THE song Hard To Beat by Hard-Fi blared out of the Brentford tannoy at half time and there could not have been a more appropriate tune. For, up against Premier League opposition, it proved a mission impossible.

Previous ties at home to Tranmere Rovers and Accrington Stanley had gone to penalty shoot-outs, but there was no chance of that as the Bees raced into a 5-0 half-time lead.

Even the most optimistic of the 599 supporters that made the trip would have surrendered all hope of a comeback after Marcus Forss completed a a first-half hat-trick.

Beyond the break it was a case of damage limitation - or rather further damage - in more than one sense.

With an injury list that has now reached double figures, with Hallam Hope the latest casualty, and QPR loaner Faysal Bettache cup tied, Keith Curle could not fill his bench.

Only three outfield players were named among the four substitutes, and all three of them came on at the break as captain Carl Piergianni, playmaker Dylan Bahamboula and forward Zak Dearnley made way for Harry Vaughan, Vani Da Silva and the newest kid on the Boundary Park block, Benny Couto.

That was either a statement by the head coach in response to a first half in which they conceded after just two minutes, and at regular intervals after that, or a precaution in an effort to protect first team regulars with Saturday’s derby at Rochdale in mind. Or perhaps a bit of both.

The damage in the sense of this cup tie, though, had already been done. And Forss was the destroyer in chief.

The young Finnish striker converted the second minute penalty that Piergianni conceded for bringing down Yoane Wissa - firing straight down the middle.

He doubled his and Brentford’s tally in the 16th minute, when Wissa was denied by the post and he reacted fastest to convert from close range.

It took 32 minutes for Latics to register their first shot on target, but Jamie Bowden’s long-range effort was comfortable for Alvaro Fernandez. Dearnley then found himself in space in the box, but again Fernandez was a match for the finish.

Wissa’s persistence paid off as he added soon made it 3-0, slotting past Jayson Leutwiler after finding himself one-on-one with the Latics keeper.

The gulf in quality and class stood out like a sore thumb, but Latics were their own worst enemy at times too, and Raphael Diarra turning the ball past his own keeper gifted them a fourth before Forss completed his hat-trick a minute before the break.

Curle rang the changes at half-time, and Couto livened things up by calling Fernandez into action.

But it was Forss by name and four by nature - and a force to be reckoned with - as the Finn stretched a ruthless Brentford’s lead further still on the hour.

And Wissa completed the rout as the clock ticked down.

BRENTFORD: Fernandez, Charlie Goode, Jorgensen, Thompson, Roerslev (Stevens 71), Fosu-Henry (Bidstrup 71), Ghoddos, Jensen, Onyeka (Peary-Harris 71), Wissa, Forss.

Subs not used: Raya, Mbeumo, Ajmer, Toney

LATICS: Leutwiler, Jameson, Piergianni (Couto 45), Clarke, Fage, Bahamboula, (Vaughan 45), Whelan, Bowden, Diarra, Keillor-Dunn, Dearnley (Da Silva 45) Sub not used: Danielewicz