Preston North End 4, Brentford 3: PNE supporter John Roper has his say on the win over the Bees at Deepdale
North End avoided a potential Bee sting with a thrilling 4-3 win against Brentford at Deepdale.
In a fantastic game for the neutral, North End went three up inside 23 minutes only to find themselves holding on at the end to secure all three points.
Having said that I thought North End's play on the night was more than enough to deserve the win but the manager must still sort out the problem at the back of conceding too many goals.
No doubt in my mind that having Pearson back in the team made a huge difference in the middle of the park and the fact that Callum Robinson is playing the best football of his career certainly helped North End win the game to move up the table to 19th after looking in real trouble just four games ago.
North End made four changes to the team that started at Hull last Saturday and the experience coming back into the side certainly paid dividends on the evening.
We were ahead in the fifth minute when a Robinson shot fell into the path of Alan Browne and he made no mistake prodding the ball past the Brentford keeper.
In the 12th minute it was two when Robinson picked up a ball on the edge of the box and fired home much to the delight of the Deepdale faithful.
Brentford did look dangerous on the break and played some very good football but it was North End, again, who scored next after an indirect free kick was awarded against Bentley in the visitors goal after he picked up a back pass.
Johnson rolled the ball to Nmecha who hit a shot that deflected in off Tom Barkhuizen.
However it wasn`t all one way when Canos scored with the goal of the night after cutting in from the left and thrashing a shot past Maxwell, the keeper having no chance. North End managed the game well until the break and all looked set for a cracking second half.
Brentford came out straight onto the attack and suddenly it was game on when a corner was conceded by Fisher when there appeared to be no danger and from the resulting cross Watkins deflected shot made it 3-2 and set all the nerves jangling around Deepdale.
The game seemed to settle down for a while with both sides still being offensive as much as possible but it was, crucially, North End who scored next to make the score 4-2.
Johnson made an excellent run down the right hand side and slid the ball over to Robinson who made no mistake from close range to give North End some breathing space again.
It still was not over and from another corner Maupay scored the seventh goal of the evening with just three minutes left.
However, North End held on to secure a vital three points in a real thriller under the Deepdale floodlights.
It is worth remembering that Brentford are a very good side and even though we conceded three goals, to score four at home for the second consecutive game bodes well for the winter months ahead.
It just shows what a critical situation we were in before the Villa game, having taken eight points from four games we are still only one point clear of the drop zone.
We have a great chance to rejoin the pack, though, on Saturday when Rotherham visit Deepdale and I am sure the manager will be looking to extend this good run on Saturday and beyond.
One down side to the evening was the fact that only 10,883 were inside Deepdale with 268 making the trip from West London. We really need to do more to encourage people down to these night games but for now I suppose the result is all important as the climb back up the league continues.