Derby County 2-0 Preston North End: PNE's search for a point on the road goes on

Ben Pearson wins a header at Pride ParkBen Pearson wins a header at Pride Park
Ben Pearson wins a header at Pride Park
Preston North End are still looking for their first away goal and point of the season after defeat at Derby on Saturday.

Goals in each half from Mason Mount and Richard Keogh handed Frank Lampard’s side victory.

It means the Lilywhites lost for the second time in four days on their travels and have not won in the league since the opening day.

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Alex Neil had made four changes to his side from the defeat at Norwich.

Two were enforced with Ben Davies and Ryan Ledson coming in for the injured Tom Clarke and Alan Browne.

Tom Barkhuizen and Louis Moult also dropped to the bench with Josh Harrop and Graham Burke returning to the starting line-up.

North End made a solid start and had the first sight of goal on 10 minutes.

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After a good run, Callum Robinson fed Lukas Nmecha just inside the area but his effort was straight at Scott Carson.

Derby then went straight up the other end, Jayden Bogle going for goal only for a shot that looked like it might be troubling Declan Rudd to be deflected wide by his own team-mate Mount.

Chances were few and far between but PNE grew into the game as the half wore on, frustrating the hosts and their expectant crowd.

They should have arguably taken the lead just before the half hour mark.

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A good move down the right ended with Harrop pulling the ball back for Robinson who after finding his feet saw his shot saved by Carson.

But just as North End were really starting to assert their authority on proceedings they went behind.

A counter attack down the right ended with the ball being played across for Mount who cut inside and fired a low shot under Rudd who should have done better.

The goal lifted Pride Park and the home side went in search of a second, substitute Andre Wisdom marching forwards from right back and sending in a shot that wasn’t far wide in the last action of the first period.

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PNE came out for the second half with plenty of purpose and went close to just two minutes after the interval, Burke taking the ball from Nmecha and after cutting in on his left foot his effort wasn’t far wide.

As North End pushed forwards though Derby were finding gaps.

Former PNE favourite David Nugent broke down the right and fed Mason Bennett in on goal but Rudd was out quickly to deny him one-on-one.

Bennett then went for goal again in the next attack but he sliced his effort wide when in a good position on the edge of the area.

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The hosts increasingly looked like the side most likely to get the game's next goal.

Craig Bryson was encouraged to shoot on 57 minutes and his effort from distance was well struck and only just the wrong side of the post with the aid of a slight deflection.

PNE kept plugging away though and had a chance of their own on the hour.

Ben Pearson’s free-kick from deep was kept alive with Paul Huntington heading the ball into the path of Burke who hooked an effort narrowly wide.

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Robinson then saw a tame shot from distance saved from distance before Neil made his move with 22 minutes to play, Brandon Barker and Tom Barkhuizen replacing Burke and Nmecha.

But it was Derby who got the decisive next goal.

Mount sent over the corner and Keogh’s header squeezed between Rudd and the post to just about settle things 12 minutes from time.

The Derby captain then came close to a second with another header seven minutes from time but his effort went narrowly wide.

As North End pushed in search of a dramatic late comeback it was the Rams who threatened to add to their advantage.

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One break on 85 minutes ended with substitute Florian Jozefzoon cutting inside and bending a shot narrowly wide.

As the game entered stoppage time Nugent then nearly chipped Rudd from distance, the ball landing on the roof of the net.

Derby County: Carson, Bogle (Wisdom 30), Keogh (capt), Forsyth, Tomori, Ledley (Johnson 48), Bryson, Mount, Bennett (Jozefzoon 80), Lawrence, Nugent. Subs not used: Roos, Waghorn,, Marriott, Lowe.

PNE: Rudd, Fisher, Huntington (capt), Davies, Hughes, Pearson, Ledson, Burke (Barkhuizen 68), Harrop, Robinson (Moult 80), Nmecha (Barker 68). Subs: Rudd, Earl, Storey, Johnson.

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 25, 257