O’Connor injured in Brentford cup win

Brentford 1 Basingstoke 0

Sam Saunders’ ninth-minute goal was enough to put Brentford into the FA Cup second round, but their victory was marred by an injury to club captain Kevin O’Connor.

Saunders hit the net with a 25-yard free-kick he beautifully curled beyond much maligned former Bees goalkeeper Ashley Bayes.

But the first half ended on a sour note when long-serving midfielder O’Connor was stretchered off after crumpling to the floor near the edge of the Brentford penalty area.

He fell awkwardly after appearing to catch his studs in the turf, immediately leading to fears that his injury could be serious.

Saunders went close to scoring again in the second half with a right-footed effort that went narrowly wide.

He was by far the game’s most creative player and also delivered an excellent right-wing corner which was headed over by Marcel Eger.

Unable to find a second goal, Brentford looked vulnerable as non-League Basingstoke grew in confidence in the later stages.

Stuart Lake volleyed just wide before the Conference South outfit went even closer to equalising after the home side failed to clear Matt Warner’s corner.

In the subsequent goalmouth scramble, Tim Sills bundled the ball past keeper Richard Lee and fit-again defender Leon Legge, on as a substitute, came to Brentford’s rescue by clearing off the line.

Basingstoke felt they should have had a penalty when ex-Aldershot striker Sills went down under a challenge from Eger, but their appeals were waved away by Japanese referee Masaaki Toma.

Toma, who is in the UK as part of a referee exchange programme, made history by becoming the first non-British official to take charge of an FA Cup match.

He was certainly kept busy, especially during a raucous closing 15 minutes.

So too was Lee, who saved Warner’s shot with his legs and was grateful to see Sills’ late header go inches over.