Wycombe Wanderers 1 Preston North End 0 match report: Lilywhites beaten at Championship's bottom club Wycombe

Preston North End suffered a second dose of misery at Adams Park in two months, beaten by the Championship's bottom club Wycombe Wanderers.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 5:22 pm

After losing 4-1 in Buckinghamshire in the FA Cup in January, it was defeat again for Alex Neil's men on an afternoon where their performance left a lot to be desired.

The Chairboys seemed to want it that bit more than North End, competing well and fighting for every ball as they look for a way out of relegation trouble.

PNE rarely troubled the Wycombe keeper, with them hardly mounting a serious attack in the first half.

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Preston North End goalkeeper Daniel Iversen is beaten by Ryan Tafazolli's header for Wycombe's winner

The second half was slightly better but that wasn't saying a lot, the home side seeing out the game to earn a valuable three points.

Centre-half Ryan Tafazolli scored the contest's only goal, meeting a Joe Jacobson corner to head home.

He could have found the net before then, sending an early header wide and then forcing PNE keeper Daniel Iversen into a good save.

Preston were very much second best in that first 45 minutes, a triple substitution at half-time bringing a bit more attacking life but not enough to find an equaliser.

PNE midfielder Ben Whiteman is fouled by Wycombe's Daryl Horgan

Like they were in the FA Cup tie here, North End were put on the back foot from the start by Gareth Ainsworth's men.

A succession of corners in the opening minutes caused problems.

In the third minute, Tafazolli climbed to meet Jacobson's corner from the left and saw his header fly just wide.

In their next attack, Anis Mehemit's shot from the edge of the box was blocked by the sliding Paul Huntington and taken behind for a corner.

North End skipper Alan Browne is challemnged by Wycombe's Anis Mehmeti

Jacobson's delivery from the other side again found Taffozolii, this time his header was on target but Iversen managed to tip it over the bar.

A brief venture the other way from North End saw Ched Evans bundled over in the 10th minute to win a free-kick, one which Ben Whiteman hit against the wall.

Daniel Johnson needed treatment after being poleaxed by referee Tim Robinson, the pair running into one another, with the PNE midfielder taking the full force in the face.

Wycombe's early salvo was sufficient notice about Wycombe's threat from set pieces but it was a warning not heeded as the hosts took a 27th minute lead.

Ched Evans has a shot at goal in PNE's defeat at Wycombe

Uche Ikpeazu got behind Huntington as he chased a spinning ball down the left hand side of the box, looking suspiciously offside it has to be said.

He poked a shot goalwards which Iversen got down to well to push behind at the near post.

Jacobson's corner found Tafazolli eight yards out, the tall centre-half rising to send a header past Iversen into the net.

The way-one nature of the first half continued with Wycombe going close in the 34th minute, Garath McCleary swapping wings briefly and cutting in from the left to drill a right-foot shot goalwards, one which Iversen dived to push behind.

There was a half sight of goal for PNE six minutes before half-time, home keeper David Stockdale coming a long way to try and gather Whiteman's corner.

Stockdale didn't gather, the ball was hooked into the goalmouth but the home defence scrambled it clear.

Neil made a triple substitution at half-time, Whiteman, Johnson and Scott Sinclair getting hooked.

On came Brad Potts, Paul Gallagher and Tom Barkhuizen.in a bid to inject some urgency into PNE's play.

It brought a bit more attacking threat from PNE, Gallagher spraying a couple of good passes over the top of the Wycombe backline for team-mates to chase.

Evans shot over the bar from the edge of the box after Iversen's long clearance was knocked down into his path.

Wycombe still offered a threat of their own though, playing on the counter-attack.

It needed a fine interception from Sepp van den Berg to stop Ikpeazu meeting a low cross at the far post,

North End got their closest sight of the Wycombe goal in the 72nd minute, Potts running on to a pass from sub Anthony Gordon - on for Maguire - but firing a shot into the side-netting.

Gordon then made space for himself to the left of goal and got a low shot away which Jason McCarthy slid across to block at the near post and behind for a corner.

Wycombe: Stockdale, McCarthy, Knight, Tafazolli, Jacobson, Thompson, Gape (Ofoborh 76), McCleary (Grimmer 86), Mehmeti, Horgan, Ikpeazu (Muskwe 86). Subs (not used): Stewart, Kashket, Akinfenwa, Onyedinma, Samuel, Allsop.

PNE: Iversen, van den Berg (Riis 76), Huntington, Storey, Hughes, Browne, Whiteman (Gallagher 46), Sinclair, (Barkhhizen 46) Johnson (Potts 46), Maguire (Gordon 63), Evans. Subs (not used): Lindsay, Rafferty, Molumby, Ripley.

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

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