Memory match: Irish eyes were smiling for Preston North End against Bristol City

Good pals Alan Browne and Sean Maguire teamed up to fire Preston North End to a 2-1 victory over Bristol City in their Deepdale meeting in March 2018.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 3:00 pm

Browne’s pin-point chip put the Lilywhites ahead in the first half of the Tuesday evening clash.

Famara Diedhiou was to head the Robins level but within two minutes Maguire restored the lead.

It was Maguire’s second game back after four months out following surgery on a damaged hamstring tendon.

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Callum Robinson watches a chip from Preston North End team-mate Alan Browne hit the back of the net against Bristol City at Deepdale in March 2018

The Irishman’s comeback match four days earlier had seen him come off the bench to net twice in a 3-1 Gentry Day win at Bolton.

He was a sub again in this game, with PNE boss Alex Neil easing him back into action.

The visitors were to finish the game with 10 men after Aden Flint was shown the red card for hitting out at Greg Cunningham.

An early chance fell the way of Billy Bodin, the former Bristol Rovers man cutting into the box on to his left foot and seeing his shot blocked.

When Paul Gallagher’s free-kick from the right was cleared out of the box, Browne got to the loose ball 20 yards out and drove a left-foot shot high over the bar.

North End went in front in the 20th minute and in some style too.

Bodin hooked the ball forward down the right channel, the ball looking to be running through to keeper Frank Fielding as he came towards the edge of his box.

However, Magnusson chose to intervene, the Iceland international’s clearance falling into the path of Browne 25 yards out who chipped it back over the out-of-position Fielding and into the net.

PNE weren’t far away from a second goal when Gallagher rolled a free-kick down the right wing for Fisher to chase, his cross into the box met by Paul Huntington with a header – one which was cleared for a corner.

The Robins made a busy start to the second half, Jamie Paterson breaking away down the right and putting over a cross which Fisher did well to clear out of the six-yard box on the stretch and behind for a corner.

North End cleared the first flag-kick for another corner and when that was played in, Magnusson sent a header bouncing off the turf which Rudd helped over the bar.

In the 54th minute Gallagher delivered a free-kick from out on the left wing into the box, Cunningham meeting it with a flicked back header which Fielding superbly tipped around the post.

Maguire joined the action in the 63rd minute, taking over from Bodin as he had done at Bolton – Maguire went up front with Callum Robinson moving to the left and Tom Barkhuizen switching wings to the right.

The visitors levelled in the 67th minute, Bobby Reid getting the ball on the left and as Fisher stood off him a fraction too long, he sent over a cross which Diedhiou headed over Rudd from eight yards.

Parity lasted less than two minutes, though, as Maguire made an instant impact.

Daniel Johnson’s through ball sent the Irishman racing clear on goal, Maguire taking the ball past Korey Smith and holding off Flint before shooting low left-footed past Fielding from 12 yards.

There was drama in the 90th minute when City’s centre-half Flint was sent off.

It happened after a cross had dropped just wide of the PNE goal, Flint flinging an arm at Cunningham after they had got up off the floor.