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Preston North End 3-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 3rd Feb 2024 16:02

Former Town frontman Will Keane has netted twice and George Edmundson has scored an own goal to give Preston North End a 3-0 half-time lead over the Blues at half-time at Deepdale.

New striker Kieffer Moore and Ali Al-Hamadi were named on the bench as manager Kieran McKenna made two changes from the last league game, the 1-1 draw away to leaders Leicester.

Skipper Sam Morsy returned in midfield following his suspension with Lewis Travis dropping to the subs, while Jeremy Sarmiento was handed his full league debut with Marcus Harness also on the bench, alongside Moore, Al-Hamadi and Nathan Broadhead.

Preston made one change from their 1-1 draw at Millwall last time out with skipper Alan Browne returning to the starting line-up for Ryan Ledson, who was among the subs.

Former Blues striker Keane started and ex-Town keeper Dai Cornell was on the bench.

The home side created the first chance just over a minute after the game got under way, Town, wearing their orange away kit, looking to have been caught cold as Liam Millar was found on the left of the box but fortunately the Canadian international screwed his volleyed shot well wide.

But in the fifth minute, the Lilywhites were in front. Town were closed down as they sought to play out from the back and the ball fell loose to Keane in space 25 yards out after Morsy had looked to clear. The former Blues striker took it forward and struck a shot which caught Edmundson, wrong-footed Vaclav Hladky and beat the Czech keeper to his right.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0. Emil Riis was played in on goal by a defence-splitting Keane pass, took it on into the area and Edmundson inadvertently stabbed past Hladky as he looked to take it away from the Preston striker. Video evidence suggested Riis was offside when the pass was played.

Having had a nightmare start, the Blues set about getting themselves back in the game but made little progress against a determined Preston side with their tails up.

On 23, Millar ran from deep - with Town having failed to track runners on a number of occasions - and wafted over a cross from the left which was just too far in front of his teammates.

A minute later, Millar cut in from the left and hit a shot which deflected wide off Luke Woolfenden. Harry Clarke complained to referee Graham Scott that he’d been fouled but to no avail.

Town had a spell where they began to put passes together as the half moved into its final 10 minutes but without threatening and Preston quickly got on top with a third home goal looking more likely than the Blues pulling one back. On 37, Hladky was forced to palm away a dangerous cross from the right.

And on 39, it was 3-0 after Town were again undone passing it out from the back. Woolfenden played it to Hladky, who passed forward to Morsy just inside the box but Mads Frokjaer behind him forced the ball away from the Town skipper, who slid in to tackle as it reached Riis, but it ran to Keane, who stroked his second of the game into the empty net.

The shellshocked Blues, who had only found themselves 3-0 behind once before in the league this season, at Leeds just before Christmas, looked to find a foothold in the game. On 42 a free-kick was played short to Burns, but his low strike was blocked.

Play very quickly returned to the other end and Millar, who had caused Town problems down the left all half, crossed and Brad Potts hit a low cross-shot off Leif Davis and out for a corner, following which Woolfenden turned another effort from a low angle wide.

Town managed their first serious shot of the half with the half already deep in four minutes of injury time, but Clarke’s stabbed effort from the right of the area flew well beyond home keeper Freddie Woodman’s right post.

Earlier in the move, Burns had found himself in space just outside the box but opted to look for Jackson rather than shooting with his pass running behind the striker before Conor Chaplin picked it up.

There were boos from the Town support at the whistle after perhaps the most frustrating 45 minutes of the Championship season so far.

The Blues were slow out of the blocks and might have conceded within the first 70 seconds and were still trying to find their feet when Preston did go ahead in the fifth minute as Town’s usually controlled passing out from the back let them down.

The second goal had more than a hint of offside about it but with Town still trying to get going, then the third goal was much the same as the first with Preston continuing to press the Blues in their final third and cause errors.

Town have been the comeback kings so far this season but it will take an effort beyond anything they’ve achieved so far to get anything out of this. Changes, including the introduction of new recruit Moore, seem certain ahead of the second half.

PNE: Woodman, Whiteman, Lindsay, Keane, Browne (c), Frokjaer, Storey, Hughes, Riis, Millar, Potts. Subs: Cornell, Cunningham, Brady, McCann, Ledson, Woodburn, Mawene, Whatmough, Osmajic.

Town: Hladky, Clarke, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Davis, Morsy (c), Luongo, Burns, Chaplin, Sarmiento, Jackson. Subs: Walton, Tuanzebe, Travis, Humphreys, Harness, Hutchinson, Broadhead, Al-Hamadi, Moore. Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).

Photo: Matchday Images

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Gforce added 16:04 - Feb 3
Simply abysmal.

itfckenty added 16:04 - Feb 3
Worst half in a long while that. Big ask now! Need to come out with the guns and go for it. Literally nothing else to lose now. COYB

churchmans81 added 16:05 - Feb 3
Bloody hell !

Lightningboy added 16:06 - Feb 3
As shambolic as that was the first 2 shouldn't have counted - Morsy blatantly shoved & Preston keeper a yard offside for the 2nd.

Plus we've got a complete d1ldo of a ref.

IpswichToon added 16:06 - Feb 3
I need to stop cutting onions while I watch football

Lightningboy added 16:06 - Feb 3
*Preston player*

WalkRules added 16:07 - Feb 3
Awful. No attempt to adapt. Sarmiento anonymous. Clarke is Clarke.Way too many players off form. Lots of subs required NOW not on 60 minutes.

jas0999 added 16:08 - Feb 3
Extremely poor. The defence has been poor all season really. Conceded far too many at times. Even Maidstone scored two at PR.

Last week has probably had an impact as well. That type of public humiliation will have had a toll you’d have thought.

Pezzer added 16:09 - Feb 3
Not a lot to say other than shocking against a bang average championship side. This could be a hiding unless the team shows some grit, determination and quality. Embarrassing....

SickParrot added 16:10 - Feb 3
No hangover from the "freak result" last weekend then.

chepstowblue added 16:14 - Feb 3
Thank Christ we've been able to concentrate on the league today. The Maidstone defeat was a godsend, showing all the benefits of an early cup exit !!

Barty added 16:15 - Feb 3
Maidstone and now this. What the f is going on

superblues9 added 16:18 - Feb 3
When is he going to learn Jackson isn't good enough even with new signings he still starts him why ? He needs to go

BlueRuin69 added 16:22 - Feb 3
Only our 4th league defeat of the season, have missed Hirst…..stick with the team in the good times and bad. Coyb

DannyITFC added 16:35 - Feb 3
What a complete shambles, at this rate we will drop out of the playoffs. After this performance I’m not remotely interested in watching us get humiliated on Sky next week to West Brom.

BobbyBell added 16:46 - Feb 3
When I heard how bad the pitch was I dreaded this happening. We train and play on perfect surfaces so we just can't play or pass on a poor pitch and this one is awful.

surgery added 17:09 - Feb 3
Much as I have to admire what you’ve accomplished KMk, imho you got your selection wrong today. Hopefully you’ve got your obsession with playing Jackson out of your system now and if you haven’t you should have

del45 added 17:24 - Feb 3
Why the hell do we play short passes out from the keeper WE CAN'T play this way we are not good enough.

Lord_Mac added 17:39 - Feb 3
Why do we trumpet two new talented strikers and then leave both on the bench? Moore scoring two in the second half only emphadises the point.

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