Brentford and Exeter shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw that left both sides on the brink of a dream trip to Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Final.
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.
Brentford will count themselves unlucky not to have gone to Devon a goal to the good after Weston's header bounced to safety off the upright from Nicky Forster's right wing cross.
But Paul Tisdale's side always looked threatening with Daniel Nardiello forcing Brentford keeper Lee in to a string of impressive saves.
Exeter midfielder Liam Sercombe also went close for the visitors but his curling effort was saved by Lee at full stretch.