Match report: Preston North End 2, Sheffield Wednesday 1

Daniel Johnson celebrates with Jayden Stockley and Sean Maguire after putting PNE 1-0 up from the spot
Daniel Johnson celebrates with Jayden Stockley and Sean Maguire after putting PNE 1-0 up from the spot

Two penalties from Daniel Johnson handed Preston North End their third successive home victory this season in the Championship at Deepdale.

A spot-kick in either half by the midfielder handed the hosts a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday .

There was a feeling of déjà vu in the award of both penalties - Sean Maguire was hauled down by Owls' full-back Moses Odubajo.

After the second spot-kick was converted, the halpess Odubajo was substituted.

North End were value for their 2-0 lead as they were the better team for the majority of the match.

But the hosts caused a frantic finale when Steven Fletcher headed home Adam Reach's centre from the left in the 78th minute.

Despite coming under some serious pressure in the last few minutes, PNE held on to move to sixth in the table.

The hosts were handed a scare just seconds into the match when Steven Fletcher headed-on Wednesday goalkeeper Kieran Westwood's long punt.

The ball fell into the path of Kieran Lee, who broke into the area. Fortunately for the home side, Joe Rafferty was alert to the danger and was able to clear.

For the next quarter of a hour or so, there was not much action in either box, as Wednesday were content to camp deep allowing the hosts plenty of the ball.

Wednesday did have a good opportunity of 19 minutes when Barry Bannan released Kadeem Harris in behind the PNE defence down the left.

His centre reached Fletcher first but the former Wolves and Burnley forward was unable to connect with the ball and Ben Davies was able to clear.

Two minutes later, Westwood tipped Billy Bodin's testing corner away with Patrick Bauer lurking behind to head home.

On the half-hour mark, Julian Borner headed wide for the visitors.

A minute later, North end were in front when Odubajo got the wrong side of Maguire on the left-hand side of the box and hauled the striker to the floor.

The referee Robert Jones had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Johnson stepped forward, firing low to the left of Westwood, who got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

Ten minutes later Maguire almost fashioned a second goal when his cross from the left was too high for Jayden Stockley and Borner almost turned the ball into his own net.

Deepdale cried out for another penalty on the stroke of half-time when Maguire's cross appeared to strike Bannan on the arm.

Four minutes into the second period, Borner had to make an timely intervention inside the box to stop Johnson having a clear shot on goal after Bodin's flick.

North End had a great opportunity to double their advantage on the hour mark.

Darnell Fisher's long ball down the right sent substitute Tom Barkhuizen clear.

The angle was tight and the PNE star's shot was turned away for a corner by the advancing Westwood.

Five minutes later, North End finally got the second goal and there was more than a hint of deja vu to it.

Maguire broke into the box and was brought down by the hapless Odubajo once more.

Johnson stepped forward once more, this time sending Westwood the wrong way, firing low to the keeper's left.

North End continued to be the more dominant and moments later Barkhuizen fired narrowly over from outside the area.

Browne was then brought down just outside the area in the 69th minute and Johnson's subsequent curling free-kick shaved the top of the crossbar.

At this point the game became stretched, and Wednesday were handed a lifeline back into the match, certainly against the run of play in the 78th minute.

Former Preston loan man Adam Reach made progress down the left and his inviting centre was met by Fletcher, who headed past Rudd.

Roared on by more than 4,000 visiting supporters, Wednesday put North End under the cosh in the final 10 minutes.

A mazy run by Atdhe Nuhiu ended in Rudd blocking his shot at the near post.

With the Owls throwing long balls into the box, PNE boss Alex Neil decided to use the height of striker Stockley as a makeshift centre back.

He was almost caught out in injury time when subsitute Fernando Forestieri got clear inside the box but his centre was cleared by Davies.

In the end, PNE helf firm as the referee's final whistle brought relief around the stadium.

PNE: Declan Rudd, Darnell Fisher, Ben Pearson, Ben Davies, Alan Browne (c), Daniel Johnson (Paul Gallagher, 84), Joe Rafferty, Jayden Stockley, Patrick Bauer (Jordan Storey 62), Sean Maguire, Billy Bodin ( Tom Barkhuizen)

Subs not used : Connor Ripley, Josh Harrop, Andre Green, Brad Potts

Sheffield Wednesday: Keiren Westwood, Morgan Fox, Kieran Lee (Atdhe Nuhiu 72), Kadeem Harris, Steven Fletcher, Barry Bannan, Julian Borner, Jacob Murphy (Fernando Forestieri, 45), Tom Lees (c), Moses Odubajo (Adam Reach 65), Sam Hutchinson.

Subs not used: Cameron Dawson, Jordan Rhodes, Massimo Luongo, Dominic Iorfa,

Referee: Mr Rob Jones

Assistant referees: Mr D Leach and Mr A Fox