Match report: Brentford 5 PNE 0
Preston North End suffered a hammering as Brentford put five past them at Griffin Park.
It was the heaviest defeat of Simon Grayson's time in charge, three of the Bees' goals coming in the last six minutes as PNE collapsed.
They did have 10 men by then, right-back Marnick Vermijl having limped off with an injury after the visitors had used all of their substitutes.
But there was no excuse for the way North End fell apart and this was a huge blow coming just a few days after a 3-0 win over Cardiff appeared to have put them back on track after a wobbly start to the campaign.
Scott Hogan netted a hat-trick for the home side, with Harlee Dean and a Chris Humphrey own goal completing the scoring.
After a decent-enough start by Preston, Hogan put Brentford in front after 34 minutes.
It wasn't until the 74th minute that the lead was doubled, centre-back Dean scoring after a corner.
The last three goals came in the 84th, 86th and 87th minutes, two more Hogan goals sandwiching Humphrey's own goal.
North End boss Simon Grayson had named an unchanged side to the one which beat Cardiff in midweek, with it being the same bench of substitutes too.
He sent them out in a 4-4-2 system, with Eoin Doyle instructed to drop off the front line when PNE were out of the possession to pressure Bees playmaker Ryan Woods who was in a deep-sitting midfield role.
North End made a bright start, a second-minute free-kick from Paul Gallagher hitting the wall and bouncing behind for a corner.
The flag-kick was played short by Gallagher to Callum Robinson, the winger cutting inside and letting fly with a shot which struck Bees midfielder Ryan Woods on the head and dropped wide.
Brentford's first sight of goal was a free-kick from Lewis Macleod which travelled over the Preston back line and bounced into the arms of Anders Lindegaard.
PNE should really have taken the lead in the 14th minute, Robinson's fine cross from wide on the left picking out Jordan Hugill as he arrived in the box at the back post.
Hugill got there just before goalkeeper Daniel Bentley but didn't hit his shot convincingly, Bentley spreading himself to block.
Not long after that chance, Gallagher curled a 20-yard shot straight into the keeper's gloves.
The visitors were looking quite comfortable and holding their hosts at bay without too many problems, only for Brentford to take a 34th minute lead with a goal out of nothing.
Romaine Sawyers slipped a pass into space between Tom Clarke and Vermijl, that giving Hogan the opportunity to nip in and steer a low finish across Lindegaard into the far corner.
Clarke was later indebted to the Danish keeper for saving his bacon, the North End skipper having tried to chest the ball back towards Lindegaard as he cut out the cross.
But there was a bit too much power on the chest-back, Lindegaard having to scramble to knock it past the post.
On the stroke of half-time, North End went close to an equaliser.
Vermijl came inside from the right channel and hit a left-foot shot which Bentley tipped over the bar at his near post.
Just 10 seconds into the second half, the ball fell to Doyle 25 yards out, the Irishman rifling a right-foot shot inches too high.
He went closer two minutes later, Aiden McGeady beating his marker down the right-wing and whipping over a cross which Doyle met at the near post, his shot from 10 yards clawed behind by Bentley.
In the 54th minute, Gallagher delivered a free-kick from the left channel into the box, Alex Baptiste climbing to meet it but sending his header too high.
At the other end, Sullay Kaikai's free-kick from 30 yards stayed low and beat the wall, Lindegaard diving to pull off a routine-enough save.
Bees right-back Maxime Collin then drilled a low centre into the box, one which travelled across the face of the six-yard box without anyone getting a touch.
Kaikai forced an opening for Brentford, getting down the left and dragging a low shot wide of the far post.
Simon Makienok and Daniel Johnson were introduced from the bench in the 69th minute, Hugill and Alan Browne the men making way.
Before they had any chance to make an impact, Brentford netted their second goal of the afternoon.
It wasn't the best of defending from North End, Josh McEachran's corner from the right allowed to travel beyond the back post where Hogan climbed to nod it back into the mix for Dean to shoot home.
Straight from the re-start, McGeady went close to cutting the deficit, only for his low shot to be deflected inches wide - referee Keith Stroud initially gave a goal-kick but then changed his mind and awarded a corner.
To put it bluntly, North End then imploded, conceding three goals in less than four minutes after Vermijl's exit with an injury after using all three substitutes, left them with 10 men.
That was no excuse though, and it was frankly embarrassing.
In the 84th minute, Johnson's header back towards his own box was intercepted by Hogan who went round Lindegaard and rolled a shot into the net.
Josh Clarke's low cross from the right-wing was then diverted into his own net by Humphrey as he tried to clear.
It got even worse when the fifth goal went in, Hogan running through a static defence to fire home his hat-trick.
Brentford: Bentley, Colin, Dean, Egan, Bjelland (Barbet 76), Woods, Yennaris (McEachran 63), Kaikai (Clarke 81) Macleod, Sawyers, Hogan. Subs (not used): Saunders, McCormack, Vibe, Bonham.
PNE: Lindegaard, Vermijl, Clarke, Baptiste, Cunningham, McGeady, Browne (Johnson 69), Gallagher, Robinson, Doyle (Humphrey 76) Hugill (Makienok 69), Subs (not used): Wright, Pringle, Welsh, Maxwell.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
Attendance: 9,902 (889 PNE)