Preston North End supporters have their say on draw at Brentford
We gained another valuable point in our quest for the play offs with a hard earned draw at Brentford.
Summing the game up, there was little to choose between two evenly matched sides but the home team enjoyed the majority of the possession.
This was enhanced following the dismissal of Greg Cunningham midway through the second half.
However, we were resolute after being reduced to 10 men and defended deep to cling onto a valuable point at a place where we have not had much reward from our toils and endevours in previous years.
This season will soon be entering its business end and if we can continue to keep a level head and play like we are at the moment, I see no reason why a play-off spot should not be out of our reach.
The squad we have at the club at the moment is very workmanlike and while there are no really stand out players, they play to a very good system installed by manager Alex Neil who must take great credit for how he has injected a breath of fresh air into the club this season.
We secured a point without the services of Ben Pearson who in my opinion is our most influencial player.
Pearson shows all the strut swagger and attitude like a football version of former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher.
If we can keep him fit and free from suspension for the remainder of the season I can see no reason why we cannot have another tilt at the end of season play offs.
Well you have to keep the faith and have the dream.
Preston’s game at Griffin Park against Brentford was one where at different stages in the game, I thought all three results were likely. Basing my thoughts on the first half, I thought the teams looked evenly matched and that a draw seemed the most likely result.
The Bees moved the ball very well but North End were defending soundly and chances were few, although it was Preston who looked the more dangerous.
Once PNE took the lead, I thought that we could go on and win the game as we got on top for a few minutes after the goal and the Bees looked a little shaken.
Then when the home side equalised followed by the sending of of Greg Cunningham, I feared the worst and was probably slightly relieved when we claimed a point that our resolve and fighting spirit on the day very much deserved.
It was a strange sort of first half really with Brentford enjoying more of the ball but North End looking the more dangerous on the counter attack. A couple of half chances early on before Robinson was brought down when he looked clean through.
I’ve seen referees give red cards for less that that offence. Just before the half hour North End thought they had taken the lead when a free kick from the left was met by Tommy Spurr who headed superbly into the net only for a very dubious flag to be raised by a linesman and the goal was disallowed.
Right on half-time Rudd was called into action and made a brilliant one -on-one save when it looked like the Brentford forward was well offside but no flag was raised this time and Rudd saved North End with his quick actions.
The second half started pretty much as the first had ended with Brentford on the ball but not causing us all that many problems. Ten minutes into the half, North End took the lead when Barkhuizen got the ball on the left flank and cut in on his right foot to shoot across the box. Robinson made a play for the ball which I think distracted Bentley in the home goal and the ball went into the far corner to give North End the lead.
Unfortunately Brentford were level less than 10 minutes later when a shot and turn that should have been dealt with beat Rudd at his left hand post to level the game.
The game twisted again when Cunningham was sent off for two yellow card offences of which I have no argument with the second but the first booking was a joke.
North End were under pressure and reverted to 4-4-1 with the 10 men but we were nothing if not resilliant and held on admirably for a well earned draw and a share of the spoils with Rudd making a superb save in the final few moments. No games in the Championship are easy and Brentford are a good footballing side particularly on their own patch.
Tommy Spurr did well coming in for his first game back after Tom Clarke picked up an injury in training. The boys were cheered on by a very healthy 1,042 fans who had made the journey on a day when it rained from start to finish.
Looking at the rest of the results in the division a draw was not a disaster for North End and although things have tightened up a little below us we finished the day where we started just three points behind the play off places in seventh position.
Just 15 games to go and well in with a shout, surely we can get 20,000 through the gates at Deepdale next week with Wolves having sold their 5,600. Next Saturday is, without doubt, the game of the season so and we need all the support we can get.