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So it’s the morning after the night before. I’ve had texts galore from neutral mates suggesting that Brentford’s epic battle with Dagenham must have been a brilliant game to have been at – but in honesty, it really wasn’t. I described it to one friend as a bit like sitting through a really long Mr Bean film – occasional moments of joy and humour, but in reality not something I would ever want to sit through again.

Mark Warburton used the game as a chance to rotate his pack but retaining some first teamers in an effort to provide consistency on the pitch. We started the game well, racing into a two goal lead with a Stuart Dallas brace within the first nine minutes. And then the farce began.

A soft Dagenham goal – one of many that we were to witness – was followed by a freakish thunderstorm which propelled a number of bedraggled Dagenham fans under cover from the open terrace. Whilst they were drying out, Brentford added a third goal which looked a bit like a tackle from Nick Proschwitz which slotted home off the skimmy turf.

Game over, we thought.

But Dagenham had different ideas, netting the proverbial “goal before half time” after a freakish ricochet and a deft finish, before pulling level  in the 55th minute with a fizzing strike from distance which was completely misjudged by Richard Lee.

Dagenham sensed blood -our defence were getting little cover and had spent the game kicking the ball against each other or leaving attackers largely unmarked. Kevin O’Connor – who has been a majestic servant for our club but frankly struggled last night – was getting slow roasted by their pacy winger on a regular basis whilst our retention of the ball up front was non existent. Our main tactic now appeared to be to launch the ball from the back over the head of a wide player and out for a throw, not a pleasant viewing experience. Or a tactical success.

Somehow though, we scored again, sub Andre Gray netting in the 83rd minute. Dagenham fell to their knees. Surely it was all over now, and we could start the 54 hour journey home on the district line?

But it was far from over. There was a certain inevitability about Dagenham’s 90th minute goal. A throw over Kevin’s head was enough to unlock our wobbling rearguard, followed by what looked like a mis-hit cross cum shot that sailed over Richard Lee and into the net, taking the game to extra time. 4-4.

A look at our players during the full time break was not encouraging. We’d already made three subs – Bidwell for Yennaris who suffered an early dead leg, Gray for the tiring Proschwitz and Judge for the fairly ineffective Tebar.  Some of the remaining troops appeared dead on their legs. With a trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, 30 minutes more was the last thing we needed and it appeared that the players thought this too.

In the 97th minute, however, Montell Moore received the ball on the edge of the box and smashed it home with delight for his debut first team goal. It was little more than his lively and impressive performance had deserved. 5-4 to the Super Bees as our hosts collapsed once more.

And then Tommy Smith hobbled out of the game. He’d been slowing for a while, his hard work and deft touch in the opening throws of the game had started to take their toll. Brentford were down to ten men. As we clapped Smith from the ground, a series of errors from our defence and keeper allowed Dagenham to equalise again.

The goal was unfortunately scored by our old friend Jamie Cureton, who’s ageing legs have now rendered him as a bottom tier substitute. He soon forgot his mature years though, as he ran from side to side across the pitch, goading the away support with a typical lack of class like a petulant child high on Sunny Delight.  He’d regret this a little bit later.

Montell Moore had now visibily started to cramp up, leaving Brentford effectively playing with nine men, so it was little surprise when Dagenham took the lead for the first time in the game through Ashley Hemmings with his second of the game. Finally the Dagenham fans found a voice – maybe they’d finally dried out a bit – as they goaded their Championship opponents with the sheer joy of a potential cup upset.

Then with just three minutes on the clock, Brentford won a free kick on the edge of the box. Judge crossed and Harlee Dean rose highest taking the score to 6-6 and on to penalties. As we know Richard Lee is England’s Number One (when it comes to penalties at least) and after two saves and four converted Brentford penalties (Dallas, Judge, Craig and Kev) we somehow emerged from the rollercoaster ride as victors.

There was still some further joy to be had with the tunnel to the dressing rooms positioned directly below the away support. Many Bees fans stayed behind to wish Jamie Cureton the very best for the final throws of his fast fading career, but for some reason he didn’t seem keen to leave the playing area. A Mexican standoff then ensued with the defeated Dagenham players going through an elongated warm down routine before eventually, after a fairly uncomfortable wait, having to trudge off the pitch. Good luck Jamie, we will miss you lots.

So in synopsis, last night was just weird. Shambolic at times but with an underlying tinge of dark humour. Few players came through the evening with any grace – Toumani had a brilliant bustling and athletic game but didn’t necessarily sit when we needed him to, Dallas looked a direct threat throughout and Moore showed some capable flashes. Subs Judge and Gray had their good moments too. But otherwise it was a pretty poor night at the office.

You could, of course, argue that we came through extra time with ten men and are still in the competition.  But this would be plastering over a fairly significant crack as for the second season running our second string players have emerged with reputations tarnished by the Capital One Cup.