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EXETER City winger Jake Thomson believes Brentford will be extremely cautious going into tonight's Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final first leg clash with the Grecians.

The two sides met in npower League One on Friday night, with the Bees plundering a very late equaliser to claim a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Griffin Park.

Thomson admitted he and his teammates felt as if they had lost the match afterwards, having led for so long through John O'Flynn's second minute strike, and says City must stop conceding sloppy late goals.

But the former Southampton man believes Brentford will also know they got off the hook on Friday and as a result thinks they will not relish the prospect of playing Paul Tisdale's men again this evening in a game of such importance.

Thomson said: "You could look at it that way (that Brentford have the momentum after scoring a late goal), or you could look at it that they have run around for 93 minutes and have scored one lucky goal.

"I don't think they will be looking forward to playing us again.

"I thought the boys did fantastically well but it sums us up at the moment because we keep conceding rubbish goals right at the end and it's disappointing because all that hard work seems to have been undone. In the changing room it felt like a defeat.

"We sprang a surprise on them with our change of formation and when we got the ball down and played it over the top I don't think they really coped with us.

"We have just got to learn to grind out results and be smarter."

Friday's game represented Thomson's first league start for the Grecians since his summer switch from the Saints.

He played in the front three of a 4-3-3 shape alongside O'Flynn and Daniel Nardiello, demonstrating the flexibility of formations that manager Tisdale has at his disposal.

The 21-year-old admitted he enjoyed the experience, even if the nature of the Griffin Park game did not suit his natural style of play.

He is hoping to play a part in west London again this evening and Thomson is optimistic City are capable of getting the result they want.

He said: "I was happy to get my first league start. I would have liked to have played a bit earlier, but I have had to be patient.

"I like getting on the ball, running past people and it wasn't really the game for that on Friday. It was more about getting in behind or winning second balls. I thought I did alright, but there's a lot more to come.

"I would love to play tonight. We will just have to wait and see if I have done enough to start and if not then hopefully sneak on the bench.

"If I don't do that I will still be supporting the lads and hopefully we'll get a good result to take back to St James's Park.

"A draw would be a good result, but with the players we have got in our dressing room I think we can go anywhere and back ourselves to win.

"It's a massive game for the fans, management, players and club itself. There's another trip to Wembley at stake – obviously the club has been there before and it's a special day, one of those events that you just want to be involved in. It should be a good tie."