Queens Park Rangers 1 Preston North End 4 - Lilywhites get back to winning ways in style at Loftus Road

Preston North End turned in their best away performance of the season as they put four goals past Queens Park Rangers.

Saturday, 19th January 2019, 4:06 pm
Updated Saturday, 19th January 2019, 5:09 pm
Jayden Stockley fires Preston North End in front against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road

It was very much a case of capital gains for the Lilywhites in West London, this a third Championship win on the road this season and the first time they had bagged four in an away game since February 2015.

Three of the scorers got their first goals in North End colours - Jayden Stockley, Jordan Storey and Brad Potts.

Alan Browne was the other player to find the net, victory delighting 1,272 travelling Preston supporters in the away end.

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Preston striker Jayden Stockley is congratulated by Sean Maguire after scoring against QPR

Stockley fired the visitors in front in the 14th minute, a lead another former Exeter player doubled - Storey volleying home in the 69th minute.

Browne netted with a diving header with 82 minutes on the clock, before Matt Smith headed home at the other end for the home side two minutes later.

PNE's three-goal advantage was quickly restored as Potts drove home the fourth goal after a Lukas Nmecha shot had been pushed out by the keeper.

It was their first win of 2019, ending a run of five league games without a victory.

North End's team had shown four changes from last week's draw against Swansea.

Darnell Fisher replaced injured skipper Tom Clarke at right-back, with Ben Davies returning from a hamstring strain to displace Paul Huntington in the centre of defence.

Paul Gallagher returned to the midfield, while there was a first start since November for Sean Maguire - their inclusion seeing Daniel Johnson and Tom Barkhuizen drop to the bench.

They lined-up in a 4-1-41 system, Ben Pearson sat deep in midfield with Paul Gallagher, Browne, Potts and Maguire the four in front of him.

PNE started well, with Browne driving a shot just over the bar after Maguire had hooked the ball through for him to chase down the left channel, it being from the resulting goal kick that North End picked QPR's pocket to go in front.

Goalkeeper Joe Lumley played the goal kick short to Josh Scowen on the edge of the box who was immediately put under pressure by Browne.

The ball broke loose into the path of Stockley who curled a fine right-foot shot past Lumley into the far bottom corner of the net.

QPR gradually found their feet after that and Preston were forced into some solid defending.

In the 25th minute, Jake Bidwell's free-kick into the box was palmed out of the goalmouth by Declan Rudd.

The ball was returned into the middle where Joel Lynch sent a header over the bar.

A low shot from Ebere Eze was saved comfortably by Rudd who was later well positioned to get behind Pawel Wszolek's header.

Five minutes before the interval, North End broke on the counter-attack down the right through Potts.

His low cross found Browne on the edge of the box who laid it off to Maguire, the Irishman's low shot travelling just past the far post.

Early in the second half Stockley was fouled on the edge of the 'D' but the referee let play go on as the ball broke to Maguire down the side of the box, the advantage unfortunately not leading to a scoring chance.

Rudd made a good save in the 51st minute, diving to his left to push a low angled show from Nahki Wells past the post.

The home side forced a corner in their next attack when Wszolek's shot was blocked at the near post by Davies.

When the flag kick came into the middle and was headed back across goal, Darnell Furlong got his head to it and saw the ball bounce on top of the bar and go over.

Midfielder Potts tried his luck with a shot from distance, one which went wide.

North End doubled their lead in the 69th minute, Gallagher earning a free-kick on the right-wing when he was blocked by Josh Scowen.

Gallagher delivered the free-kick into the box, Davies rose to flick it on and Storey arrived beyond the far post to volley into the roof of the net.

That was the cue for Maguire to leave the pitch after a decent shift down the wing, Barkhuizen replacing him.

Potts saw a low shot from the left side of the penalty area saved by Lumley at the near post before Preston got their third goal in the 82nd minute.

Gallagher's corner from the left was headed on by Storey, the ball flashing across goal to the far post where Browne sent a diving header into the net.

Briefly QPR gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they pulled a goal back, Jake Bidwell's cross from the left headed home by substitute Smith.

However, within three minutes PNE had restored their three-goal cushion with a fourth of the afternoon.

Substitute Nmecha collected possession, turned and ran at the home defence before hitting a shot which Lumley could only parry.

The ball fell to Potts who struck a first-time shot into the far corner.

QPR: Lumley, Furlong,, Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell, Wszolek (Osayi-Smith 76) Cousins (Smith 46), Scowen, Freeman, Eze (Smyth 84), Wells. Subs (not used): Hall, Manning, Oteh, Ingram.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Storey, Davies, Hughes, Gallagher, Pearson, Potts, Browne, Maguire (Barkhuizen 70), Stockley (Nmecha 76). Subs (not used): Johnson, Woods, Ledson, Huntington, Ripley.

Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 13,736 (1,272)