Reading 1 Preston North End 0 - Match report from the Madejski Stadium as PNE beaten right at the death

Preston North End's eight-game unbeaten Championship run was brought to a halt by a Reading winner in the seventh minute of stoppage-time at the Madejski Stadium.

Saturday, 19th October 2019, 6:18 pm
Preston midfielder Daniel Johnson takes on Reading's John Swift

A poor game looked on course to finish goalless, North End creating little and having been far from their best.

But in the final minute of the seven added on, centre-half Matt Miazga fired home for the Royals after Declan Rudd had parried a shot from Jordan Obita.

It was such a disappointing way for PNE's good run to finish and the performance was in contrast to their 5-1 demolition of Barnsley before the international break.

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Preston striker David Nugent takes on Readingt defender Matt Miazga

Their attacking play in Berkshire was laboured with Reading looking the more likely side without particularly impressing themselves.

It seemed their threat had gone, with North End looking slightly stronger in the closing minutes.

But when the home side broke up field and forced a corner, that led to their winner.

North End's starting XI had shown two changes to the side which beat Barnsley 5-1 before the international break.

Both full-backs changed, Darnell Fisher returning after suspension at right-back in place of Alan Browne, while Andrew Hughes got the nod ahead of Joe Rafferty on the left.

The first half lacked flow, Reading having the better of it, certainly in terms of chances.

That said the contest's first chance of note saw a flick from David Nugent force Royals keeper Rafael Cabral to leap and gather.

Ben Davies was only inches away from connecting with a 13th minute free-kick which Paul Gallagher had whipped over from the right channel.

Reading went close soon after that, Romanian striker George Puscas firing an angled shot over the bar from the left hand side of the box.

Nugent was booked for a 16th minute foul on Andy Yiadom which saw the home side awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal.

John Swift and Jordan Obita stood over it, Swift eventually taking it and seeing his shot pushed away by Rudd diving to his right.

In the 20th minute, Cabral launched a quickly-taken goalkick up field after a PNE move had broken down in the box.

The bounce caught out Fisher who was covering, his back header forcing Rudd to dash out to the edge of the penalty area to gather at the second attempt.

North End's best passing move of the first half saw Nugent feed the ball out to Tom Barkhuizen on the right-wing, Barkhuizen cutting inside past a defender before poking a weak effort straight at the keeper.

As the half hour approached, Puscas slid in at full stretch to meet Pele's low cross from the right, the ball hitting him on the foot and looping up over the bar.

Ben Pearson fired a first-time shot over the bar from outside the box after a Paul Gallagher corner had been headed clear by the home defence.

Ovie Ejaria twice tested Rudd with shots in the space of 30 or so seconds in the run-up to half-time.

His first effort from the edge of the box was beaten out by Rudd and when the ball was worked back to Ejaria, the midfielder's 18-yard drive was held by Rudd diving to his left.

North End had a great chance to go in front five minutes into the second half, Nugent putting a header too close to the keeper from Fisher's fine cross - either side of Cabral and it would have been a goal.

At the other end, the lively Ejaria volleyed over from close range after Andy Yiadom's cross had found him in the middle, that a let-off for the visitors.

Alex Neil was preparing a double substitution at the time of that chance and it happened straight after, Josh Harrop and Browne replacing Nugent and Gallagher.

Jayden Stockley also joined the action later, coming on for Barkhuizen as Neil juggled things to try and break the deadlock.

In the closing stages, Swift put a shot too high from a decent position while North End came close in the second minute of time added on.

Hughes' deep cross from the left carried beyond the far post where Browne met it on the stretch and fired a shot into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Then came the sucker punch. North End cleared a corner from the right, the ball falling to Obita 25 yards out.

He had time to steady himself before hitting a shot which went through a crowd of players, Rudd diving to push it out.

Miazga was first to react, hitting a shot which Rudd got a hand to but couldn't prevent going into the net.

Reading: Cabral, Morrison, Miazga, Moore, Yiadom, Pele (Adam 83), Swift, Ejaria, Obita, Meite (Loader 70), Puscas (Baldock 70). Subs (not used): McIntyre, Blackett, Richards, Walker.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Gallagher (Browne 58), Barkhuizen (Stockley 69), Johnson, Maguire, Nugent. (Harrop 58). Subs (not used): Rafferty, Ledson, Potts, Ripley.

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)

Attendance: 14,135 (1,012 PNE)