Report: Familiar Frustrations Lead To PNE’s Fifth Straight Defeat

On Saturday, North End were on the wrong side of a five goal thriller for the third time this season meaning they have now lost five games in a row in all competitions.

Coming in to the game, West Brom had scored the most goals in the division with Preston conceding more than any other Championship team thus far.

Despite the visitors getting in behind a couple of times in the first 15 minutes, the Lilywhites were better from a defensive point of view in the first-half, restricting the likes of Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez and even coming close to being ahead at the break when Ryan Ledson fired a shot against the post on the 12th minute.

Just three minutes after the interval Jay Rodriguez’ header gave Albion the lead after the PNE midfield failed to stop the move from the away side which eventually allowed Livermore to cross for the former Burnley man.

It wasn’t looking promising for the Whites after this goal as they struggled to create many opportunities from open play, with one of PNE’s danger men Callum Robinson replaced early on in the second period through injury and Brandon Barker wasted in a central role due to the 5-2-1-2 (3-4-1-2) formation.

But, with just under 20 minutes to go, Andrew Hughes beat former Preston loanee Sam Johnstone at his near post from a free-kick to get his first goal for the club.

In three of Preston’s last four games, they had conceded goals within five minutes of scoring one of their own, and it was no different on this occasion.

Although it did come in an unfortunate circumstance, with Ben Davies looping a header from a Craig Dawson cross over Chris Maxwell, who had made a fantastic save earlier in the game, meaning the own goal saw North End behind once more just two minutes after equalising.

With three minutes to go, Dwight Gayle scored his sixth goal of the season, with Maxwell’s touch not enough to stop the free kick from putting the Baggies two goals ahead and seemingly out of sight.

In the last minute of the six that were added on at the end of the game, the substitute pairing of Josh Harrop and Louis Moult played a part in a consolation goal, with the midfielder finding Moult whose effort was pushed into the path of Alan Browne who headed home to make it 2-3.

Harrop, who made a positive influence when coming on from the bench picked up a knock in the build up to the goal and did not return for the final minute of the game, with no confirmation at this point as to the severity of the injury.

Crucial fixtures coming up before the international break

The Lilwhites will be desperate to get some results and hopefully get themselves off the bottom of the table before the next international break.

Paul Gallagher missed the West Brom game with a back problem but is set to be back for the Villa game, the same applies for Manchester City loanee Lukas Nmecha who had picked up a knock.

The return of Sean Maguire is much anticipated by the North End faithful, with Alex Neil suggesting he will be back after the international break but speculation from the fans is that he could make an appearance in the match day squad against Aston Villa or Wigan when Joe Garner is set to make a return to Deepdale.

@Adam_Thomason_

@The92Blog

Picture Credit: Preston North End

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