For those North End fans making the trip south to Griffin Park, be warned – there is no longer a pub on all four corners of the ground!
As is that news wasn’t bad enough, history indicates Brentford has been one of our least rewarding trips over the years.
In 25 previous league games there, we have only managed four victories although that meagre haul is supplemented by six further draws.
Last season’s 5-0 defeat, which featured three goals conceded in the final six minutes after Marnick Vermijl’s injury reduced us to ten men, was our heaviest ever at the home of the Bees. We also conceded five times on our second visit in 1935 but at least we scored twice ourselves that day.
Our first win came in 1946 at the sixth attempt, thanks to a 3-2 scoreline and our second win came five years later, this time by 4-2.
Sadly we have only recorded two wins in the 17 games since, 2-0 in 1988 and 3-1 in 2011. We are currently on a run of four consecutive defeats that we hope to bring to an end on Saturday.
Paul Hayes, Patrick Agyemang and Alan McCormick are just three former Lilywhites who also turned in out in the red and white stripes of Brentford, but one famous ex-North Ender also has connections with our hosts that might be less well known.
Older fans will remember Alex Dawson as a goalscoring battering ram for North End, following his transfer from Old Trafford where he had been a Busby Babe. Between October 1961 and March 1967, Alex plundered 132 goals from 237 appearances; in the league he scored 114 times in only 199 games. He gave us the lead for the second time in the 1964 FA Cup Final versus West ham United and scored five hat-tricks before leaving for Bury in 1967.
Eighteen months later, he moved to the south coast to join Brighton and whilst there, Alex played ten games on loan at Brentford, scoring six times in all to show he still had his striker’s instincts.
On This Date
Tommy Hamilton, our first choice left back throughout the 1920s, was born in New Cumnock, Scotland on 10th February in 1893. Tommy made 281 appearances in nine seasons after moving down from Kilmarnock in 1920.
This is only our second away game on this date since 1968. In the most recent of these three years ago, we recorded a 2-0 win at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield thanks to two Joe Garner goals on his return from injyry. This was the first of three consecutive victories over the Spireites in the second half of the season, which included home and away wins in the Play-Offs.
Brian McBride finally broke his duck for North End on his date in 2001 in a 5-0 home win over Queens Park Rangers.
A USA international, Brian joined us on loan from Columbus Crew and made an immediate impression with his intelligent forward play before he suffered a potentially career-ending blood clot in his arm that kept him out of action for several months.
Brian later followed David Moyes to Everton as well as spending a successful spell in the Premier League with Fulham.
Alan Ball Senior’s last game in charge of North End came on this date in 1973, a 5-0 home defeat to Portsmouth bringing an end to his time at Deepdale.
Two seasons previously he had led North End to the third division title after we had fallen into the third tier for the first time ever. We narrowly avoided relegation in our first season back, winning only twice in the second half of the season and a run of only five points in ten games sealed Ball’s fate.
Last Five Games At Griffin Park
Brentford 5 (Hogan, 3; Dean, Humphrey (og)) Preston North End 0, 17th September 2016
Brentford 2 (Vibe, Djuricin) Preston North End 1 (Johnson), 19th September 2015
Brentford 1 (Judge (pen)) Preston North End 0, 18th April 2014
Brentford 1 (Saunders (pen)) Preston North End 0, 16th March 2013
Brentford 1 (McGinn) Preston North End 3 (Mellor, 2; Hume), 17th September 2011