Brentford 2 Hartlepool 1
Gary Alexander’s 85th-minute goal gave Brentford a dramatic victory at Griffin Park.
Niall McGinn broke the deadlock late on with an attempted lob that Hartlepool keeper Scott Flinders couldn’t hold onto, but the away side equalised immediately through Sam Collins’ curling shot.
But Alexander had the final say, pouncing on the rebound to score after having a penalty saved.
Brentford missed several chances before finally scoring, and McGinn was one of the guilty men.
He fired over from outside the area before fashioning the best opportunity of the first half when he weaved past two defenders but shot weakly into the side-netting.
Alexander could have scored with two headers before half-time, sending one over the bar and another straight into Flinders’ hands.
The opening goal came when Celtic loanee McGinn latched onto Clayton Donaldson’s through-ball and lofted the ball over the advancing Flinders, who could only parry the shot into the goal.
Pools hit back when centre-back Collins found space on the edge of the box to send a well-placed effort out of Bees keeper Richard Lee’s reach.
But as quickly as Hartlepool had equalised, Brentford won a penalty and scored the winner.
Evan Horwood brought down Toumani Diagouraga and Flinders saved Alexander’s initial kick but was unable to keep out the follow-up.