Greg demands quick PNE response

PNE left wing-back Greg Cunningham takes on Cardiff's Lee Peltier

PNE left wing-back Greg Cunningham takes on Cardiff's Lee Peltier

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Greg Cunningham admitted to a deep sense of frustration as Preston North End’s five-game unbeaten run came to an end in Wales against Cardiff City.

Both of the Bluebirds’ goals in their 2-1 victory came from the penalty spot, with substitute Callum Robinson replying for the Lilywhites.

North End had won their previous four games and drawn against Derby before that, a run which had carried them into the play-off mix.

Wing-back Cunningham said: “All runs have to come to an end and now this one is over, we have to start another.

“We won’t let this one put us down, we will battle back and hopefully get on track against Brighton at home.

“The Cardiff defeat was frustrating and disappointing.

“In the second half I thought we were very good, we pinned them back, got balls into the box and created some chances.

“Bar the second penalty, I didn’t think they threatened us much in the second half.

“In the first half, Anders Lindegaard pulled off a few saves but we got better.

“Maybe it wasn’t our best game but I still thought that we deserved something.”

The frustration on the part of Cunningham particularly centred on Cardiff’s second penalty and seeing an offside flag rule out an Adam Reach ‘goal’ before that.

While there was no dispute about the first spot-kick which had seen Anthony Pilkington brought down by North End centre-half Paul Huntington, the second was softer.

Paul Gallagher had a tug at the shirt of Tom Lawrence, an infringement spotted by the assistant referee.

“I had a bit of a weird angle for the second penalty,” said Cunningham.

“The referee looked close enough to make up his own mind and seemed happy to let play go on.

“I had a few words with him after the decision was made and the ref said he has taken what the linesman said.

“The linesman was 10 to 15 yards away – maybe he had a better angle, I don’t know.

“But I would have thought the referee had a better view with where he was.

“That was very frustrating on our part, especially after conceding a penalty in the first half.

“At 1-0 down, there was the offside goal which Reachy scored.

“I think it was Joe Garner who the offside was given against but maybe he got a shove in the back.

“Had we scored then, who knows what would have gone on to happen?

“Even at 2-0 down, we cracked on and got the goal back.

“We kept the pressure on until the end but sadly could not find the equaliser which maybe we deserved.”

Cunningham claimed an assist for PNE’s goal – it was his pull back which Robinson steered home from the edge of the box for his second goal in successive games.

“It was a good finish from Callum. He’s a great lad who has done well since coming back to us,” said Cunningham.

“He wasn’t well in the week and had to travel down on his own so he didn’t pass anything on to the other lads.”

Cardiff boss Russell Slade felt his side deserved their win, one which maintained the Bluebirds’ strong home record – they have lost only once in the league this season.

Slade said: “We played a Preston team who have been on really good form. We won by two penalties but we could have scored more goals.”