Bees through after penalty shoot-out

MK Dons 3 Brentford 3 (Brentford won 4-3 on penalties)

Goalkeeper Richard Lee was Brentford’s hero as they reached the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section second round by yet again prevailing in a penalty shoot-out.

They looked set for a miserable night when Charlie MacDonald scored against his former team-mates to open the scoring for MK Dons, who played the second half with 10 men after Shaun Williams was sent off shortly before the interval.

On-loan defender Adam Thompson marked his debut with a 28th-minute equaliser, before Luke Chadwick quickly restored the home team’s lead.

Alexander netted twice in the second half to put Brentford ahead, only for Jonathan Douglas’ late own goal to rescue the hosts.

But in the shoot-out, Alexander, Douglas, Jake Reeves and Mike Grella all converted their penalties for the Bees, while Lee saved from Darren Potter.

And when Stephen Gleeson blazed MK Dons’ final kick over the bar, their fate was sealed.

It continued a remarkable run for Brentford, who reached the final of last season’s tournament via shoot-out victories against Leyton Orient, Swindon and Charlton, and also knocked Everton out of the Carling Cup on penalties.

MacDonald, who made 111 starts during three years at Griffin Park, showed respect for his old club by not celebrating after he headed in Jay O’Shea’s corner.

Brentford hit back with a corner of their own eight minutes later, when Thompson met Harry Forrester’s left-wing delivery with a fine downward header that levelled the score.

Forrester was handed his full debut by boss Uwe Rosler, who left out Sam Saunders and Clayton Donaldson, and replaced injured-centre-back Leon Legge with Marcel Eger while Marcus Bean started on the right flank.

Rosler will have enjoyed his recent signings combining to cancel out MacDonald’s opener, but within two minutes his team were behind again.

Former Manchester United midfielder Chadwick has been in fine form and looked like a player full of confidence when he pounced on a defensive mix-up and rode two challenges before firing in his fourth goal of the season.

But Brentford were given a boost in first-half injury time when Myles Weston raced onto Bean’s pass and was brought down by Williams, who was deemed to have denied the Bees forward a clear goalscoring opportunity and was shown the red card.

Alexander capitalised by shooting home following Forrester’s left-wing cross to net the visitors’ second equaliser, and must have thought he had scored the winner when he bundled in Craig Woodman’s 82nd-minute free-kick.

Again, though, Brentford switched off and conceded. Chadwick’s clever pass caught out Woodman and gave George Baldock time and space to send in a driven cross which Douglas diverted into his own net.

Goalkeeper David Martin brilliantly tipped away Bean’s last-gasp header, but it was his opposite number who had the last laugh.

Dons duo Adam Smith and Dean Lewington scored with their penalties, before Lee dived to his right to save from Potter.

That put pressure on Dean Bowditch who was able to hold his nerve and slot past Lee. Gleeson never looked like following suit.