Preston North End 4 Ipswich Town 0 - PNE halt losing run in emphatic style at Deepdale
Callum Robinson and Lukas Nmecha scored two goals apiece as Preston North End halted their four-game losing run with an emphatic win against Ipswich Town at Deepdale.
Robinson struck twice in the opening 22 minutes with good finishes, before Nmecha found the net with close-range shots in the second half.
It was a welcome victory played in warm, sunny conditions, the teams having a drinks' break in both halves.
North End were on top of the game for long spells, although Kayden Jackson did hit the underside of the bar for Ipswich.
The visitors, who had been relegated the week before, looked short of confidence and PNE took full advantage.
Robinson's brace took him on to 13 goals for the season, two ahead of Alan Browne in the race to be leading scorer.
The two goals for Nmecha were well deserved for a hard-working display from the Manchester City loanee up front.
At times, the atmosphere had the feel of a pre-season fixture but the Preston supporters enjoyed this stroll in the sunshine.
Alex Neil had made three changes to the side beaten on Gentry Day at West Bromwhich, with Robinson, Joe Rafferty and Sean Maguire coming into the starting XI.
They replaced Jayden Stockley, Josh Earl and Browne, Stockley and Earl dropping to the bench with Browne out injured.
It was Rafferty's first start for PNE, with him playing at right-back and Darnell Fisher switching to left-back.
Robinson played on the left, Paul Gallagher on the right, with Maguire playing off Nmecha up front.
North End were in front inside six minutes, Nmecha'a pass finding Robinson outside the box.
Robinson worked the ball on to his right foot, stepped across a defender and fired a rising shot into the top corner.
The woodwork denied them in the 13th minute, Nmecha earning a corner when he burst into the box but Aristote Nsiala got across to block.
Paul Gallagher sent the corner deep, Ben Davies rising to send a header against the far post.
At the other end, Jordan Storey's sliding block in the six-yard box kept out Idris El Mizouni's low shot and took it behind for a corner.
Preston doubled their lead in the 22nd minute, Robinson the man on target again.
Rafferty's cross from the right-wing flicked off Nsiala's head and then Josh Emmanuel tried to head clear.
The ball fell to Robinson who controlled the ball on his thigh and then hammered a volley back across goal into the far corner.
Nmecha did well back in his own box to kick a looping header from Luke Chambers off the line, before he saw a shot saved at the other end a few minutes later.
Ipswich midfielder Teddy Bishop turned sharply on the corner of the box and curled a shot just wide of the far post as the game continued to be wide open.
Just before half-time Robinson saw a shot clawed away by keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, with Nmecha's follow-up header from the rebound scrambled off the line.
Less than a minute into the second half, Rafferty's cross from the right found Maguire in the middle but the Irishman glanced a header wide of the target.
The lead was increased further in the 55th minute, Nmecha getting the goal his play had deserved.
Maguire was the architect with a run through the Ipswich half which carried him to the edge of the box, from where he slipped the ball to Robinson on the outside of him.
Robinson hit a curling shot which Bialkowski parried, the ball falling to Nmecha who side-footed home from close range.
There was a let-off for North End just past the hour mark when Ipswich struck the woodwork, a sign that the visitors weren't prepared to lay-down.
Declan Rudd and Storey left the ball to one another on the edge of the box, allowing Kayden Jackson to nip in and take it.
Storey recovered to stop him shooting straight away, Jackson eventually turning and hitting a shot which struck the underside of the bar and bounced clear.
North End stepped it up after that and made it 4-0 with quarter of an hour remaining.
Robinson turned supplier after his first-half goals, his low cross from the left hand side of the box going across goal and running to Nmecha beyond the far post who steered a low shot into the net from the corner of the six-yard box.
They weren't far away from a fifth goal when substitute Stockley was inches from connecting with Fisher's cross.
There was another chance for Stockley to get on the scoresheet in the 88th minute, Ryan Ledson's pass finding Louis Moult in space, who in turn played in his fellow substitute in the box.
Stockley took the ball down the right hand side of the box and hit a low shot which Bialkowski blocked with his legs.
PNE: Rudd, Rafferty, Storey, Davies, Fisher, Ledson, Nmecha, Gallagher (Moult 70), Johnson, Robinson (Stockley 76), Maguire (Ginnelly 74). Subs (not used): Earl, Huntington, O'Reilly, Crowe.
Ipswich: Bialkowski, Emmanuel (Bree 46), Chamers, Nsiala, Kenlock, Skuse, Bishop (Chalobah 76), El Mizouni (Keane 59), Judge, Downes, Jackson. Subs (not used): Nolan, Dozzell, Ndaba, Gerken.
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 12,546 (420 away)