Preston North End 1 Swansea City 1 - Match report from Deepdale as Scott Sinclair scores his first PNE goal

Scott Sinclair scored his first Preston North End goal as honours ended even with Swansea City at Deepdale.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 5:09 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 1:32 pm
Scott Sinclair celebrates scoring for Preston against Swansea at Deepdale

The January arrival from Celtic netted superbly in the 28th minute to give the Lilywhites the lead, curling a shot into the far corner from the edge of the box after cutting inside.

Sinclair played for Swansea for two years earlier in his career, netting a hat-trick in the 2011 play-off final which took the Welsh side to the Premier League.

That didn't stop him celebrating his goal, the 31-year-old running to celebrate in front of the PNE fans in the Invincibles Pavilion.

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Preston centre-half Patrick Bauer wins a header against Swansea at Deepdale

The lead lasted just a short time, Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster bundling the ball home from close range after a shot from Andre Ayew had been partly blocked by Declan Rudd.

It had been a first-half of few chances but the game opened up in the second and the better opportunities fell North End's way.

But a draw was probably a fair enough result.

North End manager Alex Neil had stuck with the same side which had beaten Barnsley in their last game 10 days ago.

Preston attacker Tom Barkhuizen with PNE manager Alex Neil

He switched shape though, reverting to a 4-2-3-1 from the 4-4-2 diamond used in victory over the Tykes.

Tom Barkhuizen led the attack, with Josh Harop tucked in on the left and Sinclair on the right, Daniel Johnson playing as the No.10.

Swansea had a couple of chances in the opening spell of what was generally a scrappy first half.

George Byers' first-time shot from outside the box was dealt with comfortably by Rudd going to his right, then Ayew met a Bersant Celina corner but headed wide from six yards at the far post.

North End scored in the 28th minute with their first chance of real note and what a cracker it was too.

Darnell Fisher's throw-in was collected by Sinclair in the right channel, with the winger turning in field and driving towards the box.

As he reached the box Sinclair looked up and guided a curling left-foot shot across goal into the far corner, beating keeper Freddie Woodman all ends up.

Sinclair raced away to celebrate, delighted to have opened his PNE account.

The lead lasted just five minutes though, Conor Gallagher's pass freeing Ayew down the right-hand side of the box.

Ayew's angled shot was partly blocked by Rudd but the bounced across to Brewster to bundle the ball over the line from inside the six-yard box.

On first look it seemed Ayew was offside but replays showed Patrick Bauer just about playing him on.

Gallagher blazed a shot high over the bar after the ball had broken to him fortuitously on the edge of the box.

Just before the interval, a shot from Celina was pushed behind by Rudd.

Two Swansea players went into the book in quick succession early in the second half, Jake Bidwell cautioned for a foul on Sinclair and Brewster followed for a late challenge on Ben Pearson.

Harrop's free-kick from 25 yards hit the wall and went behind for a corner, Marc Guehi's foul on Barkhuizen having seen it awarded.

David Nugent joined the action from the bench in the 65th minute, replacing Harrop.

The change allowed Nugent to lead the attack, with Sinclair and Barkhuizen either side of him.

In the 78th minute, a foul on Fisher by Bidwell saw PNE awarded a free-kick a few yards in from the corner flag on the right.

Johnson rolled it squared to Alan Browne, the skipper's shot charged down and taken out for a corner.

As the clock ticked into the 90th minute, Browne's cross from the right was met by Bauer in the box.

His downward header bounced up off the turf, forcing keeper Woodman to tip it over the bar. A scramble which ensued from the resulting corner saw substitute Sean Maguire have a shot blocked.

In stoppage-time, a clearance from the back was headed on by Nugent for Browne to chase, his shot just clearing the bar.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Bauer, Davies, Rafferty, Pearson, Browne, Barkhuizen (Maguire 85), Johnson, Harrop (Nugent 65), Sinclair. Subs (not used): Clarke, Ledson, Stockley, Potts, Ripley.

Swansea: Woodman, Naughton, Rodon, Guehi, Bidwell, Grimes, Byers (Fulton 80), Gallagher, Ayew, Celina, Brewster (Cullen 88). Subs (not used): Routledge, Wilmot, Dhanda, Cabango, Mulder.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham)

Attendance: 12,502 (665 away)