Brentford edged their way into the FA Cup fourth round with an entertaining 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.
Maiden goals for Brentford pair Halil Dervisoglu and Saman Ghoddos cancelled out Sam Folarin’s reply, also his first in a Boro shirt.
Turkish Under-21 international Dervisoglu opened the scoring just before the break, sweeping Ghoddos’ outswinging corner just inside the post.
But Neil Warnock’s side responded straight after the interval, substitute Folarin smashing home from close range after Patrick Roberts’ effort was deflected into his path.
Dervisoglu turned provider as Brentford edged ahead again just after the hour, his incisive through-ball finding Ghoddos who cut inside to slot the winner inside the upright.
Folarin’s equaliser came after he replaced Marcus Browne, who was stretchered off with a serious knee injury after an innocuous-looking challenge on Mads Roerslev.
Brentford gave debuts to three B-Team players in a line-up that included just one regular starter, while Covid-hit Boro featured just four of the side that started last time out.
Tariqe Fosu was first to set his sights but flashed a low drive from the edge of the box just past the upright with four minutes gone.
Brentford keeper Luke Daniels had to be on his toes to prevent former Brentford loanee Chuba Akpom breaking the deadlock on 15 minutes, the stand-in skipper brilliantly tipping his rising drive wide.
The stopper had to be alert again minutes later when Browne broke from halfway and fired in a fierce low drive that he pushed wide at the foot of his post.
An end-to-end opening saw chances at both ends, with Ghoddos finding space but lacking the power to test Boro keeper Jordan Archer.
The hosts should have taken the lead on 25 minutes, Fosu teeing up Dervisoglu who could only find the side netting with the goal at his mercy.
Seventeen-year-old Bees debutant Fin Stevens survived a penalty scare on the half-hour when a driven Boro cross bounced up onto his hand in the box, but the referee waved away the visitors’ protests.
Minutes later Brentford were ahead but Akpom almost levelled before the break, the strong hand of Daniels forcing his goal-bound effort wide before also saving Lewis Wing’s curling free-kick.
Folarin’s equaliser and Ghoddos’ cool finish opened the game up to make for an open, flowing clash, with Daniels getting down well to deny Roberts on 70 minutes as Boro probed for a leveller.
Akpom glanced a header from Tavernier’s cross agonisingly wide as Boro went more direct with the clock ticking down, but Brentford saw the game out with no more scares to put themselves in the hat for the fourth-round draw.
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