Preston North End 3 Wigan Athletic 0 - Match report from Deepdale as PNE see off Latics to put their first three points of the season on the board
Preston North End produced a fine performance to beat Wigan Athletic in their derby clash at Deepdale.
Sean Maguire headed the Lilywhites into an early lead, an advantage which was doubled by Louis Moult six minutes before the interval.
Paul Gallagher's superb curling shot after a free-kick routine with Daniel Johnson clinched the three points nine minutes into the second half.
There were some strong performances all over the pitch, Johnson impressing in the No.10 role and Gallagher ran play in a deeper role.
Moult, a surprise starter, led the attack well and deserved his appearance on the scoresheet.
At the other end, there was a welcome clean sheet for Declan Rudd who produced some good saves when called upon.
North End manager Alex Neil had made four changes to the side beaten at Millwall, Darnell Fisher, Billy Bodin, Johnson and Moult coming into the starting XI
Tom Clarke, Brad Potts, Alan Browne and Tom Barkhuizen dropped down to the bench.
North End were in a 4-2-3-1 system, Johnson playing in the No.10 role behind striker Moult, with Bodin on the right-wing and Maguire on the left.
Although Maguire had moved wide, he was in the right place in the middle to give North End's a sixth minute lead.
Gallagher delivered a corner from the left which Maguire met on the edge of the six-yard box to guide a header across goal into the far corner.
The Lilywhites went on to boss much of the first half, a Gallagher cross finding Moult whose looping header almost caught keeper David Marshall off his line.
Wigan's two best chances of the first period came in quick succession, forcing Rudd into action.
In the 14th minute, Rudd dived to push Josh Windass' powerful shot from the edge of the box over the bar, then 90 seconds later, he got down to the foot of the post to tip Lewis MacLeod's low shot behind.
More chances came Preston's way, a Gallagher free-kick just clearing the bar then Johnson worked his way into a shooting position at the near post and saw his effort smothered by Marshall.
After half an hour, Gallagher's fine cross field ball released Bodin into space down the right, his cross on target to find Moult until Marshall got fingertips on it to divert the ball away from the striker.
Maguire fired over the bar from Moult's low cross, before a delightful Gallagher chip cleared the bar by a matter of inches.
North End doubled the lead six minutes before the interval.
Johnson got possession on the left-wing and sent over a fine cross which the unattended Moult met with a firm header from eight yards.
Wigan started the second half quite brightly but Preston got themselves back on a steady footing and made it 3-0 in the 54th minute.
Maguire was brought down by Nathan Byrne three yards out from the left hand corner of the penalty area, earning a free-kick.
Gallagher tapped it to Johnson, collected the return pass and then curled a superb right-foot shot across the box into the far top corner.
Rudd saved soon after from Kieffer Moore's header and late in the game, got down well to get behind a low drive from Windass from the edge of the box.
PNE: Rudd, Fisher (Clarke 74), Bauer, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Gallagher (Browne 68), Bodin, Johnson, Maguire, Moult (Stockley 78). Subs (not used): Green, Barkhuizen, Potts, Ripley.
Wigan: Marshall, Byrne, Kipre, Fox (Lowe 63), Robinson, Naismith, McLeod, Evans, Windass, Jacobs (Williams 71), Garner (Moore 26). Subs (not used): Massey, Dunkley, Gelhardt, Jones.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Carnforth)
Attendance: 14,789 (2,945 away)