Brentford see off spirited Port Vale
Last updated on .From the section FA Cup
Bryan Mbeumo scored his first career hat-trick as Premier League Brentford overcame spirited League Two side Port Vale in the FA Cup third round.
Mbeumo doubled the visitors' advantage, but Kian Harratt gave Vale hope with 20 minutes remaining.
However, Mbeumo soon made it 3-1 before completing his treble from the penalty spot.
• None FA Cup fourth-round draw: When is it and which ball is my club?
• None Upsets, drama and goals galore - FA Cup third round delivers in style
• None Relive Port Vale v Brentford and the rest of Saturday's FA Cup games, including match highlights
Brentford made eight changes to the team that defeated Aston Villa in the Premier League last weekend, with Ethan Pinnock, Mads Bech Sorensen and Yoane Wissa the sole survivors.
While Thomas Frank's side were quick to gain a stranglehold on possession at Vale Park, there was little in the way of goalmouth action in the early stages of the contest.
Wissa should have put the Bees ahead when Vale goalkeeper Aiden Stone spilled Forss' effort from the edge of the box, but the striker was slow to react and Stone was able to gather at the second attempt.
The visitors were in front moments later when Tom Pett lost possession just inside the Brentford half, allowing Bidstrup to carry the ball to the edge of the box before teeing up Forss, who slammed a fierce right-footed shot into the far corner.
Wissa almost atoned for his earlier lapse in the closing stages of the first half, firing against the crossbar after Stone's clearance fell to the 25-year-old on the edge of the area.
Second-half substitute Mbeumo's composed finish from Vitaly Janelt's through ball appeared to have ended Vale's hopes of an unlikely comeback, but Darrell Clarke's side - who had not played since 11 December due to Covid-related postponements - threw caution to the wind in the second half and threatened to fight their way back into the game.
Harratt, who only completed his loan move from Championship club Huddersfield on Friday, buried a diving header to reduce the arrears, before Lewis Cass curled a low shot inches wide of Jonas Lossl's far post.
David Worrall almost squeezed home the equaliser after Ben Garrity had flicked Mal Benning's cross towards the far post, but the midfielder was denied by Bees debutant Lossl.
Brentford had their backs to the wall at this stage, but they remained a threat on the counter-attack and restored their two-goal advantage when Mbeumo cut inside his marker and curled a left-footed finish into the corner via the inside of the post.
The 22-year-old was gifted a chance to complete his hat-trick when Benning felled Ivan Toney inside the box and he made no mistake, sending Stone the wrong way to seal Brentford's place in the hat for the fourth round.
Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke: "Brentford had control in the first half. We looked a bit rusty and looked like we hadn't played for 28 days. In the second half we had a good go.
"When you get it back to 2-1 you never know, but good sides like Brentford are ruthless. We have a lot of lads coming back from Covid and injury, so I'm really pleased we put in a half-decent performance on the day.
"We'll look after him until the end of the season. I have massive belief in my squad. As soon as we get the rhythm back, we'll be more than a match in League Two.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank: "I thought we were brilliant in the first half, especially in terms of our attitude. In the second half I thought we started slow and Port Vale came after us a little bit.
"We scored the second goal and I thought the game was done, but they scored a good goal and for a spell of 10 to 15 minutes, there was a really good FA Cup atmosphere. The good thing was that we had brought Bryan on the pitch.
"I love my team because it's not easy to come here and play. There are so many good things."
Watch five third-round ties live across the BBC including Manchester United v Aston Villa - plus highlights from every match (UK only). Read the full details here.