Brentford’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy run was ended at the Southern Section Quarter Final stage as they were beaten 2-1 by Southend United.
The Bees had plenty of possession and the territorial advantage for long stages but Southend scored two fine goals before half time and saw the game out.
Tamika Mkandawire scored from the edge of the penalty area, although the shot seemed to take a large deflection, before Kevan Hurst fired in from 20 yards to just about settle the tie before half time.
Brentford tried to respond and had plenty of chances.
Paul Hayes pulled one back in the final stages but The Bees could not find another goal and left with nothing.
The Bees were by no means second best in the first half, even though they lost the game in that opening 45 minutes.
Southend took their half chances and Brentford did not take theirs.
Britt Assombalonga headed over early on for the home side and Barry Corr nodded just wide but Brentford had the better of the first 20 minutes, largely playing the game in Southend territory.
Sam Saunders shot wide after he picked up a Hayes lay off and the two combined soon after when a Saunders free kick reached Hayes at the far post and his shot deflected wide.
Rob Kiernan made a vital tackle when it looked like Assombalonga was in behind and Brentford went straight down the other end, Saunders set up Toumani Diagouraga for a great chance but he shot over from 20 yards.
Southend took the lead when a cross from the right was only cleared as far as Mkandawire; his shot flicked the heel of a defender and beat Simon Moore low to his right.
Brentford could have equalised immediately when Harry Forrester stung the palms of Paul Smith in the Southend goal and Hayes missed the target with the re-bound.
The Bees thought they had equalised ten minutes before the break when the ball bobbled loose and a Southend man appeared to play it to Saunders six yards out, Smith saved and Hayes followed up to score but referee Mick Russell disallowed the goal as his assistant had a flag up.
Jake Reeves tried to point out to the assistant that a Southend man had played the ball backwards but the appeals were waved away.
Smith saved a shot from substitute Antonio German and Southend immediately scored their second.
The ball was smacked down field by Smith, Corr headed down and Hurst fired in a shot from 20 yards that arrowed past Moore and in to the top corner.
Moore saved a Corr header as half time approached and the striker headed wide soon after the re-start.
The Bees had a good go at getting back in to the game after the break but again did not take enough of the openings they created.
German had a great one early in the half – Smith palmed away a Saunders cross and the striker got a header off that was blocked by Luke Prosser and then blazed wide with the goal gaping as the ball broke back to him.
German headed wide soon after from a Saunders free kick and both teams should have scored midway through the half.
Assombalonga broke down the left and rounded Moore, he cut the ball back to Corr and the striker fired against the crossbar with the Brentford goalkeeper stranded.
Brentford immediately broke; Reeves found space in midfield and fed German with only Smith to beat but the striker fired high and wide from 12 yards out.
The Bees piled on the pressure in the later stages, seeking to keep their hopes alive.
Reeves fired in a shot that Smith just about managed to turn round the post and the goalkeeper then denied Hayes before Scott Barron lashed the loose ball over.
Smith denied Reeves again before the midfield player, who was starting to dictate things, had another effort that deflected through to the Southend goalkeeper.
Saunders curled a shot over before Brentford pulled one back with five minutes remaining.
A ball was played forward, Dean, who was pushed up front in the final moments, flicked it on and Hayes raced through to smash home.
Brentford kept pressing, trying to force a penalty shoot-out – Hayes had a flicked header saved – but left themselves open in doing so.
Hurst smashed a shot over and Mkandawire missed the target with a header when he really should have scored.
The home side were hanging on at the death – Smith tipped a superb Saunders free kick over the bar and when the corner came in, Aaron Pierre’s header was blocked and German smashed the loose ball wide.
That was Brentford’s last chance and they exited the competition despite a brave effort.
Southend United: Smith; Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Barker; Mkandawire; Hurst, Timlin, Martin (sub Straker 80 mins); Corr, Assombalonga
Subs (not used): Eastwood, Bentley, Benyon, Woodyard
Bookings: Timlin (75 mins)
Brentford: Moore; Dean, Kiernan, Bidwell (sub Pierre h/t); Hodson, Reeves, Diagouraga (sub Legge 63 mins), Barron; Saunders; Forrester (sub German 30 mins), Hayes
Subs (not used): Oyeleke, Dallas
Bookings: Diagouraga (54 mins) (third of season), Saunders (76 mins) (fourth of season)
Attendance: 3,052 (248 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham