Brentford scored a last-minute penalty to earn a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their semi-final play-off clash with Swindon Town.
Massimo Luongo’s goal 20 minutes from time appeared to have swung the tie in Swindon’s favour, but Kevin O’Connor kept his cool to convert a late spot-kick that leaves both sides in with a great chance of reaching Wembley.
Despite the hosts controlling the early exchanges, Brentford’s Adam Forshaw had the first real chance of the game only to drag his shot wide from 15 yards.
Adam Rooney was also presented with a glorious opportunity, but he saw his effort smothered by goalkeeper Simon Moore.
Swindon took the lead through Luongo after the on-loan Tottenham midfielder side-footed past Moore from the edge of the area.
The hosts saw two penalty appeals turned down by referee Geoff Eltringham after O’Connor appeared to handle in the box before Brentford substitute Farid El Alagui climbed on the back of Aden Flint.
Luongo then turned from hero to villain as he brought down Harry Forrester inside the area in the third minute of stoppage time.
O’Connor made no mistake from the resulting penalty and coolly slotted home to earn Brentford a draw heading into the second leg at Griffin Park on Monday.
Brentford boss Uwe Rosler paid tribute to his captain O’Connor after the experienced defender’s last-gasp spot-kick.
He said: “Kevin is excellent. He had not played for a long time but stepped up to the plate.
“It was a difficult situation for him as he was not playing many matches, but in all the games he looks very solid and does a great job.
“Obviously, in the end, he used all his experience and skills to convert the penalty and I’m very happy for him.”
The winner of the tie will face either Yeovil Town or Sheffield United in the final at Wembley, with the latter holding a narrow 1-0 lead after their first-leg meeting on Friday.