Match report: Ipswich Town 3 PNE 0

Jordan Hugill in action against Ipswich
Jordan Hugill in action against Ipswich

Preston North End slumped to a fourth successive defeat as they were well beaten by Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Not withstanding all of their injury problems, it was a poor performance in Suffolk from Alex Neil's men who are now six without a win.

Darnell Fisher is tracked by Bersant Celina

Darnell Fisher is tracked by Bersant Celina

Ipswich's opener came right at the end of a first half which had been littered with stoppages, one in which the hosts had been no better than North End.

Martyn Waghorn found the net with a free-kick from 20 yards, an advantage which David McGoldrick doubled four minutes after half-time.

The hosts' third goal came from Bersant Celina in the 64th minute, capping a miserable afternoon for 435 travelling Preston supporters.

North End's best chance of the contest was a shot from Daniel Johnson which struck the bar just after Ipswich's first goal.

Absences are hitting hard and after the international break, Jordan Hugill will miss the Bolton game following his fifth yellow card of the season.

Darnell Fisher limped off in the first half too, adding his name to the casualty list.

The PNE side had shown three changes, with John Welsh, Paul Huntington and Kevin O'Connor coming into the side to replace the injured Calum Woods, Josh Earl and Sean Maguire.

Maguire's injury was confirmed before kick-off as serious hamstring damage which will require him to have surgery next week.

The first half was a scrappy affair with little action of note until Ipswich's opener.

North End had a good chance in the sixth minute, Hugill's pass finding Ben Pearson in the box, the midfielder's low angled shot blocked by keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

At the other end, a shot from McGoldrick hit Alan Browne and went out for a corner.

McGoldrick had the ball in the net in the 25th but the flag had gone up for offside before he turned in Joe Garner's cross.

The Ipswich man's protests at seeing it disallowed earned him a booking from referee Andrew Madley, the second yellow card he showed in quick succession after cautioning Hugill.

That was a costly card for Hugill with him now suspended for the Bolton game after the international break, it being his fifth of the campaign.

PNE's injury woes continued when Darnell Fisher limped off in the 37th minute, the right-back having been struggling for a couple of minutes before that.

Marnick Vermijl replaced him from the bench, the Belgian quickly in the action when he saw a shot charged down in the box as the visitors applied a spell of of pressure.

The deadlock was broken in the 45th minute when Welsh's trip on Waghorn earned Ipswich a free-kick 20 yards out and saw Welsh yellow carded.

Waghorn took the free-kick left-footed, lifting it over the wall and leaving Maxwell rooted to his line.

It seemed that the keeper had positioned himself too far behind his wall, leaving a bigger gap for Waghorn to find.

In the fourth minute of first-half stoppage-time, Daniel Johnson's left-foot shot from outside the box beat the keeper all ends up but hit the bar.

North End were caught cold at the start of the second half, conceding again in the 49th minute.

Kevin Bru's pass played Jordan Spence into space down the Ipswich right-wing, his cross finding McGoldrick who climbed above Vermijl to head past Maxwell at the far post.

With PNE looking vulnerable, Town left-back Jonas Knudsen twice went close to stretching the lead - a header which went just wide and a powerful first-time shot.

It also needed O'Connor to get back and head off the line from Callum Connolly.

A couple of half chances for Preston saw Browne hammer a shot wide from beyond the far post, then Tom Barkhuizen's 20-yard shot went straight at the keeper.

But a third goal finished them off in the 64th minute, the hosts catching them on the counter-attack.

The ball was played up to Celina in the right channel, the midfielder on loan from Manchester City breaking into the box and rifling a shot into the roof of the net at the front post.

A brief Preston rally saw Hugill send a header over the bar after being picked out by Pearson's cross.

Hugill went closer when his looping header from a Josh Harrop cross, dropped on to the top of the net.

Late on, Hugill got behind the home defence on the left hand side and forced a save out of the keeper with a low shot.

Ipswich: Bialowski, Spence, Chambers, Webster, Jonas, Skuse (Bru 31), Connolly (Kenlock 66), Waghorn (Nydam 77), McGoldrick, Celina, Garner. Subs (not used): Iorfa, Ward, Sears, Gerken.

PNE: Maxwell, Fisher (Vermijl 37), Huntington, Boyle, O'Connor, Welsh (Gallagher 70), Barkhuizen, Pearson, Browne, Johnson (Harrop 63), Hugill. Subs (not used): Horgan, Mavididi, Robinson, Hudson.

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 14,390 (435 PNE)