Match Report: Accrington Stanley 0-1 Preston North End - Second win of the summer for PNE

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Preston North End got their second win of the summer as they beat Accrington Stanley 1-0 at the Wham Stadium.

Emil Riis scored the only goal of the game in North End’s fourth pre-season friendly of the summer, with Daniel Johnson seeing a first half penalty saved.

Ryan Lowe’s biggest changes to the starting XI that played Getafe was that his back three was rotated, and his skipper was brought in for his first start of the summer.

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Bambo Diaby, Patrick Bauer and Greg Cunningham were the back three, with Alan Browne in the middle of midfield in place of Ben Whiteman having joined up with the squad later on in pre-season due to international duty.

Liam Lindsay challenges for the ball at Accrington.Liam Lindsay challenges for the ball at Accrington.
Liam Lindsay challenges for the ball at Accrington.

PNE had a good chance to take the lead after just seven minutes, Robbie Brady’s inviting cross from the left met by Riis who shot past the near post from about six yards out.

Brady was again causing trouble three minutes later, the visitors building out from their half with a flick around the corner from Ched Evans into the path of Browne who fed it wide to his international teammate. Brady’s cross was headed away.

After 17 minutes the yellows, sporting their new away kit, had the chance to go ahead from the spot. Evans ran through on goal and poked the ball over the goalkeeper Lukas Jensen who brought the Welshman down.

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Johnson took his time from 12 yards and aimed to the ‘keeper’s left, but the Dane got two firm hands to the ball to beat it away.

Jensen was called into further aciton after 20 minutes, Brady and Riis exchanged an inventive one-two and the former’s low cross was steered towards the far corner but for the sprawling arm of Jensen.

Accringotn began to create a bit of momentum off the back of their rearguard endeavours and Colby Bishop saw a shot blocked by Greg Cunningham 21 minutes in.

Six minutes later Joe Pritchard threw himself at a cross to the far post but his header ended up high of the target.

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But North End fought back in perfect fashion, taking the lead seven minutes from half time. They beat the Accrington press down the left side and found Johnson through down the channel, he had the presence of mind to roll it square across goal for Riis to slot into the net.

It was nearly two during first half stoppage time, Brad Potts cut inside from the right wing to blast at goal on his left foot but he could not beat Jensen.

PNE opened the second half with a chance, the ball being switched to the right where Potts, Riis and Browne could combine but the latter’s volley whilst well struck was straight at the ‘keeper.

There was little in the way of chances prior to the beginning of the changes for both sides, North End making four subs after 56 minutes.

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Substitute Shaun Whalley sent a free kick over the PNE bar after 59 minutes with Tommy Leigh forcing a good save from Freddie Woodman six minutes later – the stopper’s last action in the game before four more substitutions.

Harry Pell was next to have a shot on goal, his free kick deflected behind after 72’ minutes with Ben Woodburn going up the other end to see a left footed strike saved a minute later.

North End’s forward line changed eight minutes before the end, Riis and Evans being replaced by academy graduates Mikey O’Neill and Dana Amaral.

PNE saw the game out, despite a bit of late pressure, to secure the win at the Wham.

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PNE Starting XI: Woodman, Diaby (Storey, 66’), Bauer (Lindsay, 56’), Cunningham (Hughes, 56’), Potts (Olosunde, 74’), Ledson (Whiteman, 56’), Johnson (Woodburn, 66’), Browne (McCann, 56’), Brady (Coulton, 66’), Riis, Evans.

PNE Subs: Cornell, Whiteman, Lindsay, McCann, Storey, Hughes, Woodburn, Olosunde, Amaral, Coulton, O'Neill.

Attendance: 1,891 (1014 away)