Brentford 2 Preston North End 4: Match report on a superb second-half comeback from PNE

Preston North End staged a superb second-half comeback to turn the game on its head and beat Brentford at their new Community Stadium.
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Alex Neil's men trailed 2-0 at half-time to a brace of goals from Ivan Toney.

Bearing in mind how poor their recent record in away games against the Bees had been, there seemed little hope of some Sunday afternoon joy.

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How wrong that prediction proved to be. Four goals in 18 minutes spectacularly turned the contest on its head and saw North End collect their first Championship win of the season.

Brad Potts celebrates scoring Preston North End's third goal at BrentfordBrad Potts celebrates scoring Preston North End's third goal at Brentford
Brad Potts celebrates scoring Preston North End's third goal at Brentford

Scott Sinclair started the fightback with a 53rd minute finish from Patrick Bauer's knockdown, the former Celtic man equalising seven minutes later after good work from Andrew Hughes.

Brad Potts stunned the home side by shooting home from just inside the box in the 63rd minute, before Sean Maguire scored the fourth.

It gave them their first win on Brentford soil since September 2011, the Londoners' new home clearly suiting them.

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The North End side had shown three changes from the one which started the home defeat to Stoke City eight days previously.

Scott Sinclair scores PNE's equaliser against BrentfordScott Sinclair scores PNE's equaliser against Brentford
Scott Sinclair scores PNE's equaliser against Brentford

Potts, Joe Rafferty and Andrew Hughes returned to the team, with Tom Barkhuizen out suspended while Jayden Stockley and Jordan Storey dropped to the bench.

There was a place among the substitutes for Emil Riis, signed on Thursday for £1.2m from Randers FC in Denmark.

PNE switched formation back to 4-2-3-1 after using a 3-4-1-2 against Stoke, the system seeing Maguire spearhead the attack supported from wide by Potts and Sinclair.

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Against a side they find notoriously difficult to play against away, the last thing North End needed to do was to concede an early goal.

Scott Sinclair celebrates finding the net against BrentfordScott Sinclair celebrates finding the net against Brentford
Scott Sinclair celebrates finding the net against Brentford

They did just that in the eighth minute and it was rather too easy for the home side.

Dominic Thompson slipped a ball down the left-wing to play in Josh Dasilva in behind Rafferty.

Dasilva angled a low cross into the middle for Toney to slide in at the front post and knock a close-range finish past Declan Rudd.

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They almost fashioned an equaliser within three minutes, created by good work from Sinclair coming in field from the left.

PNE striker Sean Maguire and Brentford defender Ethan Pinnock challenge for the ballPNE striker Sean Maguire and Brentford defender Ethan Pinnock challenge for the ball
PNE striker Sean Maguire and Brentford defender Ethan Pinnock challenge for the ball

Sinclair's pass found Maguire who took the ball a couple of strides on into the box before hitting a low shot which goalkeeper Luke Daniels got down to save.

Back at the other end, Rudd dealt easily with shots from Emiliano Marcondes and Dasilva.

Then after half an hour's play, Sergi Canos' pull-back found Bryan Mbeumo in the box, the winger scooping a first-time shot high over the bar.

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Skipper Alan Browne hit a half-volley from the edge of the box straight at Daniels, the ball having sat up nicely for him after persistence from Ryan Ledson meant Brentford didn't clear their lines.

Brentford doubled their lead two minutes before half-time, showing a ruthless streak to turn defence into attack.

They cleared a PNE free-kick out of the box, Canos picking up possession and playing a delightful diagonal ball in the direction of Mbeumo on the Bees right.

Hughes seemed to get under the ball and lose the flight, Mbeumo bringing it down with a smart touch and knocking the ball inside to find the run of Toney.

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The former Peterborough ran through one-on-one with Rudd and slipped the ball home.

In the last action of the first half, Maguire spun sharply on the edge of the box to collect Ledson's pass and got a low shot away which was too close to the keeper who saved.

North End cut the deficit seven minutes into the second half with a well-worked goal in which a good degree of patience was shown.

Browne got possession 30 yards from goal and took his time on the ball to weigh up his options before playing it to the right-wing to find Rafferty.

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The right-back hung a cross over to the far post, centre-half Bauer rose to head it down in the middle and Sinclair turned a shot over the line from six yards.

As the game hit the hour mark, Sinclair struck again to pull PNE level, the build-up this time coming from the opposite side of the pitch.

Hughes hustled possession from Mbeumo on Preston's left, took the ball on and crossed low to the near post area.

Sinclair got to it on the corner of the six-yard box, took a touch before squeezing a shot under the keeper.

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Three minutes later and North End were ahead, turning the game completely on its head.

Ledson's pass picked out Potts just inside the box, the midfielder working the ball out of his feet and before slamming a low shot into the net - keeper Daniels not moving.

The fourth goal came in the 70th minute, Maguire having forced a corner on the left.

It was taken by Ledson, his delivery won in the air by Ben Davies who headed down for Maguire to fire home on the half-turn from six yards.

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Maguire was to give way soon after to allow Riis his PNE debut, the Dane not too far away from a goal late on with a shot which whistled over the bar.

Brentford: Daniels, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Piinnock, Thompson, Dasilva, Norgaard (Jensen 19), Marcondes (Benraham 67), Mbeeumo, Canos (Ghoddos 67), Toney. Subs (not used): Forss, Fosu, Sorensen, Raya.

PNE: Rudd, Rafferty, Bauer, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Ledson, Potts, Browne, Sinlair, Maguire (Riis 78). Subs (not used): Harrop, Gallagher, Storey, Stockley, Bodin, Ripley.

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)

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