Match report: Rotherham 1 PNE 3

Rotherham v PNE
Rotherham v PNE
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Goals from Jordan Hugill, Callum Robinson and Marnick Vermijl gave Preston North End victory over Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.

It was their third away win in the Championship this season and got them back on track after Newcastle ended their six-game unbeaten league run last week.

Jordan Hugill heads PNE in front

Jordan Hugill heads PNE in front

Hugill headed PNE in front from a Greg Cunningham cross in the 22nd minute, with Robinson doubling the advantage five minutes later - heading Aiden McGeady's centre.

North End controlled long spells of the game, playing effectively on the counter-attack in the second half.

But the Millers halved the deficit with 71 minutes gone, skipper Richard Wood heading home a cross from substitute Peter Odemwingie.

Substitute Vermijl restored the two-goal cushion within three minutes of joining the action, forcing the ball in at the far post after Daniel Johnson had broken up field and found him with a delightful ball.

There had been just one change to the North End side which had lost to Newcastle last Saturday, McGeady replacing the suspended Ben Pearson, five yellow cards earning the midfielder a one-match ban.

It was Republic of Ireland international McGeady's first appearances since the Aston Villa game on October 1.

North End started in a 4-4-2 system, McGeady and former Rotherham man Ben Pringle in the wide positions, with Paul Gallagher and Johnson in the centre of midfield.

The opening stages were scrappy, with half chances at either end as both teams looked to establish a foothold.

In the third minute, a Pringle corner was headed wide at the back post by Tom Clarke, then Robinson saw a chance go begging as he failed to make proper contact with a McGeady cross inside the six-yard box.

At the other end, Joe Newell's corner flicked off the head of Gallagher, forcing Pringle to head off the line at the far post.

Danny Ward forced a good save out of Chris Maxwell, coming inside off the left-wing and hitting a shot from 25 yards - the PNE goalkeeper diving to parry it away.

North End took control with two goals in five minutes, both headers and both having their origins down the left hand side.

In the 22nd minute, Pringle's pay-off played Cunningham into space, his cross finding Hugill who steered a header across goalkeeper Lee Camp and into the net off the inside of the far post.

The advantage was soon doubled, McGeady this time getting past his marker on the left side of the box.

He stood up a cross to the far post where Robinson rose to power home a header.

A minute before the interval, Dexter Blackstock's flick played in Jon Taylor behind the Preston defence on the right side of the box, the Millers winger driving his shot over the bar.

Rotherham made a double change at the interval, bringing on Odemwingie and Greg Halford for Blackstock and Dominic Ball.

Within 10 minutes of the re-start, North End had to make a change of their own, Simon Makienok replacing Hugill who had taken a couple of knocks including an arm in the face from Richard Wood.

Three chances came their way in the space of five minutes after breaking on the counter attack.

With an hour played, Cunningham's cross found Pringle who cushioned the ball into the path of Makienok, the Dane's first-time low shot saved by Camp diving to his right.

McGeady, who caused the home defence all sorts of problems over the course of the afternoon, forced a diving save out of Camp with a shot from the edge of the box - Robinson lifting the rebound high over the bar.

A 20-yard shot from Robinson then caught a touch off a Rotherham player, enough to take it inches wide of the target.

The home side halved the deficit in the 71st minute, Pringle having failed to clear his lines on the Millers' left after initially blocking a cross.

Odemwingie swung the ball into the box and Wood headed past Maxwell from six yards.

Vermijl joined the action in the 77th minute, replacing Pringle, his arrival intended to give PNE's right hand side a look more solid look as they looked to defend the lead.

Yet within three minutes, he popped up in the Rotherham box to restore North End's two-goal advantage.

The goal came on the counter-attack, Makienok helping the ball on to Johnson on the half-way line.

DJ set off down the left-wing, driving forward before angling a low cross into the middle, Vermijl meeting it beyond the back post and powering a shot between the keeper and post.

Vermijl and Robinson had late chances to stretch the lead further, Preston playing the counter-attack system to perfection.

Rotherham: Camp, Fisher, Wood, Fry, Mattock, Taylor (Brown 76), Vaulks, Ball (Halford 46), Newell, Blackstock (Odemwingie 46), Ward. Subs (not used): Kelly, Forde, Belaid, Price.

PNE: Maxwell, Baptiste, Clarke, Wright, Cunningham, McGeady (Beckford 89), Gallagher, Johnson, Pringle (Vermijl 77), Robinson, Hugill (Makienok 55). Subs )not used): Huntington, Grimshaw, Doyle, Lindegaard.

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

Attendance: 10,013 (1,559 PNE)