Derby County 1 Preston North End 0 - Match report on a disappointing afternoon for the Lilywhites at Pride Park

Preston's Tom Barkhuizen and Daniel Johnson battle against Derby midfielder Graeme Shinnie
Preston's Tom Barkhuizen and Daniel Johnson battle against Derby midfielder Graeme Shinnie

Preston North End's four-match unbeaten run was halted by Derby County as once again Pride Park proved an unhappy ground.

The Lilywhites have now gone 13 games without a win against the Rams, a sequence going back to 2008.

Preston left-back Joe Rafferty challenges Chris Martin in the air at Pride Park

Preston left-back Joe Rafferty challenges Chris Martin in the air at Pride Park

Derby's winner came in the 33rd minute, substitute Martyn Waghorn netting from close range after a corner was flicked on.

That was no more than the home side's play had deserved, with them well on top in the first half.

Declan Rudd had twice saved in one-on-one situations, while Duane Holmes hit the bar.

North End were better in the second half, helped by the half-time introductions of Paul Gallagher and Billy Bodin.

But while they saw more of the ball, Alex Neil's men didn't create a great deal in terms of scoring chances.

They did have the ball in the net from a corner but the offside flag went up against Tom Barkhuizen.

Neil had made two changes to the side which had beaten Huddersfield before the international break, Ben Pearson and Daniel Johnson returning to midfield after suspension and injury respectively - Gallagher and Ryan Ledson dropped to the bench to accommodate them.

Derby were on top from the start in the first half, Tom Lawrence drilling an early shot from 25 yards wide of the target.

North End won a free-kick in the 10th minute when Sean Maguire was tripped to the left of the box.

Alan Browne squared it to Johnson in the box, his shot hitting team-mate Patrick Bauer in a crowded goalmouth.

Bauer was first to react to the loose ball but turned and scooped a shot over the bar from 10 yards.

The home side struck the woodwork in the 17th minute, Lawrence getting away down the left and feeding a pass to Chris Martin just outside the box.

Martin flicked the ball up to Holmes who hit a first-time shot which hit the top of the bar and bounced over.

Soon after Lawrence got clear of the Preston defence but Rudd came to the rescue, pushing his low shot behind for a corner.

Jayden Stockley sent a volley from 20 yards just wide of the far post but there was precious little seen going forward in the first half.

Lawrence saw a free-kick blocked by Pearson in the wall, Darnell Fisher having been booked for bringing down Mason Bennett.

In the process Bennett was injured and was replaced soon after by Waghorn who had only been on the pitch a short time when he gave Derby the lead.

He had already gone close when played through on goal, Rudd managing to spread himself and get enough on the shot to take it over the bar.

The goal came in the 33rd minute, Lawrence's corner from the left flicked on by Curtis Davies for Waghorn to knock the ball over the line from close range - there a suspicion of handball against the Rams striker.

Neil made a double change at the interval, Fisher and Stockley getting the hook with Gallagher and Bodin joining the fray.

Browne moved to right-back, with Gallagher partnering Pearson in midfield. Johnson switched forward to the No.10 role behind Barkhuizen in the central striker's position.

The changes certainly injected some tempo into PNE's play and they looked better for it.

That said they nearly got caught on the break in the 55th minute when Waghorn got played through on goal by a cross field pass but he out his shot too close to Rudd who saved comfortably.

North End had the ball in the net when Barkhuizen got the last touch on a shot from Davies after a corner but the flag went up for offside against him.

Rams right-back Jayden Bogle tricked inside from the wing and hit a shot across goal which flew just wide of the far post.

In the 69th minute Gallagher delivered a free-kick from the right channel into the box, Rams keeper Kelle Roos punching clear.

It fell to Johnson who saw his hooked volley blocked by a defender six yards out.

Preston were dealt an injury blow when Ben Davies was forced off a few minutes after needing treatment.

Jordan Storey replaced him in the centre of defence but it meant the planned introduction of David Nugent to the attack was prevented - Nugent had moments earlier been given the nod to get ready to come on.

Although on for his defensive attributes, Storey nearly found the net when his shot from a tight angle hit the outside of the post, his initial header having been blocked.

Late on, Barkhuizen put a shot too high and Johnson fired over, the ball never quite falling for Preston when it mattered.

Derby: Roos, Bogle, Davies, Forsyth, Lowe, Bielik, Shinnie (Evans 15), Holmes, Lawrence, Bennett (Waghorn 28) Martin (Wisdom 78). Subs (not used): Paterson, Dowell, Marriott, Hamer.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher (Gallagher 46), Bauer, Davies (Storey 72), Rafferty, Pearson, Johnson, Barkhuizen, Browne, Maguire, Stockley (Bodin 46). Subs (not used): Ledson, Potts, Nugent, Ripley.

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

Attendance: 27,417 (2,435 PNE)