Cheltenham Town exited the Carabao Cup after this 1-0 defeat by Championship Brentford but caretaker Russell Milton will take away plenty of positives from this battling display in the capital.
The home side dominated the match and had a hatful of chances to win it, but not for the first time this season Scott Flinders produced a string of fine saves to keep his side in the contest.
They stuck to their task and almost made the west Londoners pay for their missed chances when Aden Baldwin rose to meet a corner six minutes from time but it was cleared by Julian Jeanvier, the only goalscorer on the night
As a result, the Robins missed out on a first appearance in the third round of this competition.
The club has racked up almost 700 miles over the last seven, eventful days and arrived at Griffin Park for possibly the final time at this famous old venue with the club due to relocate soon.
Milton rang the changes here, five in total, to take on a team flirting with the Championship play-off zone at this early stage of the season.
In came Ben Tozer, Kevin Dawson, Josh Debayo, George Lloyd and Aden Baldwin, mindful perhaps of the visit of Colchester United this weekend.
The caretaker boss sent his players out in a 4-5-1 formation with Manny Duku leading the attack, flanked by George Lloyd (right) and Ryan Broom.
Brentford's quality was there for all to see throughout the 90 minutes, dominating possession and forcing Scott Flinders into a string of early saves to deny Nico Yennaris, Alan Judge and Said Benrahma inside 17 minutes.
At the other end Duku had a chance but drilled his shot wide of the right post while some promising play by Ryan Broom earned the midfielder a corner, but that came to nothing.
Former Chelsea man Josh McEachran dragged a low effort a foot past Flinders’ left upright but the home side eventually made the break through five minutes before the interval through Jeanvier, who smashed it home after the scramble caused by a corner from the left.
For their firm commitment to the beautiful game, their opener had arrived courtesy of some chaos in the goalmouth sparked by a set piece from the Brentford left.
They started the second half as they finished the first, in control but failed to convert their chances and that offered a glimmer of hope to Milton's side.
One of Cheltenham's rare chances arrived on the hour, substitute Sam Jones seeing a his shot from 18 yards deflected just inches wide.
Benrahma was causing all sorts of problems down the Cheltenham left, producing three chances of his own to extend the lead but Flinders was equal to the first two and watched the third hit the side netting.
Macleod also wasted a couple of good chances – in total the home side racked up 27 efforts on goal on the night.
It spurred on the Robins and Aden Baldwin went close six minutes from time but the Bristol City loanee was denied by a last ditch clearance by the match winner ten minutes from time.
BRENTFORD (4-5-1): Daniels; Clarke, Jeanvier, Mepham (Barbet 50), Field; Macleod, McEachran, Yennaris, Benrahma, Judge; Forss (Ogbene 75). Subs not used: Bentley, Canos, Watkins, Mokotjo, Sawyers.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-5-1): Flinders; Baldwin (McAlinden 86), Mullins (c), Boyle, Debayo; Lloyd, Thomas, Dawson (Jones 50), Tozer, Broom; Duku (Addai 65) Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), Atangana, Forster, Clements.
REFEREE: R Joyce
ATTENDANCE: 4,384 (349 from Cheltenham)