Frank summons the cavalry to help Brentford to second half comeback win over Forest Green
Carabao Cup second round
Brentford (0) 3 Wissa 60, Mbeumo 75, Forss 85
Forest Green Rovers (1) 1 Aitchison 8
Yoane Wissa fired in his first goal and Bryan Mbeumo came off the bench to net the second as Brentford recovered from a dismal first half to book their passage into the League Cup third round.
In the last knockings, Marcus Forss found the roof of the net after fine trickery inside the box from another of the subs, Sergi Canos, to complete the comeback.
The Bees enjoyed a fantastic run to the semi-finals in last year’s competition – only being thwarted by Spurs in a run which brought them wins against four top-flight outfits.
Perhaps they have discovered a taste for it now. They know how to play at Wembley should they go one step further this year, after all.
Forest Green played the last 10 minutes with 10 men as Ebou Adams was dismissed for a lunge at Vitaly Janelt, but they gave a good account of themselves.
Thomas Frank understandably stood down many of the first teamers earmarked for Premier League starting XI duties this year.
It is likely to be an onerous season for the leading lights and fresh legs will be needed at regular intervals. But he still had a team he fully expected to prevail.
Forest Green’s impressive first-half display disabused him of that notion and, at the break, he summoned reinforcements from the bench in the shape of Canos and Frank Onyeka before adding Mbeumo to the mix.
The increased tempo finally got the Bees on the front foot and looking the superior outfit.
Wissa began the turnaround on the hour. The 24-year-old DR Congo striker, recently signed from French side Lorient, turned inside the area to send a low shot into the corner.
Mbeumo came on and was soon racing away from the last defender to slide a shot just inches wide. He made no mistake not long after, however, getting on the end of a long ball swept in from the left by Dom Thompson that fell at just the right height for the striker to nod over the line.
Forss added the coup de grace.
League Two leaders Forest Green, who disposed of Championship side Bristol City in the previous round, were full value for their half-time lead, showing confidence on the ball, pinging it around smartly, pressing well in numbers and looking anything but three divisions lower.
It did need a fine double save from keeper Lewis Thomas to prevent an early setback for them as both Mads Bidstrup and Halil Dervisoglu tested the stopper’s reflexes.
But buoyed by their close shave, the West Country side stole a march when the Bees failed to deal with a ball played in from the left and Jack Aitchison fired in from close range.
An injury to Sadou Diallo saw the introduction of Josh March for Rovers and he came close to doubling the lead when he got on the end of a cross from Nick Cadden – his header flashing just wide of the near post.
A goal then would have made life much more difficult for the hosts. As it was, they called for the cavalry and got their act together.
The Bees ended the night with 10 men as Ethan Pinnock, playing against one of his former clubs, took a knock to the ankle, but he is expected to be fine for Saturday's trip to Aston Villa, Frank said after the game.
Bees: (4-2-3-1) Fernandez – Roerslev (Canos h/t), Bech Sorensen (Ajer 45), Pinnock, Thompson – Bidstrup (Onyeka h/t), Janelt – Dervisoglu (Mbeumo 68), Ghoddos, Wissa – Forss. Subs not used: Gunnarsson, Peart-Harris, Stevens
Rovers: (3-5-2) Thomas – Bernard, Cargill, Moore-Taylor – Edwards (Matt 79), Hendry, Diallo (March 34), Adams (Allen 74) – Young (Wilson 59), Aitchison. Subs not used: McGee, Sweeney, Evans