German's late goal gives Bees a draw
Antonio German’s first Brentford goal gave them a point at Deepdale against Preston North End.
Scott Laird’s goal looked as if it would give the hosts the points but German popped up in the 89th minute to earn The Bees a share of the spoils.
The well-organised Lancashire outfit seemed to have a little too much for The Bees and probably had slightly the better of it over the 90 minutes.
Brentford could not really create decent openings, even when they had the better of possession and territory, but took one when it came their way.
Preston started well, they hunted the ball in packs and pressurised The Bees.
Brentford were the better team in possession but the home side picked up more of the second balls in midfield and the chances that were created in the opening half hour mainly fell to Preston.
Simon Moore got down well to save a low Lee Holmes shot and Jeffrey Monakana shot wide after a break from deep.
Harlee Dean made a vital block when Laird had sight of goal before Moore saved a low Nicky Wroe shot and Paul Huntington headed a free kick wide.
Jonathan Douglas saw a shot blocked at the other end and then headed wide before Preston had a great chance to go ahead.
Moore inexplicably picked up a Tony Craig back pass and referee Nigel Miller had no choice but to award an indirect free kick inside the penalty area – Laird’s shot was blocked, Moore saved well from Jack King’s follow-up header and then held on to Monakana’s curling shot.
Brentford Manager Uwe Rösler shuffled his pack during the first half, pulling Toumani Diagouraga deeper and moving Adam Forshaw inside and Sam Saunders to the right as he switched to a 4-1-4-1 system.
That seemed to limit Preston’s dominance of the game but they almost went ahead before the break when Dean tried to get on his knees and head back to Moore, King got there ahead of the Brentford goalkeeper but steered his shot wide.
Harry Forrester and Saunders had shots blocked for the visitors and Douglas shot over from 20 yards.
Monakana had a further sight of goal before half time when he picked up a slice Wroe shot but blazed over and the first period ended scoreless.
The Bees probably had the better of the early stages of the second half but Preston’s organisation in defensive areas made it difficult to create chances.
Forrester had a shot blocked and then curled an effort over when he picked up a Douglas lay off.
Preston had barely been in Brentford’s half in the first 15 minutes of the second half, albeit they had not been defensively stretched, and they went ahead against the run of play.
A Stuart Beavon shot was deflected wide and although Brentford got the resulting corner away, it was played back and dropped to Laird, he bounced a shot in to the ground, over Moore and the defenders on the line and in to the net.
They could have gone out of sight in the minutes that followed – Moore made a fine save from Wroe and then an even better one from the same man seconds later.
Brentford pressed, and threw on strikers Paul Hayes and German in an attempt to salvage something.
But Preston had chances to make the game safe – Moore saved from Monakana and then made a fine stop from David Buchanan before Wroe blasted the loose ball wide.
Monakana shot over before German had his say.
Dean was the architect; he exchanged passes with Douglas and put in a brilliant left footed cross that German steered past Steve Simonsen and in to the corner of the net.
Brentford could even have won it with a Jake Bidwell free kick that bounced just past the far post but they won’t quibble with a point.
Preston North End: Simonsen; Keane, Huntington, Robertson, Laird; Holmes (sub Buchanan 63 mins), Wroe, Welsh, Monakana; King (sub Byrom 86 mins), Beavon (sub Elding 74 mins)
Subs (not used): Stuckmann, Cummins, Sodje, Wright
Bookings: Laird (28 mins), Monakana (70 mins)
Brentford: Moore; Logan, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Forshaw (sub German 79 mins), Diagouraga, Douglas, Forrester (sub Barron 59 mins); Saunders (sub Hayes 69 mins); Donaldson
Subs (not used): Lee, Kiernan, Dallas, Oyeleke
Bookings: Diagouraga (49 mins) (second of season), Barron (83 mins) (second of season)
Attendance: 8,804 (387 Bees fans)
By Chris Wickham