PNE supporters have their say on Brentford defeat
No arguments from me with anybody who says that the best team won at Deepdale on Saturday as North End suffered their first home defeat of the season.
Brentford played a fast attacking game and although you could argue that two of the Bees goals had an element of luck about them, what you couldn’t argue is that North End were clearly second best and looked very shaky defensively. Ironically, North End scored the best two goals of the game via Sean Maguire and Tom Barkhuizen but it was all to no avail.
Much debate after the game about playing Woods at centre back when we had Boyle on the bench and from a personal perspective, I think Maguire is much more effective in the No.10 role and vice versa with Robinson out wide.
To be fair to North End we started the game the better of the two teams and with Alex Neil playing his usual 4-2-3-1 we threatened the Brentford goal a couple of times in the early part of the game. Hugill curled a shot that went just wide and Robinson had an effort that hit the side netting.
Brentford did look dangerous on the counter attack, though, and started to dominate the game in the period leading up to the first goal. Maxwell parried a shot and the ball, fortunately, went straight back to Yennaris who headed home unchallenged.
The goal galvanised us a little and Maguire had seen a header go over the bar before the Irishman equalised five minutes from half time. He picked the ball up near the halfway line and ran through the Brentford defence to send a well placed shot past Bentley and into the bottom corner.
The was a long stoppage in play almost immediately after the kick off when Yennaris was treated on the field and eventually stretchered off after a glancing clash with Hugill. After the break, North End seemed to be on top but we were not coping with the Brentford counter attacker and Josh Earl, in particular, was being exposed down the Preston left with little cover in front of him.
Ten minutes into the second half Brentford took the lead with a somewhat fortunate effort by Sawyers. He completely miskicked his first attempt but the ball sat up nicely for a second effort which deflected past Chris Maxwell and into the net.
The goal was scored, incidently, whilst Calum Woods was off the pitch having just received treatment on his nose. North End equalised when a shot from Robinson was blocked but came back to Barkhuizen who calmly smashed it home from the edge of the box.
The lead didnt last long,though, and after good play down the right Watkins made it 3-2 to the visitors when he slotted home in the six yard box.
A good goal from a Brentford perspective but a poor one to concede from North End. Neil borought on three attacking subs but all to no avail and even with six minutes added on, North End couldn’t find a way through for an equaliser which, in all honesty, they hardly desereved on the day.
I think the first the first thing to say is that although we have only collected two points from the last four games it could easily have been five and North End have not really had the rub of the green as far as refereeing descisions have been concerned. Nevertheless we have conceded ten goals in those four games and that must be a concern to the manager after such a good start to the season defensively. M
ore changes lie ahead for the visit of Aston Villa on Wednesday as Paul Huntington now serves a one match ban and Andy Boyle looks like he will be in the team after only starting just one game at Accrington in the League Cup.
I remember a couple of weeks ago the manager saying that Fulham, Wolves and Brentford all play the same way in getting the ball down and after the last three results. It is obvious that we need to work on closing down these teams and snuffing out the threat. Its a poor run I am sure we will come out of but defensively we need to tighten up starting on Wednesday evening.
A bee sting is painful and irritating for several hours but not too serious for most people which as a fan is the way I felt following our first home defeat of the season by the Bees of Brentford.
The team must now move on and apply this method as soon as possible hopefully in the big home game with Aston Villa this week.It was a game in which I felt our defensive frailties were exposed but also a reasonably entertaining game against a Brentford side who passed the ball well and looked a half decent outfit.In fairness to them, I think on the overall balance of play they deserved to get something out of the game.
Having been dubbed the naughty boys of the division this week on the disciplinary front and following a well publicised outburst in the tabloids last weekend from the Wolves manager, I felt the referee was a little over zealous with some of his decisions and ridiculously showed a yellow card to Seaun Maguire on our first attack for simulation for what I thought was a blatant foul.
Had it not being for the intervention of Paul Huntington, who had a very animated chat with the referee, I’m certain that more yellow cards would have been unnecessarily dished out. Huntington has thrived in his role as captain this season and while his performance was not quite as magical as some of his recent ones, he stands out and has been a tower of strength in our defence.His passion and determination has transformed him from being a squad player to becoming one of the first names on Alex Neil’s team sheet.
He has also developed real leadership qualities on the pitch and become a real leader something I feel we have lacked in recent years.There were some positives to be taken from the game mainly the quality of the goals with Maguire’s rasping low drive following a jinking run for the first goal being a fantastic strike.
The second from my man of match Tom Barkhuizen,whose pace was once again awesome, capped off another fine performance and in my opinion he should have won us a penalty in the second half when he was upended in the area.
Both these players cost next to nothing and can only get better with more experience along with the rest of our young side. When I consider all this any venom left from the weekend's sting from the Bees has certainly been neutralised in my mind.
An out-of-sorts performance by North End saw them always playing catch-up with the visitors from West London, which ended in a first home defeat of the season.
In truth, they struggled defensively as a team against some tricky and pacey Brentford players who always seemed to have far too much space in and around the home side’s penalty area.
Despite this, they did make a fist of it by equalising twice before the final goal of the game added to a feeling of disappointment and gloom in the damp autumnal air around Deepdale.
And what a pity that was, as both of the Preston goals were worthy of more.The first being struck by Sean Maguire following his fine solo run and the second a peach of a half volley by Tom Barkhuizen from the edge of the box.
So, has the early promise of an Alex Neil express become somewhat derailed in the last three or four matches?
Probably too early to say, but it did feel like a bit of something was missing and this fan for one would welcome the return to full fitness of experienced players such as John Welsh and Paul Gallagher, albeit it is nice to see Gallagher’s return to the bench recently.
Let us hope Mr Neil can put his finger on it quickly enough to lead us into another decent run.