Bees keep marching on


Brentford could be one slip by West Brom away from securing promotion to the Premier League for the first time after a 1-0 win at home to Preston.

The Bees came in to the match well aware of the fact that a win would take them within a point of West Brom who drew 0-0 with Fulham 24 hours earlier. The hosts showed no signs of nervousness in the opening exchanges of the game and if there were any, Ollie Watkins’ fourth minute strike helped settle them.

The recalled Emiliano Marcondes found Watkins with a delightful chipped through ball and the Englishman smashed it past Declan Rudd for his 25th goal of the season, becoming the league’s top scorer in the process .

Unsurprisingly, Preston didn’t let their head drop despite conceding very early in the game and they started to dominate possession. Their first attempt of the game came in he 13th minute. Daniel Johnson excallant pass put Tom Barkhuizen in behind but a strong hand from David Raya denied him from getting the equaliser. 

In a turn of event, it was the home side that sat back looking to hit Preston on the counter, showing just how much was at stake for the West London club. The visitors again tested Raya in the 36th minute but he was equal to Darnell Fisher’s well struck freekick.

Despite dominating much of the possession, The Lilywhites struggled to penetrate a stubborn Brentford defence. At the other end of the pitch, Said Benrahma nearly doubled his side’s lead on the stroke of half-time but his shot was well saved by Rudd.

Preston looked to set pieces in their search for the equaliser. Just a minute after the interval, a well whipped in cross from a free-kick caused confusion within the Bee’s defence but they eventually got rid of the danger frantically.

Benrahma, who scored six goals in his previous three games was quiet through the majoirty of the game but the Bees still looked to him for some inspiration. The Algerian was booked for simulation inside the penalty box after 71 mins. Just minute later he again came close to doubling Brentford’s lead. He danced through Preston’s effort but his shot went wide of the bar.

Brentford held on to all three points and made it and outstanding eight wins on the bounce since the restart. Maximum points in their next two games and a slip up from West Brom will ensure the Bess place in the promised land. On the other hand, Preston’s hopes of a play-off spot are all but over after suffering  their 16th defeat of the season.

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Football correspondent from London covering the Premier League Football and EFL.

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