TWO goals in six first-half minutes condemned Saints to a disappointing early exit from the Carabao Cup against Brentford.

Just moments after Che Adams had struck the post at one end, Christian Norgaard powered home a header for the Bees in this second-round contest.

And on the stroke of half-time, that lead was doubled through Josh Dasilva.

Saints huffed and puffed after the restart but never looked like finding a way back into the tie and slumped to a 2-0 loss.

Ralph Hasenhuttl resisted the temptation to rotate his side, opting for a strong XI which showed just one change from the weekend defeat at Crystal Palace.

It was a notable one though, with academy product Nathan Tella handed his first Saints start, in place of Will Smallbone.

But it was Championship outfit Brentford who made the early running. Bryan Mbeumo fired a free-kick into the wall from a dangerous position, before two monster throw-ins from Mads Sorensen caused chaos in the penalty area.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was then caught out, charging out of his box and clattering into Bees winger Tariqe Fosu, picking up the game’s first yellow card.

The clearest opening of the early exchanges fell the way of Saints. Ryan Bertrand’s low cross was met by Danny Ings in the centre, but he could not turn the ball on target.

Brentford quickly responded with Fosu stinging the palms of McCarthy, before the stopper also turned away a Bryan Mbeumo effort.

But set pieces continued to cause problems with McCarthy flapping at the resulting Fosu corner.

Boss Hasenhuttl was looking exasperated on the sidelines, but his side came close on 38 minutes when Oriol Romeu clipped a ball over the defence for Adams, but he could not quite bring the ball under his control.

The striker did connect moments later though. After Nathan Redmond broke down the left, he flicked infield for Bertrand, who teed up Adams just inside the box. He fired low and hard, but the ball rebounded off the post and into the grateful arms of a sprawling Luke Daniels.

And the Bees quickly rubbed salt into the wounds, taking the lead five minutes before the break.

Unsurprisingly it was a corner which did it, with Norgaard powering home a header unmarked from Mbeumo’s delivery.

And things soon went from bad to worse.

Moments after a big let-off when a marauding McCarthy was beaten to the ball by Mbeumo, only for Bertrand to recover, Brentford doubled their tally.

Shandon Baptiste got in just inside the box and picked out Dasilva, who made no mistake in tucking home.

Saints made no changes at the break and continued to struggle to test Daniels.

Adams showed his strength to hold off a defender, but fired off target.

Jack Stephens did go close however, just past the hour mark, with his header from a Bertrand corner tipped over the bar.

Tella was next to break through, but his shot was wayward.

Both managers turned to their benches with 20 minutes to go. Moussa Djenepo was introduced in place of Redmond for the hosts, while Rico Henry and Emiliano Marcondes came on for Brentford.

Brentford were managing the game well and even after Hasenhuttl threw on Michael Obafemi and Shane Long for the closing stages, Sainst were unable to pose any threat as the visitors secured the victory.

Thomas Frank's men progress to face West Bromwich Albion next week.

Saints: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Tella (Obafemi, 84), Redmond (Djenepo, 71), Adams (Long, 84), Ings.

Unused subs: Vestergaard, Vokins, Smallbone, Forster (g/k).

Booked: McCarthy.

Brentford: Daniels, Dalsgaard, Goode, Sorensen, Thompson (Henry, 71), Dasilva (Marcondes, 71), Norgaard, Baptiste, Mbeumo, Fosu, Forss (Dervisoglu, 78).

Unused subs: Pinnock, Zamburek.

Booked: Thompson, Dalsgaard, Goode.

Referee: John Brooks.