Match report: PNE 2 Hull City 1

Greg Cunningham heads PNE level against Hull
Greg Cunningham heads PNE level against Hull

Goals from Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne gave Preston North End victory over Hull City at Deepdale.

It wasn't a convincing win over the Tigers but it was most welcome and was North End's first at home since December 16.

Callum Robinson challenges Angus MacDonald

Callum Robinson challenges Angus MacDonald

All the goals came in the last 16 minutes of the first half and Alex Neil's men had to come from behind.

Jarrod Bowen gave the visitors the lead in the 29th minute, his curling shot taking a touch off Cunningham to spin out of the reach of Declan Rudd.

It was Cunningham who pulled PNE level with his first goal in 13 months, the left-back heading home a corner from Paul Gallagher.

A minute into stoppage-time at the end of the half, Alan Browne netted from the penalty spot after Billy Bodin had gone down under a challenge from Fraizer Campbell.

Billy Bodin challenges for the ball

Billy Bodin challenges for the ball

Cunningham's return at the expense of Josh Earl he been the one change made by Lilywhites boss Neil to the side which had beaten Nottingham Forest 3-0 last Tuesday.

Earl dropped down to the bench with Calum Woods the man to drop out of the match day squad.

Much of the first half was pretty uneventful, the opening minutes seeing the ball in the air as the sides tested on another out.

Headers from Michael Hector and Campbell flew across the face of the North End goal in the ninth minute as the hosts struggled to clear their lines from a Bowen cross.

PNE's first chance of any note came in the 28th minute, Robinson turning on the edge of the 'D' and hitting a low left-foot shot wide.

Within a minute, Hull went up field to open the scoring.

Jackson Irvine played a one-two on the left-wing before sweeping a pass across the pitch for Bowen to chase down the right channel.

As he reached the box, Bowen checked on to his left foot and hit a shot which clipped Cunningham on the foot as he tackled, the ball spinning beyond Rudd's dive and in at the far post.

North End were behind for less than seven minutes, their equaliser arriving via a corner.

Paul Gallagher delivered it from the right, Cunningham getting up to meet it and glance a header across goal into the net for his first goal since December 2016.

The hosts then took the lead in first-half stoppage-time.

Bodin saw a low shot well saved by keeper Allan McGregor at the near post, Bodin picking up the rebound and running towards the byline where he went down under a challenge from Campbell.

Referee Stephen Martin pointed to the spot for PNE's second penalty in a row, they'd got one at Forest.

It was Browne who stepped up to take it, showing a calm head to stroke it past McGregor.

Two minutes after the interval, Robinson got behind Hector to latch on to Ben Pearson's ball over the top, but to the left of goal he sliced his shot and saw it tamely run across the box and out.

Bodin drilled a low shot just the wrong side of the post, then in the 51st minute, Browne shot on the turn from close quarters forced a good save from McGregor who got a glove to the ball.

Good one-touch play from Bodin and Darnell Fisher created a sight of goal for North End, Cunningham driving a shot too high from the edge of the box.

In the 66th minute, great play from Browne on the right saw him beat his man and pull a low ball back into the path of Robinson whose shot was saved superbly by McGregor with his legs.

That spell after half-time probably represented Preston's best spell of the game and had they scored then, it would have given them more breathing space.

Pearson was booked for a foul on Campbell, that his 10th yellow card of the season which triggers a two-match suspension - ruling him out of Brentford and Wolves.

Not long after, Pearson limped out of the action after pulling up, replaced by Josh Harrop.

Fisher, impressive throughout, made a fine block to stop a shot from Evandro in the 84th minute.

Hull upped the pressure in the closing stages but North End managed to see it out to hold on to their lead.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Clarke, Huntington, Cunningham, Pearson (Harrop 76), Gallagher (Johnson 69), Bodin, Browne, Barkhuizen, Robinson (Moult 79). Subs (not used): Horgan, Spurr, Earl, Maxwell.

Hull: McGregor, Aina, MacDonald, Hector, Clark, Bowen, Meyler (Evandro 69), Larsson, Irivine, Dicko (Keane 74), Campbell (Wilson 69). Subs (not used): Diomande, Tomori, Stewart, Marshall.

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 11,605 (601 away)