Watkins strikes as Brentford win eight in a row
Brentford closed the gap on the automatic promotion places to one point thanks to a fourth-minute goal by Ollie Watkins.
Watkins grabbed his 25th goal of the season to move ahead of Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic in the Championship golden boot race.
The win extends Brentford’s flawless record since the resumption, and equals a club record of eight successive league wins in the same season in what could be their penultimate match at Griffin Park.
Thomas Frank, the manager, said: “I will sit down with a glass of wine and think it’s actually quite good. Eight wins on the bounce, eight well-deserved wins. We want more and to aim higher but no matter what is thrown towards us we are ready for it. Why not give it a go for the direct promotion?”
Preston have endured different fortunes since the restart, having been sixth in February. They currently sit ninth, five points off the final play-off spot, but manager Alex Neil insisted the race was not over. He said: “It’s frustrating because I thought we had some good performances and I thought in the second half we penned them in for the first 20 minutes.” Brentford (4-3-3) Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Marcondes (Zamburek 88), Norgaard, Jensen (Dasilva 67); Mbeumo (Valencia 75), Watkins, Benrahma. Subs Canos, Dervisoglu, Jeanvier, Fosu, Daniels (g), Rasmussen. Booked Watkins, Benrahma.
Preston North End (3-5-2) Rudd; Storey, Bauer, Hughes; Rafferty, Ledson (Harrop 84), Johnson, Browne (Potts 74), Rafferty; Maguire (Bodin 84), Barkhuizen (Sinclair 75). Subs Gallagher, Stockley, Huntington, Hudson (g), Nugent. Booked Rafferty.
Referee Darren England (South Yorkshire).