Norwich City 2-3 Preston North End - Match report as PNE secure back to back league wins

Preston North End made it back to back wins in the league as they beat high-flying Norwich City at Carrow Road.
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The home side took the lead through Josh Sargent before Emil Riis equalised for North End before half time.

The Lilywhites took the lead in the second half with Riis' second goal of the game but Gabriel Sara got Dean Smith's side level.

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With 10 minutes to go Troy Parrott got his first goal for Preston to earn his side all three points having come off the bench.

Preston North End's Emil Riis scores his side's first goal.Preston North End's Emil Riis scores his side's first goal.
Preston North End's Emil Riis scores his side's first goal.

Ryan Lowe went for an unchanged side and squad for the game initially, having beaten West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in midweek.

Brad Potts was replaced on the bench just before kick off by Bambo Diaby.

Sean Maguire started back to back games for the first time since November and December 2021, the two games taking place either side of a Covid postponement and with two different managers as Frankie McAvoy took charge of his final game for North End.

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Greg Cunningham also kept his place in the side despite Andrew Hughes being available after returning from an illness.

Preston North End's Emil Riis scores his side's second goal.Preston North End's Emil Riis scores his side's second goal.
Preston North End's Emil Riis scores his side's second goal.

The home side also named an unchanged squad after a 1-1 draw with Reading.

And they proved Smith right early on as they flew into an early lead. Sargent took advantage of some poor PNE defending to carry the ball across the 18 yard box before finding the near post, giving the Canaries the advantage.

The American was looking for his second after eight minutes but his shot from around 12 yards out was saved by Freddie Woodman.

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The hosts came forward again four minutes later, near interplay on the edge of the Lilywhites box saw a square ball clipped over the backline for Sargent's run but it fell instead to Aaron Ramsey but his close range strike was straight at Woodman.

Preston managed to get themselves back into the game over the next 10 minutes or so, stemming the flow of Norwich attacks somewhat and beginning to build their own attacks, more often than not using Maguire as a foil.

But it was again the home side trying their luck, Teemu Pukki's effort from the edge of the box beaten away after 23 minutes before the Fin had his biggest chance of the half just 60 seconds later.

Liam Gibbs played a ball in behind the North End defence where Pukki made a typical sliding run to be one on one with Woodman. The PNE 'keeper came out to close the angle but only saw the ball lofted over him and just wide of the far post.

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Norwich were made to pay for that miss a minute later as Riis levelled the game on 25 minutes. Robbie Brady linked up with Alan Browne down the right wing and delivered a cross on his right foot, the Danish striker met it with his head, sending it back where it came from and beyond Tim Krul.

The Canaries could count themselves lucky to still have 11 on the pitch just before the half an hour mark, with Sam Byram making a challenge on Browne. The former West Ham full back was given a yellow card but replays showed his studs up attempt made contact halfway up the North End skipper's shin.

The Lilywhites continued to grow into the game, with Riis failing to make contact with the ball inside the area from around 12 yards out before their biggest chance before the break.

Maguire made it to the byline on the left side, pulling the ball back looking for his strike partner at close range but a defender got in between Riis and the goal, with just a minute to go until the break.

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Maguire did not return for the second half, instead Parrott.

As Norwich started quickly in the first half, North End hit the front in the second.

Six minutes into the second period North End got the lead for the first time in the game, winning the ball high up with Alvaro Fernandez before the Spaniard picked out the perfect cross to Riis at the far post who struck first time to steer it into the far corner.

The home side were not taking the deficit lying down and came back at PNE, Sargent hitting a volley from inside the box on 57 minutes that was saved behind by Woodman.

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A minute later it was his strike partner on the end of a cross, Pukki's control was good but the finish off target.

Parrott's first chance after coming off the bench saw the Irishman strike on the volley from the edge of the box which Tim Krul just about managed to beat away.

But it was Norwich next to have a chance, and they found the net. Pukki found space down the left side of the box, squaring the ball to Sara who forced it into the roof of the net from close range on 76 minutes.

PNE were not behind long however as substitute Ben Woodburn found Parrot down North End's left wing and the Irishman tried his luck from an unlikely angle - it caught out Krul, with help from a deflection, and put Lowe's side into the lead.

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Unfortunately it was the last action for Parrott, who after scoring his first league goal, seemed to immediately pull up and be in pain with a hamstring injury being withdrawn before the restart.

Norwich thought they had themselves an equaliser in the final minutes of the game, Kenny McLean finding the bottom corner from distance, but skipper Grant Hanley had fouled Liam Lindsay in the area, pushing his compatriot, seeing the goal chalked off and North End to a narrow victory in a pulsating game.

PNE Starting XI: Woodman, Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham (, Browne, Whiteman, McCann, Brady (Woodburn, 67'), Fernandez, Riis, Maguire (Parrott, 45').PNE subs: Cornell, , Diaby, Ledson, Johnson.Norwich City Starting XI: Krul, Aarons, Omobamidele, Hanley, Byram (Sara, 45'), Nunez (Dowell, 72'), Gibbs, McLean, Sargent, Pukki, Ramsey (Sinani, 58').Norwich City subs: Gunn, Gibson, Hernandez, Hugill.