Memory match: Brentford v PNE

Neil Mellor celebrates his second goal and Preston's third in the 3-1 win at Brentford in September 2011
Neil Mellor celebrates his second goal and Preston's third in the 3-1 win at Brentford in September 2011
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Four years ago this weekend, Preston North End continued their strong start to the 2011/12 season by beating Brentford at Griffin Park.

It was their sixth victory on the bounce, the best run of results since 1999.

Neil Mellor scored twice and Iain Hume found the net as North End got the better of the West Londoners.

They had arrived in the capital on the back of wins against Chesterfield, Exeter, Notts County, Yeovil and Charlton – that last victory being in the League Cup.

Buoyed by their good form, the visitors started well with centre-back Brian McLean going close after getting on the end of a Graham Alexander free-kick.

Barry Nicholson tested Bees keeper Richard Lee with a header from Paul Parry’s cross – Hume’s follow-up effort blocked with Mellor blasting the loose ball over the bar.

So it was no surprise when the Lilywhites took a 10th minute lead.

It was a simple goal in terms of the build-up, keeper Andreas Arestidou, deputising for Iain Turner who had a broken toe, launching a big goal kick which Jamie Proctor jumped to head on.

Mellor stole in behind the Brentford defence to run clear and steer a low shot past Lee.

They almost let the hosts back into the game within a minute, Clayton Donaldson left unmarked in the box.

But the big striker’s shot was too close to Arestidou who saved comfortably.

Arestidou was beaten in the 21st minute though, with North End undone on the counter attack.

Myles Weston sped down the Bees right-wing and put in a low cross which Niall McGinn lifted into the roof of the net from close range.

There followed a good spell of pressure from Brentford but Preston held firm.

Their reward for some solid defending came in the 32nd minute as they regained the lead.

Proctor’s lay-off fell to Hume down the inside-right channel, the striker taking a step in field before rifling a powerful shot over Lee from 25 yards.

Early in the second half, Mellor turned the ball against the post after Alexander’s centre had been helped on by Proctor.

There was a scare at the other end as Jonathan Douglas just failed to connect with a cross from Adam Davidson.

Proctor and Paul Coutts tried their luck with shots from outside the box.

Arestidou made a diving save from a Miguel Llera free-kick, before North End made sure of the points 18 minutes from time.

Nicholson chipped a free-kick from the right over to the far post where Clark Carlisle jumped to meet it.

Carlisle headed the ball back into the middle for Mellor to volley into the roof of the net from 10 yards in front of the 892 travelling fans.

A defeat in the League Cup at Southampton was to end the winning run four days later, but victories against Tranmere and Wycombe followed to keep Preston in the promotion race.

However, that was followed by a miserable sequence of 10 games without a league win which was to ultimately spell the end of Phil Brown’s reign.