Last season’s Carabao Cup giantkillers Brentford almost got a taste of their own medicine before coming from behind to beat Forest Green 3-1.
Brentford, who knocked out four top-flight sides on their way to the semi-finals last year, fell behind to an early goal from Rovers’ Jack Aitchison.
Now a Premier League club themselves, the Bees suddenly found themselves a potential scalp for League Two Rovers.
The lethargic hosts looked second best for long spells, in stark contrast to their buoyant display against Arsenal 10 days earlier.
But second-half goals from Yoane Wissa, substitute Bryan Mbeumo and Marcus Forss averted an upset at the Community Stadium.
Thomas Frank made nine changes from the side which drew with Crystal Palace, but few of his fringe players did anything to merit a place in the team at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Rovers goalkeeper Lewis Thomas, their penalty shoot-out hero against Bristol City in the previous round, did have to make a superb early double save to deny Mads Bidstrup and Halil Dervisoglu.
But moments later the visitors took the lead when Nick Cadden – who hit a hat-trick against Crawley at the weekend – burst into the Brentford area and teed up Aitchison to fire in at the near post.
After the break Brentford somehow survived when Josh March’s cross rolled right along debutant keeper Alvaro Fernandez’s goal-line and clipped the far post with nobody able to get the crucial touch.
Instead Brentford equalised on the hour mark when Wissa, the £8.5million summer signing from Lorient, marked his full debut with his first goal for the club, a low drive past Thomas into the far corner.
With 15 minutes remaining Mbeumo put Brentford ahead when he met Dominic Thompson’s cross with a bullet header at the far post.
Forest Green lost Ebou Adams to a straight red card for a late tackle on Vitaly Janelt and Forss fired into the roof of the net to wrap up the victory with four minutes left.
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