Match report: PNE 2 Brentford 3

Tom Barkhuizen fires PNE's second equaliser
Tom Barkhuizen fires PNE's second equaliser

Preston North End suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time under Alex Neil as they slipped-up against Brentford at Deepdale.

It followed on from a reverse by the same scoreline at Wolves the week before and was also their first home loss of the season.

Sean Maguire

Sean Maguire

Nico Yennaris gave the Bees a 25th minute lead, the midfielder later going off on a stretcher with what looked a serious head injury.

Sean Maguire brought North End level four minutes before the break, the former Cork City man running from deep inside the visitors' half to score a superb solo effort.

Substitute Romain Sawyers - on for Yennaris - restored Brentford's lead 11 minutes into the second half before Tom Barkhuizen brought PNE level a second time with a fine shot from the edge of the box in the 67th minute.

But within three minutes, Ollie Watkins fired what turned out to be the contest's winner.

The PNE side had shown three changes to the one beaten at Wolves, with Ben Davis missing after an operation to remove his appendix, Alan Browne suspended and Josh Harrop dropping down to the bench.

Calum Woods took Davies' place in the centre of defence, Maguire and Callum Robinson restored to the starting XI.

Inside the opening two minutes of the game, Maguire was booked for simulation, referee David Coote deeming he had gone down too easily under a challenge on the edge of the box.

North End's first chance fell to Barkhuizen but he sliced a first-time shot wide from Jordan Hugill's knock down - Barkhuizen could have done with taking a touch before shooting.

Barkhuizen and Hugill linked-up again in the 13th minute, this time Barkhuizen's pass feeding Hugill who curled a shot wide of the far post from the left hand side of the box.

In general, PNE were off key for much of the first half with Brentford steadily getting themselves on the front foot.

Marc Jozefzoon saw a shot blocked by Woods, with the winger's follow-up effort palmed behind by Chris Maxwell.

North End had a decent chance on the counter-attack when Maxwell's punched clearance from a Watkins free-kick was collected by Josh Earl and played up field to find Maguire.

The Irishman ran goalwards before playing in Robinson who pulled a shot wide of the near post.

At the other end, Lasse Vibe shot just wide from the edge of the box before Brentford took a 25th minute lead.

Jozefzoon burst down the right-hand side of the box and saw his shot was parried by Maxwell, only for the ball to come to the following-in Yennaris who headed into the net.

Preston almost levelled straight away, Maguire meeting a cross from Daniel Johnson but putting his close-range header inches too high.

An equaliser did arrive in the 41st minute and what a good goal it was from Maguire.

Collecting a pass from Robinson five yards into the Brentford half, Maguire motored forward with the visiting defence backing off - distracted by the run off the ball of Robinson.

Maguire reached the edge of the box and fired a low right-foot shot into the bottom corner past keeper Daniel Bentley.

As Brentford took kick-off to re-start the game after the goal, Hugill accidently ran into Yennaris in the centre-circle with the Bees midfielder falling to the floor.

He was down on the ground for eight minutes as medical staff from both clubs attended to him, before he was stretchered off.

Early in the second half, Robinson saw a shot charged down in the box as North End came out of the traps brightly.

But they fell behind for the second time in the 56th minute, Josh Clarke getting down the Brentford right and putting a low cross into the box.

It fell to Sawyers who at first got the ball stuck between his feet but recovered to hit a shot which appeared to catch a deflection on its way past Maxwell.

At the time of conceding the goal North End had 10 men on the pitch, Woods having been instructed to go to the touchline having received treatment for a bang to the head.

The defender was still waiting for the referee to wave him back on when Sawyers scored.

Robinson saw a shot from 25 yards skid just wide of the target before PNE pulled level again in the 67th minute.

Maguire's cross from the left of the box hit a Brentford defender and bounced out to Barkhuizen inside the 'D' on the edge of the box.

Barkhuizen chested it down before rifling a right-foot shot into the bottom corner.

Parity was to last less than three minutes though, Jozefzoon playing a neat one-two down the right hand side of the box and crossing low for Watkins to slam home a shot from 10 yards.

Daryl Horgan and Stephy Mavididi were introduced off the bench in place of Maguire and Barkhuizen in the latter stages as North End chased a third equaliser.

But despite having plenty of the ball late on, they could not fashion any clear-cut late chances.

PNE: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Woods, Earl, Pearson, Johnson, Barkhuizen (Mavididi 83), Robinson (Harrop 71), Maguire (Horgan 77), Hugill. Subs (not used): Boyle, Gallagher, O'Connor, Hudson.

Brentford: Bentley, Dalsgaard, Bjelland, Egan, Clarke, Yennaris (Sawyers 45), Woods, Jozefzoon (Canos 75), Mokotjo, Watkins, Vibe (Maupay 90). Subs (not used): McEachran, Barbet, Chatzitheodoridis, Daniels.

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: 12,005 (478 away)