in extra-time to leave Wimbledon with that familiar sinking feeling in this competition.
Ollie Watkins’ stunner on 106 minutes sealed the victory, after a Romaine Sawyers’ ripper had chalked off a first-half strike from Paul Robinson.
Teenage sub Justin Shaibu finished off the tie for good with two minutes remaining, blasting into the corner from the edge of the area.
It meant Dons, who played their part in a captivating West London clash, are still looking for their first ever League Cup victory.
But it was no more than Dean Smith’s men deserved as Watkins, pinched from Exeter in the summer, registered his first goal on his full debut.
This was the Wombles maiden League Cup fixture at home and boss Neal Ardley gave it the respect it deserved, making just four changes which included a first start for 17-year-old Anthony Hartigan.
But it was Watkins who took centre-stage as the Bees bossed the early proceedings.
The EFL Young Player of the Year for the last season possibly should have done better as he lashed a shot onto the roof of the net inside three minutes.
The away contingent called for a penalty shortly afterwards when Barry Fuller appear to barge over Maupay in the box, but ref Dean Whitestone was having none of it.
Dons rode their luck and on 24 minutes took the lead against the run of play.
Lyle Taylor was making a nuisance of himself up top and when it was the one time male model who styled the opener.
Taylor’s shot following a corner hit a Bees player and rebounded to Andy Barcham, whose effort appeared to strike the hand of Yoann Barbet.
But before Whitestone could give a penalty, veteran centre-back Paul Robinson manage to stab the rebound high into the air, over keeper Luke Daniels and in off the far post.
It was an awkward strike synonymous with the Wimbledon team of old, and one former Crazy Gang legend – and Brentford hero – Marcus Gayle will have appreciated as he sat in the press box doing radio.
And the Bees pain would continue – literally – as poor Clarke took a knee to the unmentionables, drawing an empathetic ‘Ooooh’ from the crowd, and was down for some time.
Harlee Dean, back in after suspension, came within a whisker of levelling on 32 minutes as he powerfully headed Watkins’ corner back across goal but just the wrong side of the post.
The pre-interval pummelling from the visitors continued as ex-Arsenal man Nico Yennaris leathered a shot from 22 yards just over.
Before Dons keeper George Long showed some excellent reactions to push out a stinging drive from Romaine Sawyers.
It was entertaining fare down in South-West London under the glare of the Kingsmeadow lights with both sides playing with the handbrake off.
Dons should have doubled their lead three minutes after the break as they fluffed THREE attempts in the same attack.
Cody McDonald, signed from Gillingham this summer, was responsible for the first two, as he saw his header from Callum Kennedy’s cross turned onto the bar by Daniels, who then repelled McDonald’s follow-up.
Taylor then let fly with his left boot and connected well, but sadly his accuracy failed to meet his power as the ball sailed high and wide.
And just as Brentford’s wastefulness cost them in the first half, the scenario repeated itself only with Wimbledon left feeling rueful as Sawyers equalised in style on 68 minutes.
The ex-Walsall man took one touch on the left-hand side of the area before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the far corner which had Daniels clutching only air.
Daniels was then at the centre of controversy as he came charging out and denied sub Florian Jozefzoon using what Bees players and fans believed to be his hand, yet as Maupay poorly hit over an unguarded net, whistler Whitestone signalled for a goal-kick.
In between those incidents Dons sub Kwesi Appiah should have netted but saw his effort brilliantly cleared off the line by Barbet.
Frenchman Barbet was almost left red-faced in SIX minutes of injury time as he almost flicked Taylor’s cross dangerously close to his own net.
Wimbledon exploited the fourth sub allowance in extra-time during this season’s competition, bringing on Egli Kaja.
But it was Brentford who should have wrapped it up as Sawyers rounded the keeper, but his shot was superbly, deftly flicked off the line by Robinson.
They did have it done and dusted when Watkins curled home beautifully after a short corner, before Shaibu netted his first senior goal with a fizzing drive to rub salt into the wounds.
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