Match report: PNE 1 Burnley 2

Sean Maguire scored on his Preston North End debut but could not prevent his new side slipping to defeat against Burnley at Deepdale.

Tuesday, 25th July 2017, 10:38 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:01 pm
PNE v Burnley

The Irish striker joined the action as a half-time substitute together with Kevin O'Connor after they completed their moves from Cork City on Monday.

Maguire netted in the 65th minute, powering through the Clarets half and firing a low finish into the net.

It was a continuation of the form he has shown for Cork this season, having scored more than 20 goals in the League of Ireland and Europa League.

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His goal halved the deficit, Jon Walters having put the visitors in front in the first half, a lead which was doubled by Kevin Long's header early in the second half.

Chris Maxwell and Daniel Johnson were the only two players to start for PNE who had done so against Newcastle on Saturday.

Josh Harrop made his first start in Preston colours after returning from a calf injury as a substitute in the Newcastle game.

There was a welcome return too for John Welsh, this his first appearance since last October.

A serious calf injury had kept him last season, then a shoulder problem delayed his return this summer.

North End lined-up in a 4-2-3-1 system, Welsh and Johnson in midfield, with Daryl Horgan, Harrop and Ben Pringle the creative line behind lone striker Eoin Doyle.

At the back, Tommy Spurr partnered Andy Boyle in the centre of defence, Liam Grimshaw and Josh Earl on full-back duty.

Preston made the brighter start, Horgan's pass in the seventh minute releasing Earl down the left-wing.

The youngster's early low cross found Doyle, his flick goalwards clipping a Burnley player and going past the far post for a corner.

Pringle delivered the corner from the right, Spurr meeting it with a header which was deflected wide.

That second corner led to another chance, the ball cleared as far as Johnson who took his time to get a shot away - when he did it fell into the path of Harrop whose flick was saved by Tom Heaton.

Harrop was booked in the 12th minute for a challenge on Clarets right-back Matt Lowton, both players engaging in some pushing and shoving in the aftermath.

Burnley then seemed to step-up a gear and went on to have the better of the first half.

It needed a fine tackle from Earl in the box to whip the ball off Johann Berg Gudmunsson's toes after a mix-up between Welsh and Boyle allowed Robbie Brady to play the Icelandic winger clear.

The visitors took the lead in the 21st minute, Brady's free-kick from the left channel met by Harry Anderson at the far post, his header back across goal nodded home from close range by Walters.

It was an advantage they almost doubled within sixty seconds, Gudmunsson testing Maxwell with a low shot after getting clear of the PNE defence, one which the goalkeeper dived to parry.

Maxwell saved again in the 24th minute, that a more of a routine effort to hold a header from Anderson at the back post.

North End made four changes at the interval, Maguire, O'Connor, Ben Pearson and Alan Browne coming on for Earl, Welsh, Johnson and Harrop.

An early second-half chance fell Horgan's way, the winger curling a first-time shot from outside the box just over the bar.

The PNE woodwork was rattled in the 49th minute, Walters' header travelling across Maxwell and hitting the far post.

When the ball bounced back across the six-yard box, Brady drilled a shot into the side-netting.

It was only a temporary reprieve for North End, with Burnley netting their second goal in the 53rd minute.

Brady's corner from the left was met in the air by Long, his header beating Maxwell with Sam Vokes possibly getting a slight touch on it.

O'Connor lifted a free-kick from the edge of the box high and wide, Pringle having been tripped by Long as he tried to force his way towards goal.

In the 61st minute, Horgan's low cross clipped off Maguire and fell to Doyle whose shot was deflected behind by a defender.

North End halved the deficit in the 65th minute, it done in fine style by Maguire.

Doyle's challenge on Steven Defour down PNE's left channel saw the ball break to Maguire who powered forward through the Burnley half as the visitors' defence backed off.

Arriving in the box, he shifted the ball on to his right foot to take it across two defenders and drove a low shot past sub keeper Nick Pope.

Horgan was inches from scoring an equaliser with eight minutes remaining, his left-foot curling shot beating Pope but landing on the top of the net.

PNE: Maxwell (Hudson 75), Grimshaw, Boyle, Spurr, Earl (O'Connor 46), Welsh (Pearson 46), Johnson (Browne 46), Horgan, Harrop (Maguire 46), Pringle (Barkhuizen 69), Doyle (Robinson 75). Subs (not used): Vermijl, Cunningham, Huntington, Meulensteen.

Burnley: Heaton (Pope 46), Lowton (C Long 81), K Long (Mee 63), Anderson (Ulvestad 75), Taylor (Ward 70), Gudmunsson, Westwood (Defour 63), Cork (Hendrick 63), Brady (Barnes 70) Walters (Agyei 81), Vokes (Gray 81).

Referee: Robert Jones (Merseyside)

Attendance: 5,633 (1,755 away)