Brentford boss Andy Scott revealed that a half-time dressing down fired his team into life as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Exeter in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy southern final first-leg.
Jamie Cureton struck first for the visitors just before the break when he latched on to a through ball and fired an angled drive across Bees keeper Richard Lee and into the far corner.
But the Londoners equalised on 64 minutes when Gary Alexander swept home Myles Weston's first time cross to set up a nail-biting second leg at St James's Park.
Scott said: "I thought we defended poorly in the first half and our goalkeeper has had to make several top class saves. At half time I told them what this Cup means and reminded them what it would be like to get to Wembley.
"In the second half I thought we pressed on a lot more, retained the ball well and might have edged it when Myles Weston hit the post.
"It wasn't to be but it's still all to play for in the second leg and we have a decent record away from home."