Match report: Bamber Bridge 0 PNE 4

PNE manager Simon Grayson

PNE manager Simon Grayson

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Preston North End got their first victory of the pre-season under their belts, beating Bamber Bridge at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Joe Garner opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 19th minute, a lead which was doubled by Jermaine Beckford in stoppage-time at the end of the first half.

Kyel Reid fired in a 20-yard shot early in the second half, then supplied the cross which Jordan Hugill headed home for the fourth.

The annual fixture was played in front of a 1,623 crowd who were able to enjoy the early evening sunshine.

Brig’s players formed a guard of honour to welcome North End on to the pitch, marking the visitors’ promotion in May.

North End played a 4-3-3 system in the first half, Andy Little, Garner and Beckford playing across the front, John Welsh anchoring a midfield behind Paul Gallagher and Daniel Johnson.

Missing from the PNE squad were Will Keane and Neil Kilkenny after picking up knocks at Chorley on Saturday.

Brig had ex-Preston players Paul McKenna and Brett Ormerod in their starting XI, with Jon Macken named among the substitutes.

Little had the game’s first opportunity, the Irishman’s glancing header comfortably dealt with by Brig keeper Lee Dovey.

Alistair Waddecar was inches away from giving the home side an 11th minute lead, his shot from 20 yards skimming the bar.

An effort on the turn from Little travelled just past the near postas the pace of the game picked up.

North End went in front from the penalty spot with 19 minute gone, Premier League referee Neil Swarbrick awarding it after Garner took a high kick in the face.

Garner took it, driving it confidently past Dovey to make up for his penalty miss at Chorley..

A foul on Waddecar by Calum Woods saw Brig earn a free-kick 25 yards, Joe Booth sending it just over the bar.

Little saw a shot deflect off a Brig defender and behind for a corner, while Garner tried his luck with a speculative volley from distance which hit the club house behind the goal.

Dovey had to dash off his line to block at close quarters from Beckford after Garner’s chipped ball over the Brig defence had found his strike partner in front of goal.

It proved only a temporary respite though, North End doubling their advantage in first-half stoppage time.

Woods’ powerful shot from the edge of the box was parried by Dovey and Beckford followed up to side-foot the ball into the net.

At the interval, PNE changed nine of their side, Jamie Jones and Ben Davies staying on.

The new-look side settled in straight away, Hugill testing Dovey inside the opening minute of the second half with a curling shot.

North End’s third goal came in the 49th minute and in some style too, Bailey Wright’s pass finding Reid 25 yards out.

Reid turned and unleashed a powerful drive into the roof of the net which gave Dovey no chance.

Although having come off at the interval, Garner had a busy second half, signing autographs for a long procession of young fans in the main stand.

Shirts, boots and pieces of paper were passed to him to scribble his name on - Woods, Little and Gallagher who were sat with him not quite as box office!

Brig made a succession of substitutes as the second period went on which inevitably broke up the flow of the play.

North End also substituted Jones and Davies, Steven James replacing Jones between the posts and Josh Heaton returned after featuring in the first half to replace Davies

The final goal of the night came in the 69th minute, Reid’s cross from the right channel finding Hugill who jumped to guide a header inside the far post.

Brig: Dovey (Samberg 62), Mahoney (Thompson 46), Lawlor (Alexander 77), Steel, Marlow (Green 46), Kay, McKenna (Parrish 46), Booth (Cookson 77), Waddecar, Barnes (Pickup 53), Ormerod (Vasey 62).

PNE (first half): Jones, Woods, Heaton, Clarke, Davies, Welsh, Johnson, Gallagher, Little, Beckford, Garner.

(second half): Jones (James 68), Smith, Wright, Huntington, Davies (Heaton 68), Reid, Brownhill, Browne, Anderton, Hugill, Ryan.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Preston)

Attendance: 1,623