Scott Hogan nets hat-trick as Brentford hammer Preston
A Scott Hogan hat-trick helped Brentford to a comprehensive 5-0 rout of Preston in the Sky Bet Championship.
Skipper Harlee Dean and a Chris Humphrey own goal compounded the misery for Simon Grayson's side as four strikes in 13 second-half minutes sealed their fate.
There was little sign of the final scoreline at the break, when Brentford led 1-0, and Preston should have taken the lead with 13 minutes gone.
Callum Robinson pinged a superb diagonal ball from left to right to find the incoming Jordan Hugill, but his first-time effort was blocked bravely at point-blank range by Bees goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
The former Southend player spread himself bravely to keep the score deadlocked in a first half of few clear-cut chances.
Hogan put the Bees in front just after the half hour with a cool finish following a fluent five man Brentford move. His fourth of the season came when Romaine Sawyers slipped a superb through ball behind the Preston defence for him to run on and slot past goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.
Preston reminded the Londoners that they still posed a threat almost on half-time when Marnick Vermijl cut in from the right and fired a rising drive that Bentley was at full stretch to tip wide.
After the break Brentford were almost unplayable at times and when the floodgates opened again 16 minutes from time, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
Skipper Dean smashed home the second after Hogan had headed Lewis Macleod's corner back into his path in a well-worked training-ground move.
Brentford stretched their lead 10 minutes later as North End centre-backs Alex Baptiste and Tom Clarke hesitated and Hogan nipped in to round the keeper and slot home.
Substitute Josh Clarke played his part in the fourth in the 85th minute when he whipped in a low cross-cum-shot which Humphreys could only deflect into his own net.
And the demolition was complete two minutes later as Hogan completed his hat-trick and claimed his sixth goal of the season with the best effort of the game.