Frustration for Neil as PNE's unbeaten run ends at Wolves

Preston North End boss Alex Neil questioned some refereeing decisions as his side's nine-game unbeaten run was ended by Wolves.

Saturday, 21st October 2017, 6:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:17 am
PNE boss Alex Neil makes his point to the fourth official at Molineux

It was a feisty clash at Molineux, PNE playing injury-time with 10 men after Alan Browne was sent-off for his second booking of the afternoon.

But it was other incidents which Neil bemoaned after the 3-2 defeat, one of them the awarding of a penalty for Wolves' second goal, the other a foul on Chris Maxwell before the build-up to the third.

After being the better side for much of the first half, North End found themselves 3-0 down.

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Josh Harrop brings down Matt Doherty for Wolves' penalty

Ivan Cavaleiro gave the home side the lead just before half-time, then Leo Bonatini struck twice in four minutes either side of the hour mark.

Jordan Hugill headed PNE back into the game, with Tom Barkhuizen's cross put into his own net by Wolves defender Conor Coady to further reduce the deficit.

Neil said: "My feelings are one of frustration more than anything.

"In the first half we had the best opportunities, I think Wolves had one shot on goal until they scored.

Stephy Mavididi rides a challenge

"I thought we were relatively comfortable and their goal came from us switching off on the far side.

"It was a bit unfortunate because one of our lads put a tackle in and the ball rebounded into their lads's path and they managed to score.

"The second half was disappointing from our point of view.

"I thought the penalty was extremely harsh, I've seen it back, I didn't think there was much contact and Josh Harrop has visibly touched the ball.

Josh Harrop brings down Matt Doherty for Wolves' penalty

"The third goal, if you look back, our keeper is clearly impeded when he goes to kick the ball.

"There is then a counter-attack which leads to the goal.

"After that we rallied, got a couple of goals and we put them under pressure.

"To add insult to injury, there was a melee at the end where you can see people man-handling people all over the place.

Stephy Mavididi rides a challenge

"Two of our players get booked, one of theirs does, and we have video footage which shows Ben Pearson got elbowed in the face.

"That sort of stuff is hard to take when I didn't think there too much in the game."

Neil was pleased with the character North End showed in attempting to salvage something from the contest.

He said: "We changed the shape, brought Stephy Mavididi on to go two up top and went man for man at the back at times.

"We tried to force the issue, even thought we were losing 3-0 we might as well lose by four or five rather than not give it a go.

"We managed to get two goals and had one or two bits and pieces around the box.

"Paul Huntington had a shot which was blocked and there were a couple of good situations which we could have done better with.

"It showed my players never give up. Anyone watching the game at 3-0 would have thought the game was done and we would sit back to make sure we didn't get beat by more.

"We didn't do that, we went for the jugular and got two goals, we were maybe unfortunate not to get another."