Memory match: Preston North End’s four-star show at QPR
Preston North End’s visit to QPR in January 2019 was an away day to remember for the travelling supporters.
The Lilywhites won 4-1 in West London, very much a case of capital gains.
Three players scored their first North End goals that afternoon – Jayden Stockley, Jordan Storey and Brad Potts.
Alan Browne notched the other as PNE scored four goals in an away game for the first time since 2015.
Stockley and Potts had been signed earlier that month as the squad was reinforced after a mixed bag of form in the first half of the 2018/19 campaign.
This was North End’s first win of 2019 after five games without a victory.
PNE started well, with Browne driving a shot just over the bar after Maguire had hooked the ball through for him to chase.
It was from the resulting goalkick that they picked the home side’s pocket to go in front.
Goalkeeper Joe Lumley played the goalkick short to Josh Scowen on the edge of the box who was immediately put under pressure by Browne.
The ball broke loose into the path of Stockley who curled a fine right-foot shot past Lumley into the far bottom corner of the net.
In the 25th minute, Jake Bidwell’s free-kick into the box was palmed out of the goalmouth by Declan Rudd.
The ball was returned into the middle where Joel Lynch sent a header over the bar.
A low shot from Ebere Eze was saved comfortably by Rudd who was later well positioned to get behind Pawel Wszolek’s header.
Five minutes before the interval, North End broke on the counter-attack down the right through Potts.
His low cross found Browne on the edge of the box who laid it off to Sean Maguire, the Irishman’s low shot travelling just past the far post.
Early in the second half Stockley was fouled on the edge of the ‘D’ but the referee let play go on as the ball broke to Maguire down the side of the box, the advantage unfortunately not leading to a scoring chance.
Rudd made a good save in the 51st minute, diving to his left to push a low angled show from Nahki Wells past the post.
The home side forced a corner in their next attack when Wszolek’s shot was blocked at the near post by Ben Davies.
North End doubled their lead in the 69th minute, Paul Gallagher earning a free-kick on the right wing when he was blocked by Scowen. Gallagher delivered the free-kick into the box, Davies rose to flick it on and Storey arrived beyond the far post to volley into the roof of the net.
Potts saw a low shot from the left-hand side of the penalty area saved by Lumley at the near post before Preston got their third goal in the 82nd minute.
Gallagher’s corner from the left was headed on by Storey, the ball flashing across goal to the far post where Browne sent a diving header into the net.
Briefly QPR gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they pulled a goal back, Bidwell’s cross headed home by substitute Matt Smith.
However, within three minutes PNE had restored their three-goal cushion with a fourth of the afternoon.
Substitute Lukas Nmecha collected possession, turned and ran at the home defence before hitting a shot which Lumley could only parry.
The ball fell to Potts who struck a first-time shot into the far corner.