Sep 5 2008 Brentford News by Yann Tear
NOT MANY goalkeepers get to face a penalty shoot-out on their debuts, but Seb Brown did - and he came through the test with flying colours.
He saved the second kick from Yeovil's Andre McCollin in a 4-2 penalties win after the teams had tied 2-2 after 90 minutes.
It probably helped that he only knew he would be playing a few hours before Tuesday night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash and simply had no time to get nervous.
But it may also be that even at 18, he knows the dice are loaded in a keeper's favour when it comes to spot-kicks.
"Penalties are good for a keeper," he told the Gazette after the Bees had won through to the next round.
"They should love penalties because you can't really lose. No-one's going to blame you for letting one in.
"Saving one in front of our fans was the best feeling. The buzz when you get up after saving one is great and even the buzz when they hit one over the bar felt as good as if I'd saved it.
It's definitely given me a taste for more. I know now in myself that I can do it at that level."
Boss Andy Scott decided the this was the right time to allow Brown a run-out and give first choice keeper Ben Hamer a rest.
The lad from Sutton has a chance to cement his role as understudy now the experienced Simon Brown has left the club and he is eager to make the most of his chance.
"I've had to be patient," he said. "It was my first game since going out on loan at Windsor last season and now I hope it's the first of many.
"I only knew I was playing when I got in before the match. If I'd known before, I might have been more nervous and I think the boss took that into account in deciding to keep me in the dark until the last moment.
"There wasn't really time for nerves and once you get out there it's just like any other game. Obviously, it is good to be making a debut though.
"As a young lad, I just want to be in and around it. It would be nice to get lots of games, but its more important just being around the side and gaining experience. I'll take what I can get this season."
Brown continued: "You need people on your side, people who believe in you and I appreciate the boss giving me the chance tonight to prove what I can do.
"Ben was really great in the warm-up too, just telling me to relax.
"I was happy enough with how I did but I will look at it again [on the video] on Thursday. It's a bit hard to think about it straight away, getting caught up in the euphoria and all that."
"It was ideal opportunity to play Seb," said Scott. "I've made it my decision to have him as my number two and if I wasn't confident enough to play him in these games then I shouldn't be having him on the bench.
"He's been excellent in training. He's worked very hard on his game and he knows what he needs to do to get in the first team. I'm delighted he did well tonight. He made a couple of errors but he was confident in everything he did."
Scott was hugely encouraged by his team's display against League One Yeovil.
They were on course for a comfortable win after Glenn Poole (from the spot) and Kevin O'Connor had opened up a 2-0 lead.
But Marc Bircham headed home a free-kick at the near post just before the break and O'Connor gave away a soft penalty in the second half to allow Gavin Tomlin to level it at 2-2.
Former QPR man Bircham put in a performance befitting of a pantomime villain. He seemed intent on winding up everyone in sight - particularly Frankie Artus, who he clattered into three times before getting booked.
The boos reached a crescendo when he postured in front of the home fans after his goal and boss Russell Slade wisely withdrew him from the fray at the interval.
Scott had more than Brown's contribution to enjoy.
He was able to play Ryan Dickson again after the leftsided player's spell out with injury and Ross Montague did well when he came on.
James Wilson will miss the game against Dagenham this week because of Wales U21 duty and Karleigh Osborne begins a one-month loan spell at Oxford, but the rested Alan Bennett will return, as will Nathan Elder and Marvin Williams.
BRENTFORD 2 YEOVIL TOWN 2 Line-up: Brown; Newton, Wilson, Phillips, Johnson; O'Connor, Bean, Artus (Ochoa 81), Poole (Dickson 63), Ademola, MacDonald (Montague 63). Subs not used: Hamer, Pead. Attendance: 1,339 GOALS: Poole pen (27), O'Connor (37), Bircham (38), Tomlin pen (76). MoM: James Wilson