Three goals in the opening 23 minutes sent Preston North End on their way as Brentford slipped to a defeat at Deepdale.
Neal Maupay’s late strike set up a tense finish, but The Bees couldn’t find an all-important fourth goal.
Thomas Frank made three changes to the side that suffered defeat against Bristol City last time out. With Chris Mepham serving a one-game suspension, Moses Odubajo was chosen on the left of a back four with Yoann Barbet shifted inside to partner Ezri Konsa. Kamohelo Mokotjo and Nico Yennaris – who was making his 150th appearance for The Bees – made up a midfield three alongside Romaine Sawyers.
It was Preston who break the deadlock on five minutes. Callum Robinson's shot from the edge of the area deflected perfectly into the path of Alan Browne who got enough of a touch to beat Daniel Bentley.
The hosts doubled their lead seven minutes later. Collecting a ball from the right, Robinson took a touch to set himself before lashing home from 25 yards.
Preston bagged themselves a third on 23 minutes. Lukas Nmecha’s indirect free-kick rebounded off Tom Barkhuizen and into the net, wrong-footing the helpless Bentley.
Preston’s third goal had given Brentford a mountain to climb but Canós gave the visitors a foothold before the half-hour mark. Skipping past a couple of challenges on his way in from the left flank, the former Liverpool man arrowed an unstoppable effort across the face of goal and into the top corner - a screamer from the Spaniard.
Lifted by Canós’ goal, it was Brentford who ended the half the stronger of the two sides. Romaine Sawyers threatened twice in as many minutes shortly before the interval; his first effort fumbled by Chris Maxwell and the second narrowly clearing the crossbar.
Maxwell was called into action immediately after the break as The Bees looked to build on their strong end to the first half. The Wales Under-23 ‘keeper made a smart double-save on 46 minutes, first to deny Yennaris and then Canós.
The hosts responded with a chance of their own two minutes later as Ben Pearson forced Bentley into a starfish-like save at his near post.
Despite Pearson’s effort, the momentum was very much with The Bees and they reduced Preston’s lead to a single goal on 56 minutes. Stood up by Darnell Fisher inside the visitors’ area, Ollie Watkins didn’t need to beat his marker as he snuck a shot past Maxwell via the foot of the North End defender.
Brentford were dealt a hammer blow on 69 minutes as the hosts added another goal to their tally. Following a foray down the right-hand side, Daniel Johnson flashed a low ball across the face of the box that was met by Robinson for his second strike of the evening.
Frank’s side were not going down without a fight. Maupay set up a grandstand finish with five minutes remaining, hooking the ball into the roof of the net having been found with a flick-on inside the North End area.
Despite their best efforts during five minutes of stoppage time, The Bees couldn’t find an equaliser as they slipped to a defeat at Deepdale.
Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Pearson, Davies, Robinson, Browne, Johnson (Gallagher 90), Hughes, Huntington, Barkhuizen (Maguire 87), Nmecha (Moult 90)
Subs (not used): Rudd, Earl, Storey, Barker
Bookings: Fisher (66), Davies (78)
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Konsa, Barbet, Odubajo; Mokotjo, Yennaris; Canós (Judge 76), Sawyers (Macleod 70), Watkins (Benrahma 70); Maupay
Subs (not used): Daniels, McEachran, Cole, Carroll
Bookings: Sawyers (23) (third of season), Konsa (38) (second of season)
Attendance: 10,833 (268 away)