Bamber Bridge 0-7 Preston: Sean Maguire scores a hat-trick as Graham Burke nets first North End goal

Sean Maguire scored a hat-trick as Preston North End cruised to victory over Bamber Bridge at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium in their opening pre-season friendly.

Saturday, 7th July 2018, 10:06 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:52 pm
Sean Maguire scores his first of the afternoon as he bagged a 20-minute hat-trick

Five of the seven goals came in the first half, Maguire netting his treble in a 20-minute spell, with Billy Bodin and new boy Graham Burke on target..

Louis Moult and Josh Harrop netted after the interval, Alex Neil having changed the whole North End team for the second period in order to give the majority of his squad a run-out.

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Sean Maguire scores his first of the afternoon as he bagged a 20-minute hat-trick

PNE even had the luxury of missing a penalty, Harrop's spot-kick clipping the bar before he made up for the miss with the last-gasp seventh goal.

Neil's men, wearing their new green and yellow change kit, were ahead inside five minutes as Burke gave an early indicator as what to expect from him.

The summer buy from Shamrock Rovers tackled a Brig defender 20 yards out and moved into the box, working the ball on to his left foot before finding the far corner with an accurate low finish.

He almost found the net again soon after, getting on the end of a Daryl Horgan cross but headed over at the far post.

Graham Burke opened the scoring and his PNE account at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium

Burke turned provider in the 13th minute, rolling a pass from the corner of the box into the path of Bodin who took a nice touch before finishing with a low shot.

Maguire then took over the scoring duties, hitting a rapid-fire treble.

In the 16th minute a long ball out of defence from Tom Clarke was misjudged just inside the Brig half by the hosts' defence.

That set Maguire with a clear run on goal and there was only going to be one winner, the Irishman sprinting into the box and rolling a shot past keeper Lloyd Rigby.

It was Rigby who denied Maguire two minutes later, getting down well to hold the Preston frontman's cheeky back heel flick at the second attempt as Horgan sniffed after the rebound.

At the other end, Declan Rudd produced a fine diving save to his left to parry a 25-yard shot from Hyuga Tanner behind.

The resulting corner found Matt Lawlor but the Brig skipper's header flew just over the bar.

Maguire struck again on the half-hour mark, sliding in at the near post to knock home Horgan's low centre.

His hat-trick came in the 36th minute as he got on the end of a sweeping North End move down the left.

Josh Earl ran on to Burke's pass and put over a good cross on the run which Maguire moved to meet with a first-time finish from 12 yards.

The second-half team saw PNE bows for Jordan Storey and Andrew Hughes - Ryan Ledson was missing from the squad but was in the stand watching.

Moult led the attack, with support from the sides from Tom Barkhuizen and Callum Robinson, and it was former Motherwell man Moult who scored the sixth in the 59th minute.

He exchanged passes with Robinson in the box before picking his spot with a low curling finish into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Robinson drove a shot over the bar from the edge of the box the 63rd minute as PNE kept up the pressure after the sixth goal.

The No.7 then had the ball in the net with a tap-in at the far post from Moult's shot but he had strayed offside and up went the flag against him.

Moult curled a low free-kick round the wall and just wide, then Barkhuizen saw a pass blocked in the six-yard box as he tried to find Robinson - he would have been better minded going for goal himself.

In the 75th minute, Moult found space down the left channel but lifted a shot from an ambitious angle over the bar, with Alan Browne then seeing a goalbound shot blocked in the six-yard box by substitute Phil Doughty.

North End were awarded a penalty in the 78th minute when Harrop went down in the box but the midfielder's spot-kick clipped the top of the bar and went over.

Harrop was not to be denied though, riding a couple of tackles before scoring with a low right-foot shot from the edge of the box.

Bamber Bridge: Rigby, Wilson (Dawson 53), Lawlor, Charnock (Mahoney 46), Dodd (Morgan 46), Tanner Linney 46), Forbes (Churchman 46), Milligan, Marlow ,Waddecar, Boyd (Doughty 61).

PNE first-half XI: Rudd, Woods, Clarke, Davies, Earl, Johnson, Gallagher, Horgan, Burke, Bodin, Maguire. Subs (not used): Howard, O'Reilly, Baxter, Simpson.

PNE second-half XI: Maxwell, Fisher, Storey, Huntington, Hughes, Pearson, Browne, Barkhuizen, Harrop, Robinson, Moult. Subs (not used): Howard, O'Reilly, Baxter, Simpson.

Referee: Leigh Doughty (Kirkham)

Attendance: 1,739