Queens Park Rangers 0 Preston North End 2 - Two penalties give Lilywhites a deserved victory in London

Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair both scored from the penalty spot to give Preston North End victory over Queens Park Rangers at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 9:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 10:08 pm

It was a deserved win for the green-clad Lilywhites who were in control of the contest from the moment they took the lead in the first half.

QPR left-back Lee Wallace gave away both of the penalties, fouling Sinclair in the 23rd minute and then Emil Riis just before the hour mark.

Johnson, back in the side for a Championship game for the first time this season, calmly rolled home from the spot for the first.

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Daniel Johnson scores from the penalty spot for Preston North End against Queens Park Rangers

In a touch of mind games, Sinclair took the second penalty and was equally as cool from 12 yards.

Look beyond the penalties though, this was not a case of PNE being handed three points on a plate.

They battled for everything, their shape superb and their pressing of the QPR back line relentless - so much better than the display in the weekend defeat to Cardiff.

Riss was excellent on his first start in a Preston shirt, far more than the targetman his 6ft 3in frame might suggest.

PNE midfielder Daniel Johnson celebrates scoring his penalty

He was mobile, a willing runner down the channels and should have been on the scoresheet himself only to squander a chance early in the second half.

North End's one scare came in stoppage-time when substitute Albert Adomah outpaced Andrew Hughes to fire against the post.

It probably would only had been a consolation had it gone in but at least the intervention of the woodwork meant a first clean sheet in the league for Alex Neil's men this season.

PNE have now picked-up all seven of their league points on the road this season, victory following on from the 4-2 win at Brentford and the 2-2 draw with Norwich City.

PNE striker Emil Riis is pulled back by QPR's Rob Dickie but no penalty was given

The North End starting XI had shown three changes to the one beaten by Cardiff last Sunday, with Johnson, Riis and Jordan Storey coming in.

Ben Davies and Ben Pearson were ruled out by injury, with Sean Maguire dropped to the bench.

PNE started in their usual 4-2-3-1 system, Riis leading the attack flanked by Sinclair on the right and Brad Potts on the left.

Johnson played as the No.10, with Alan Browne dropping deeper next to Ryan Ledson to cover Pearson's absence.

Scott Sinclair scores PNE's second penalty of the night against QPR

It was an even opening spell, North End forcing a corner inside two minutes, one which Ledson played low to Browne on the edge of the box.

Browne scuffed his shot, it rolling towards Andrew Hughes who sent a shot on the turn well wide.

QPR got in dangerous positions a couple of times, Bright Osayi-Samuel getting beyond the North End defence but denied by Declan Rudd who saved at his feet.

There shouldn't have been any doubt about the award of the penalty from which the visitors took the lead, but it was referee Kevin Friend involved.

Scott Sinclair drove forward from the inside right channel and looked a yard or so in the box when he was taken to ground by Lee Wallace's challenge.

Mr Friend initially gave a free-kick right on the edge of the box but a word from his assistant saw the Premier League whistler point to the spot.

Johnson in trademark style rolled the penalty into the net, sending keeper Seny Dieng the wrong way.

North End bossed the remainder of the first half and might have had a second penalty when Riis got a tug on the shoulder from Rob Dickie as he attempted to reach Potts' knock down from a deep cross.

Potts lost his footing as he hit a first-time shot from the edge of the box six minutes before half-time, it still forcing Dieng to dive and save.

Riis missed a great chance for PNE four minutes into the second half.

Browne put over a fine right-foot cross from the left-wing which found the Dane in the six-yard box.

The ball seemed to strike him on the knee, with him perhaps misjudging the pace of the cross, and went wide of the target.

In the attack before that, Riis had chased a Hughes pass down the left side of the box and cut it back into the middle, it just evading the runs of Potts and Sinclair.

Riis atoned for his miss by winning North End's second penalty.

He got the wrong side of Rob Dickie to chase a long ball from the back and as he took it down in the box and went across Wallace, the QPR left-back clipped his foot and down he went.

This time it was Sinclair on spot kick duty, the winger sending Dieng the wrong way with a low finish.

Johnson's night finished in the 73rd minute when he succumb to a bout of cramp, Tom Barkhuizen replacing him from the bench.

Barkhuizen went to the left-wing with Potts moving inside to take DJ's advanced midfield role.

With six minutes left, Browne gave away a free-kick three yards outside his box, Yoann Barbet sending the set-piece over Rudd's bar.

A minute into stoppage-time, the woodwork came to PNE's rescue - Adomah hitting a low shot against the post after getting the better of Hughes in the chase for a long ball forward.

QPR: Dieng, Kakay, Dickie, Barbert, Wallace, Cameron, Ball (Adomah 57), Osayi-Samuel, Carroll, Chair (Willock 71), Bonne. Subs (not used): Kane, Masterson, Bettache, Hamalainen, Kelly.

PNE: Rudd, Rafferty, Bauer, Storey, Hughes, Ledson, Browne, Potts, Johnson (Barkhuizen 73), Sinclair (Stockley 90) Riis (Maguire 84). Subs (not used): Huntington, Gallagher, Harrop, Ripley.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)