UP TO four players were carrying injuries as Brentford crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge last night, boss Andy Scott revealed.
But Scott refused to use that as an excuse as his side were out-fought and out-thought by a Dagenham side who caused them problems all night.
The Bees went into the game knowing victory would be enough for them to win promotion, and even the League Two title if Wycombe didn’t win at Luton.
But they will now need to take something from Saturday’s trip to Darlington to avoid a last-day nail-biter against Luton, should other results not go their way.
Scott said: "I wouldn’t say we were fatigued, but we are scrambling around at the moment and had three or four players playing with injuries.
"But I’ve no excuses, we were beaten by the better side. We kept giving the ball away and they kept the pressure on.
"We succumbed to their pressure and didn’t relieve ourselves. I told them we need to stick to our game plan rather than have 11 players out there doing their own thing."
Dagenham took the lead 19 minutes in when Sam Saunders capitalised on some hesitant Bees defending to fire home from the right-hand corner of the penalty box.
It should have been 2-0 soon after when Ryan Dickson cleared off the line from Ben Strevens, but Brentford came back into it as Sam Williams fired just over after chesting down’s Dickson’s cross.
Marcus Bean wasted Brentford’s best chance of the night after a mix-up in the Daggers defence put him one-on-one with the home keeper.
Instead it was the Daggers who doubled their lead minutes later, Soloman Taiwo given the time and space to pick his spot from some 25 yards out after Ben Hamer punched a corner out.
Scott responded by bringing on a third striker in Damian Spencer, but if anything the home side looked the more likely scorers, and Mark Arber made it 3-0 on 54 minutes when he headed home Saunders’ corner at the far post.
And Brentford never looked like getting back into it, even after Spencer pulled a goal back with his first for the club with six minutes left, poking home after David Hunt’s cross sparked a scamble in the six-yard box.
BEES: Hamer, Osborne, Dickson, Phillips, Bennett, Bean, Hunt, Newton (Spencer, 36 mins), Wood, Clarke, Williams. S (Williams. M, 81 mins). Subs not used: Simon Brown, Poole, Halls.
ATTENDANCE: 3,517 (1,316 away fans)