Oldham Athletic 0-3 Preston: North End complete pre-season with routine win at Boundary Park

Preston North End completed their programme of pre-season friendly matches with victory over Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.

Saturday, 28th July 2018, 8:39 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th July 2018, 9:42 pm
PNE boss Alex Neil

Louis Moult, Daryl Horgan and Paul Gallagher found the net for PNE but victory did come at a cost, Sean Maguire coming off with a tight hamstring in the 24th minute.

His replacement Moult opened the scoring four minutes into the second half, the striker getting on the end of Graham Burke's cross to score from close range.

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PNE boss Alex Neil

Horgan increased the advantage with a shot from 25 yards which the keeper could only glove against the inside of the post and onto the net.

The visitors' third goal came in the 89th minute, Gallagher netting at the second attempt after Oldham goalkeeper Daniel Iverson had parried his penalty - awarded when Billy Bodin was tripped.

It was a strong starting XI, perhaps giving some pointers to next Satuday's Championship opener against Queens Park Rangers.

Andrew Hughes got the nod at left-back, while Alan Browne partnered Ben Pearson in the centre of midfield.

Josh Harrop played as the No.10 behind Maguire, with Tom Barkhuizen on the right-wing and Callum Robinson on the left.

Oldham made the better start to the game, North End seeing a few passes go astray and not particularly looking settled in the opening exchanges.

In fact it took them until the second half to really get into their stride.

When Hughes and Ben Davies left the ball to one another on the edge of the box, it let in Rob Hunt to have a shot, that pushed away by Declan Rudd diving to his right.

Ishmail Miller, playing as a trialist in the home attack, saw a shot whistle inches over the bar.

North End's first sight of goal of the first half was when Robinson put over a cross from the left channel which just evaded Darnell Fisher at the far post.

Maguire came off in the 24th minute, walking to the touchline without seeming in too much discomfort but obviously there was some problem.

Fisher was booked by referee Graham Salisbury for a challenge on Johan Branger-Engone which might have been red in a league game.

Those two certainly had a bit of a battle during the first 45 minutes, Branger-Egone a real unit who caused plenty of problems.

A Barkhuizen cross from the byline flashed across the six-yard box with Robinson a coat of boot polish away from connecting as he slid in.

Christopher Missilou became the second player in the notebook just before half-time, his name taken by Mr Salisbury for a foul on Louis Moult.

North End made five substitutions at the interval, Chris Maxwell, Tom Clarke, Ryan Ledson, Burke and Horgan joining the action.

Their first attack of the second half almost produced an opener, Robinson pass playing in Hughes down the left side of the box.

The left-back got a shot away but a defender slid across to block well and take the ball out for a throw-in.

PNE broke the deadlock in the 49th minute, Burke showing a good turn of pace to chase a pass down the left channel.

The substitute put plenty of his cross into the six-yard box which Moult guided home at the far post despite the keeper getting a touch.

Moult inadvertently went close again 10 minutes, his right-footed cross from the left-wing forcing keeper Iverson to back-pedal and tip it over the bar.

The lively Burke tried his luck from the corner of the box after coming inside off the right-wing, his shot on target but straight at the keeper who gathered comfortably.

But North End weren't to be denied a second goal, Horgan extending their lead in the 68th minute.

The Irish winger took a pass down the right, slipped past his man and then let fly with a shot which Iverson could only parry against the inside of the post and into the net.

PNE made three further changes after the goal, Gallagher, Bodin and Calum Woods replacing Pearson, Robinson and Fisher.

In the 75th minute Ledson was alert to a stray ball 25 yards out and fed a pass out to Burke down the right hand side of the box.

Burke side-stepped inside his marker and blazed a left-foot shot over the bar.

With 10 minutes left, a cross from Horgan found Moult in the middle, his shot blocked by a defender in the six-yard box,.

Victory was wrapped-up in the 89th minute when Bodin was tripped in the box, Mr Salisbury pointing to the spot.

Gallagher saw his spot-kick parried by Iverson but followed-up to tuck it into the net.

Oldham: Iverson, Hunt, Graham, Clarke (Hamer 76), Taylor, (Stott 46) Nepomuceno, Missilou, Gardner, Branger-Engone, Coke (Maouche 82), Miller (Benteke 46). Subs (not used): De La Paz, Sheridan.

PNE: Rudd (Maxwell 46), Fisher (Woods 70), Huntington (Clarke 46), Davies, Hughes, Pearson (Gallagher 70), Browne (Ledson 46), Barkhuizen (Burke 46), Harrop (Horgan 46), Robinson (Bodin 70), Maguire (Moult 24). Subs (not used): Storey, Earl

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancs)

Attendance: 1,660 (366 PNE)