Preston North End came back from 2-0 down to win 4-2 against a lethargic Brentford side in the Championship, who looked all over the place at the back throughout the match. Going forward, The Bees looked inventive but Preston's hard work gave for an assiduous performance, deservedly turning the game around and taking the three points.
Story of the match
The match began openly as both sides exchanged attacks in the early stages with Preston applying more pressure but Brentford looking the quicker and sharper outfit. The rapid attacking style from The Bees paid dividends when Ivan Toney gave them the lead in the 8th minute. A fantastic Dom Thompson through-ball played in Joshua Dasilva down the left flank who fired in a low cross for the perfectly placed Toney, who slid it in from close range.
Preston looked for a quick response through Sean Maguire but his 12-yard effort was saved with ease by Luke Daniels. At the other end, Toney played in Dasilva but his shot from the edge of the box was well stopped by Declan Rudd. An injury to Christian Norgaard forced him off in the 20th minute, and he was replaced by Mathias Jensen.
Alan Browne was the focal point of most of Preston's play and he had two good chances within a minute, the first prevented by an inch perfect slide tackle from Henrik Dalsgaard, before his well-struck volley was well saved by Daniels as Brentford began to invite pressure.
Just before the break, Brentford made it 2-0. A sensational pass from Sergi Canos played in Bryan Mbuemo who slipped a pass to his left allowing Toney to go through one-on-one, before smashing a low shot in the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The first half provided a cruel scoreline for North End who were more than a match for Brentford, but for all of their endeavour were unable to find a breakthrough. In the 52nd minute, Preston got their reward, after a cross from Joe Rafferty was headed across goal by Patrick Bauer and converted home by Scott Sinclair.
Eight minutes later, Sinclair levelled the tie with his second goal of the afternoon. Andrew Hughes robbed possession from Mbuemo and fired in an emphatic low cross to Sinclair who controlled the ball before firing passed the hapless Daniels. Brentford were on the ropes and their defence was all over the place, struggling to deal with Preston's new found confidence going forward, and three minutes later the visitors took the lead. Brad Potts worked his way into The Bees box from the left, cutting inside before dispatching a curling effort into the bottom corner. Luke Daniels will be disappointed to have been beaten at his near post, but it was nothing more than Preston deserved.
Brentford made a double change in the 68th minute, with Canos and Emiliano Marcondes making way for Saman Ghoddos and the unsettled Said Benrahma. In the 70th minute, a corner for Preston was whipped in by Ryan Ledson to the back post, Ben Davies battled to head the ball across the goal and Sean Maguire was the quickest to react, firing in from eight yards to make it 4-2 to the Lilywhites.
With five minutes remaining, Browne and substitute Emil Riis Jakobsen exchanged a one two, with the latter going for goal, but his effort was hit over the bar. Both sides exchanged attacks as the closing stages became an end to end contest, but Preston dug deep to see out the match.
Takeaways from the match
Things couldn't have started any worse for Preston, conceding early into the game and then again just before the break. It was a cruel score for the Lilywhites but they took the game by the scruff of the neck after the interval and took the game to Brentford. The Bees looked unorganised at the back and lacked the fight and commitment required to see out the game.
For the visitors, whatever Alex Neil told his players at half time worked a treat, as his side came out confident, not fazed by the deficit and seemed more inventive in the final third. Preston were patient and did not allow themselves to become desperate, and were rewarded shortly after the break with their opening goal. It was a relentless period of the match from North End, who scored three goals in 10 minutes from the 60th minute to complete a fantastic turnaround.
Thomas Frank will have a big job ahead of himself going into the international break, as his Brentford side looked work shy and short of confidence for large parts of this performance. Ivan Toney looked a real threat and managed to get a brace, but the players around him went missing when things took a turn for the worse and that will no doubt worry him before their next match against Coventry City.
Alan Browne was the regular outlet for Preston's attacks and this match showed his importance to the side. His work rate and energy was too much for the Bees at times and he always looked a threat. Scott Sinclair took his chances well and his experience will be vital if Preston are to make a push towards the top half of the table.
For Brentford, only two-goal Ivan Toney can really leave the field with his head held high. While others showed flashes of class, it was a bad day at the office as they suffered a first defeat at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Brentford: Daniels, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Thompson, Marcondes, Norgaard, Dasilva, Mbuemo, Toney, Canos
Subs: Raya, Jensen, Benrahma, Forss, Ghoddos, Fosu, Bech
Preston North End: Rudd, Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes, Ledson, Pearson, Potts, Browne, Sinclair, Maguire
Subs: Harrop, Gallagher, Storey, Riis Jakobsen, Stockley, Ripley, Bodin