O’Connor nets late Brentford leveller

Swindon 1 Brentford 1

A week after a last-gasp penalty miss cost them automatic promotion, captain Kevin O’Connor’s injury-time spot-kick left Brentford with a great chance of reaching the League One play-off final.

O’Connor stepped up to equalise in a tense first leg after Massimo Luongo, who had put Swindon ahead, brought down Harry Forrester in the box.

Had Marcello Trotta allowed O’Connor to do the same against Doncaster last Saturday, Brentford would almost certainly be a Championship club now.

But, having missed out on automatic promotion in the cruellest way imaginable, with Trotta’s penalty blunder denying them a place in the top two, they had to raise themselves for their second chance to go up.

And they responded to the challenge at the County Ground, where Adam Forshaw had a great chance to put them ahead early in the game but dragged his shot horribly wide.

Bees midfielder Jonathan Douglas also shot wide, while Andy Williams squandered Swindon’s best opportunity of the first half, tamely heading Gary Roberts’ cross straight at keeper Simon Moore.

Swindon kept pressing after the break and were rewarded when Luongo brilliantly broke the deadlock, belting home from 25 yards in the 70th minute.

Uwe Rosler’s men then had a lucky escape when O’Connor was fortunate not to concede a penalty after using his hand to steer the ball away from Adam Rooney as the Swindon man looked to shoot.

O’Connor rubbed salt into Swindon’s wounds – and eased Brentford’s in the wake of their painful loss seven days ago – by dramatically levelling the tie.

And an excellent home record – the Doncaster debacle was one of only three league defeats suffered at Griffin Park this season – should also give Brentford plenty of encouragement ahead of Monday’s second leg.

Brentford: Moore; Logan, Dean, O’Connor, Bidwell; Hodson (Forrester 77) Douglas, Adeyemi, Forshaw (Saunders 82); Donaldson, Wright-Phillips (El Alagui 68).
Subs not used: Gounet, Reeves, Diagouraga, Trotta.


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