Goals from Nico Yennaris, Romaine Sawyers and Ollie Watkins saw Brentford run out winners during a pulsating encounter with Preston North End.
Having twice been pegged back at Deepdale, Watkins netted the winner in the 69th minute to extend The Bees’ unbeaten run to seven in the Sky Bet Championship.
There was a solitary change following the high-scoring draw with Sunderland last time out; Kamohelo Mokotjo favoured over Romaine Sawyers as Dean Smith looked to add bite to The Bees' midfield.
It was Preston who worked the first chance following a cagey opening. Having won the ball on the second bounce and wrestled off Andreas Bjelland, Jordan Hugill picked out Tom Barkhuizen on the right-hand side who sliced well over the crossbar and into The Bees fans behind the goal. Brentford responded immediately; Henrik Dalsgaard advancing from his right-back berth and dragging well wide of the near post.
Hugill and Barkhuizen linked up again with 13 minutes on the clock, the former curling one the wrong side of Dan Bentley’s left-hand post following an advance towards the six-yard box. Florian Jozefzoon had shown signs of life during the game’s infancy and it was the Dutchman who tested Chris Maxwell for the first time on 17 minutes – the North End keeper equal to his low drive from the edge of the area.
Ryan Woods nodded over the resultant corner and Lasse Vibe went close during the next phase of play as the visitors moved through the gears at a damp Deepdale. With 25 minutes on the clock Brentford’s good start became a great one. Jozefzoon forced a sharp save from Maxwell but Yennaris – just as he had been for the opener against Sunderland – was in the right place at the right time to convert from close range.
North End came close to an instant response; Maguire nodding Johnson's cross just over the bar having wiggled free of his marker. But Maguire and Preston weren’t to be denied as the hosts restored parity shortly before the interval; the Irish forward collecting the ball from deep, surging into the area and firing home from just inside the box.
Goal-scorer Yennaris was stretchered off to applause from all four sides of the ground as a relentless first half came to its conclusion.
It was Yennaris’ replacement, Sawyers, who would steal the spotlight following the resumption of play. Having weathered the storm during the opening exchanges, Brentford re-took the lead shortly before the hour mark. Josh Clarke’s cross from the right-hand side fell to Sawyers on the edge of the area, who hammered home at the second time of asking having scuffed his initial effort.
The Bees’ lead proved to be short-lived. Callum Robinson’s near miss on 65 minutes foreshadowed what was to come as, just two minutes later, Barkhuizen lashed past Bentley on the half volley from 20 yards.
It was advantage Brentford two minutes later; Watkins turning in Jozefzoon’s cross for his sixth goal of the season in what was becoming a roller coaster ride in the North West.
Despite six minutes of injury time – and plenty of huff and puff from the visitors – Dean Smith’s side defended resolutely to secure all three points.
Preston North End: Maxwell; Fisher, Woods, Huntington, Earl; Pearson, Johnson, Barkhuizen (Mavididi 83), Robinson (Harrop 71); Maguire (Horgan 77), Hugill
Subs not used: Hudson, O'Connor, Boyle, Gallagher
Bookings: Maguire (2), Woods (82)
Brentford: Bentley; Clarke, Bjelland, Egan, Dalsgaard; Mokotjo, Woods, Yennaris (Sawyers 45+5); Watkins, Vibe (Maupay 90+1), Jozefzoon (Canos 75)
Subs not used: Daniels, McEachran, Barbet, Mepham,