Sky Bet Championship
Deepdale - 7.45 pm

Preston 2

  • Osmajic 52'
  • Potts 55'

Southampton 2

  • Walker-Peters 33'
  • Bazanu 90'+6 (Officially given as Evans og!!)


IBO Reporter:Spot51

|Preston set off this season at one heck of a pace and during our lousy September they surged ahead. Yet we are now W3 D1 and Preston D1 L3 and we are just one point and one place behind them. Another away win here sends us above them.

I watched Preston play Millwall last Saturday. They have a good passing style and took an early lead inside 4 minutes. Millwall took a while to get going but when they did they began creating chances. They took one on the half hour and, apart from the final 15m when Preston launched a final push, the away side had more than enough chances to win it. They were quick to break from their own half and often surged past North End's high defensive line in numbers. I reckon Sully could do nicely against this side.

PNE are virtually at full strength with just Andy Hughes, still recovering from injury, the only likely starter missing. Our three musketeers, Stephens, Stewart and Larios remain nursing their wounds but, with Manning collecting his 5th yellow on Saturday, we will have to find a new left-back for Deepdale.

At least Saints will be wearing the black and grey third kit which I love. It is also nice to be seeing a lot of new Refs instead of the EPL's Usual Suspects. Whilst few are perfect, we cannot predict how good/awful they'll be in advance. Tonight's contestant is Jeremy Simpson who started running the line in professional football in 2005 and rose through the ranks to EPL, Champions League and International games. Since 2013 he has refereed, mostly in the Championship, and we hope he has a good game tonight: i.e. any errors in our favour, please!

Team News

|With 3 games this week, both managers were expected to rotate players in and out of their teams. Ryan Lowe made 2 changes, bringing back his skipper Browne for Ledson in midfield and Millar for Brady at left wingback in their stock 3-4-3.

Russ made more alterations and solved the Manning problem by starting Bree at left-back, Out went Charly, Sully and Stu with Che, Edozie and Charles coming in. THB, a surprise starter at Hull, was nowhere to be seen with Holgate lining up alongside Bedders.

With the game on Sky Sports Arena, there was no studio presenter and David Stowell and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (last seen playing for the Blades in our Gals league) were doing it all. Five minutes from the start of transmission (including the applause for Sir Bobby who ended his playing career and began managing at Deepdale) and off we kicked.

Embed from Getty Images

In the 96th minute, Gavin Bazanu heads the winning goal, but as it hit a Preston player on the way in it was classed as an own goal.

Match Report

|It was the home side that kicked off in their traditional white shirts and black shorts. One thing I've learned about the Championship is its sheer unpredictability. The casual observer would think two passing sides would produce a good open game but this was rarely that. On Saturday, PNE had penned Millwall back yet tonight they seemed to comfortably sit in a 5-4-1 and challenge us to break them down.

Edozie celebrated his return to first-team action by roughing up his marker Potts. He fouled him on 2 minutes and then after PNE's first attack was flagged offside, Edozie went up for an aerial challenge with Potts who went down with our man landing on top. He rose slowly, rubbing his shoulder but was able to carry on.

Preston had the first meaningful shot on 7m when Browne found Millar whose low shot was turned around the post by Baz. When the corner came in the Ref blew for a free kick: not sure what for but it gave us the ball so it was clearly a good call.

Russ must've been purring for the next few minutes as we retained the ball, moving them about ahead of their fixed back 5 who stood and watched. It eventually produced our first attempt when Charles set up AA who shot from range but over the top.

On their left Millar and KWP were having a good old contest. On 15m their battle saw the ball go behind, clearly off Millar but he won the corner. We got that away but soon after KWP fouled Browne for a free kick on their left. The initial cross was headed out by Holgate but collected by Millar who shot wide. Millar is clearly right-footed and Courtney was annoyed that he kept coming inside, crossing with his right and putting beyond all comers.

Bree was looking comfortable at left-back and can certainly do that job. He was joining in with our attacks down that flank and even got our next shot away. Again, Charles was the provider and he drew a diving save from Woodman by his post.

Will got the first yellow for tugging the shirt of Browne in midfield. From the freekick, Millar set up Frokjaer whose shot cleared our crossbar. Soon after, Bree found himself in a leg race near our corner flag but controlled the ball, beat his man and cleared impressively. He immediately let himself down when Edozie was fouled by sticking the free kick beyond everyone and out for a goal kick.

There was nothing in this game on the half hour. We were dominating possession but they were rarely contesting it and both sides were guilty of misplaced passes. On 32m Potts' cross was headed out by Holgate. Whiteman's corner was met by Keane but his header was blocked and Saints countered. Bednarek injected some pace, driving over halfway before finding Will. He rolled it on to KWP who was faced with Millar.

We've seen KWP make for the line so often that it was strange to see him come inside. It was brilliant to see him curl the ball across Woodman and in at the far post: 0-1 Saints. The Aussie Saints have nicknamed KWP "Cheat Code" because he is clearly too good for this league. Note to other clubs: it was a fluke and he is really shite…

The away fans were singing and we suddenly looked to be moving the ball quicker. From a free kick in our own half, we swept forwards with Will finding AA in front of goal forcing a save from Woodman. Will's foul on Millar gave them another chance to swing the ball into our box. Whiteman's cross was met by Lindsey but Downes turned it past the post.

They were pinning us back now. From that corner, the ball reached Keane who hit a shot which Baz got a leg to and it bounced off Shea for another corner. The defenders all congratulated their keeper for that one. We got that corner out before Che was felled by a late challenge by Whiteman who was booked.

In +3m Bree conceded a corner. Keane got his head to it but it was an easy save for Baz. At Half time we went in a goal up and our stats (71% possession and 4 shots, 3 on target) suggested we deserved it.

Whether Ché was hurt in that late foul or not (it was the only mention of him all half TBF) he did not reappear and Mara came on instead. Frokjaer had been equally invisible and he too was replaced by their Montenegran striker Osmajic.

The game stuttered back into life with careless fouls and misplaced passes. On 50m Holgate conceded another corner but we got this away safely. Then Bednarek tracked Keane out to their right and fouled him. The cross was swung in and, as usual, Holgate won the header. Unfortunately, the ball dropped invitingly for Osmajic who caught it on the half-volley. The ball went low between a forest of legs and probably took a nick to defeat Bazunu. 1-1: Bugger!

Things quickly went from bad to worse as Potts intercepted a pass to Edozie deep in his own half. He carried the ball forward with Edozie trailing in his wake. In our half, he played the ball to Holmes and carried on running. Holmes found Osmajic who returned the ball into Pott's stride as he burst beyond our back line. Fair play to Edozie who'd tracked him all the way but Potts held him off and smashed his shot low and hard through Baz's legs. 2-1 FFS! Against anyone else, you'd say it was a beautiful goal. Sadly it was against us.

Russ was quick with his next substitutions with Stu and Sully on for Will and Edozie and Saints certainly seemed to find another gear. On 60m Cunningham fouled Adam on the edge of their box. It was one of those that Prowsey used to try and move back a yard or two to get it up and down in time. Bree and Stu stood over it. Stu stepped forward and got it over the wall - but straight into Woodman's gloves. No repeat of Stoke tonight then…

On 62m Downes fouled Keane and from the free kick they worked a shooting chance for Browne which Baz saved. We were doing more attacking now and Sully and Stu won a corner off Potts. The cross was headed out for a throw from which Stu put over another cross - and we had no one in the box. Come on lads, FFS!

Sods Law then saw our next cross, from KWP on the right, headed by a backtracking Mara when we had a better-placed player behind him. At least the chances were coming. On 69m KWP got another chance to cut inside onto his left foot but this time the shot sailed miserably high.

Russ brought on Fraser for Downes on 72m and shortly after Ryan Lowe withdrew Keane and sent on the old warhorse, Ched Evans. Preston were being forced back but, on 79m, Millar cut into our box, felt a contact and went down like the proverbial sack of spuds. Fair play to Mr Simpson: not only did he not buy the dive but also awarded a yellow card for style.

Millar's next involvement saw him put in a cross but our defenders crowded out the forwards so Baz could easily claim it. Russ then made his final change with Charley coming on for Adam. Charley soon created a chance for Shea but his shot went high.

Osmajic looked their best player throughout the second half and, with a goal and an assist, continued to get involved whenever possible. It was mostly Saints going forward as the clock ran down and it was Sully next to try his luck, putting his shot wide of the post. To be fair, Preston were defending well and clearly fancied their chances of holding on for the win.

On 88m PNE's last change saw Ledson on for Holmes and soon after Cunningham was carded for time wasting. The board showed we'd have 6 added minutes There were a series of niggly fouls, mostly by Ched Evans although Bree did respond with one of his own on him. In terms of trying to score, it was on 95m that Stu set up a chance for Mara who put it wide. In our next attack, Bree created an opening for Stu whose effort struck Storey and out for a corner.

With time up, Fraser raced to take it and delivered a cross that JWP would have been proud of. Suddenly, among the black and white shirts came the shocking pink garb of our keeper. Baz rose at the near post and headed it in. 2-2. Not sure if they even bothered with the restart cos that was that - a last-minute equaliser from a most unusual source.

Let's be honest. That was not a great game but the stats show we deserved a share of the points and I'll gladly take that.

Man Of The Match

I can't get too excited about many of those performances but both managers were able to make a difference with substitutes. We looked better with Stu on the park and Bednarek, Downes and our goal-scoring keeper also had good games.

However, it is impossible to overlook the impact of Saints' very own "cheat code". He always looks good and tonight, he sometimes looked special. Step forward Kyle Walker-Peters.


Preston North End

  • 1 Woodman
  • 14 Storey
  • 6 Lindsay
  • 3 Cunningham - Booked 90'
  • 44 Potts
  • 4 Whiteman - Booked 42'
  • 8 Browne
  • 23 Millar - Booked 80'
  • 25 Holmes (Ledson 89')
  • 10 Frökjaer-(Jensen Osmajic 45')
  • 7 Keane (Evans 75')


  • 5 Bauer
  • 9 Evans
  • 11 Brady
  • 17 Stewart
  • 18 Ledson
  • 20 Woodburn
  • 21 Cornell
  • 28 Osmajic
  • 33 Best


  • 31 Bazunu - Booked 45'
  • 2 Walker-Peters
  • 6 Holgate
  • 35 Bednarek - Booked 90'
  • 14 Bree
  • 16 Smallbone - Booked 22' (S Armstrong 57')
  • 4 Downes (Fraser 72')
  • 24 Charles
  • 9 A Armstrong (Alcaraz 82')
  • 10 Adams (Mara 45')
  • 23 Edozie (Sulemana 58')


  • 1 McCarthy
  • 7 Aribo
  • 17 S Armstrong
  • 18 Mara
  • 20 Sulemana
  • 22 Alcaraz
  • 26 Fraser
  • 27 Amo-Ameyaw
  • 29 Meghoma

Match Stats

  • Home/Away
  • Possession: 28%/72%
  • Shots: 11/13
  • Shots on Target: 5/5
  • Corners: 7/2
  • Fouls: 16/13


  • Referee: Jeremy Simpson
  • Assistants: Rob Smith, Mark Pottage
  • Fourth official: David Webb

  • Attendance: 15,346


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