Bees were beaten by a 100th minute Ryan Harley smart finish, and deserved the victory, but the gaffer believes extra time and the sapping two hours of football may come back to haunt him when he faces Ipswich at home on Saturday.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said.
“Both managers would have wanted penalties after 90 minutes. We’ve now got players who have to go into a game against Ipswich playing 120 minutes. It’s wrong, but that’s the Football League in its wisdom.
“It got very ragged towards the end; there were a lot of fouls; stoppages and fouls, and we never got any flow.
“So good luck to Exeter.”
There was further bad news when Alan McCormack lasted barely 10 minutes before hobbling off with no around the midfielder, and was seen wearing a surgical boot by the end.
“It’s something to do with his heel,” Smith explained.
“He felt it in the warm-up; but wanted to try, and lasted 10 or 11 minutes. It’s another disappointment because there’s been a catalogue of little niggles for Alan’s since I’ve been here.”
Brentford also gave a first outing to Emmanuel Ledesma, signed on a non-contract basis, and essentially having to prove his worth to earn a permanent contract.
Smith, who briefly managed the ex-QPR midfielder at Walsall, played a straight bat on his chances of doing so.
“I now what he’s about,” he said. “He still needs game time and got valuable minutes into him, but it doesn't take away the disappointment of not going through in the Cup.”