Match report: Preston North End 4 Wigan Athletic 0

Preston North End put four goals past Wigan Athletic at Deepdale to deliver their first victory in the Championship since the opening day of the season.

Saturday, 6th October 2018, 8:54 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th October 2018, 10:03 pm
Callum Robinson

It was very much a romp from the Lilywhites, outplaying their visitors for large parts of the contest.

Wigan went down to 10 men when Darron Gibson was red-carded for a reckless challenge on Ben Pearson but North End were already 2-0 ahead at the time.

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Callum Robinson

Tom Barkhuizen fired them in front in the 17th minute, a lead which was doubled six minutes into the second half by Callum Robinson.

Substitute Paul Gallagher netted the third goal from the penalty spot in the 85th minute - the impressive Lukas Nmecha having been fouled - Robinson getting his second goal of the contest in the sixth minute of stoppage-time to complete an emphatic win.

To complete a fine afternoon Sean Maguire made his return from a hamstring injury as a 75th minute substitute, the Irishman setting-up the fourth goal for Robinson.

Victory lifted Alex Neil's men off the bottom of the table and sent PNE into the international break in good spirits after their troubled start to the campaign.

Tom Barkhuizen celebrates giving PNE the lead

The North End side had shown three changes to the one which had started the 3-3 draw at Aston Villa last Tuesday.

Injury kept Paul Huntington and Ryan Ledson out, while Ben Davies surprisingly dropped down to the bench.

Jordan Storey, Tom Clarke and Daniel Johnson came into the side, Storey and Clarke forming the centre-half pairing and Johnson partnered Pearson in the deeper midfield slots.

Early on it was Wigan on the front foot, forcing three quick corners which meant PNE had some defending to do.

But gradually North End began to get a foothold in the contest, Alan Browne seeing a shot hit a defender which took the power off it and bounced through to the keeper.

Preston took the lead in the 17th minute, Callum Robinson starting the build-up with a pass from the left channel inside to Browne on the edge of the 'D'.

Browne turned and looked like he might shoot but instead spotted the run of Barkhuizen and fed him the ball down the right hand side of the box.

Barkhuizen took a touch before hitting a low shot which keeper Christian Walton got a glove to but couldn't stop it going in.

North End went close again in the 38th minute when Barkhuizen broke down the right channel on the counter attack.

He laid the ball inside to find Johnson but DJ couldn't get the ball out of his feet quick enough and when he got his shot away it was deflected for a corner.

The hosts shouted loudly for a penalty - and with good reason - three minutes before half-time when Nmecha went down under the challenge of Cedrick Kipre as he surged down the right side of the box.

But referee Lee Probert waved play on, much to the displeasure on the PNE players and supporters.

Preston almost got a second in the third minute of first-half stoppage-time, Nmecha's pass playing in Robinson down the left side of the box, his low shot going across goal and travelling inches wide of the far post.

The second half started at a good pace, North End hitting the woodwork less than four minutes in.

Andrew Hughes got into space down the left-wing and pulled the ball into the middle, substitute Dan Burn's half clearance falling to Browne who sent a rising shot crashing against the underside of the bar and down on the line.

Goal line technology showed it was just 3.68mm away from being a goal.

Wigan responded with a Reece James shot which Maxwell dived to his right to push away.

Within sixty seconds North End went up the other end to double their lead, Barkhuizen leading the charge with a run down the right.

His low cross found Johnson in the box who in turn laid it off to Robinson - the front man rifling a right-foot shot into the net from 10 yards.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute, Gibson recklessly sliding across to halt Pearson's run down the left-wing.

While Gibson wasn't the last man, it was the manner of the challenge - seen by Mr Probert as being out of control.

Maxwell produced a good save just beyond the hour, diving to his left to parry James' shot from distance.

Back at the other end, the impressive Nmecha cut across the face of the box and let fly with a shot which dipped just over the bar.

North End's third goal arrived from the penalty spot in the 85th minute, Burn's clumsy challenge from behind bringing down Nmecha in the box - until then the young striker had got nothing from the referee.

He wanted to take the penalty but substitute Gallagher got the honours, stepping-up to send the keeper the wrong way with a confident finish.

They finished things off with a fourth goal in the sixth minute of stoppage-time.

Maguire doing the spadework by chasing the ball to the byline to the left of goal and pulling it back to the near post where Robinson and Burn both went in for it - the last touch perhaps coming off the Wigan defender but Robinson was claiming it.

PNE: Maxwell, Fisher, Clarke, Storey, Hughes, Pearson, Johnson (Gallagher 75), Barkhuizen (Maguire 75), Browne, Robinson, Nmecha (Davies 89). Subs (not used): Earl, Moult, Barker, Rudd.

Wigan: Walton, James, Kipre, Dunkley, Robinson, Morsy, Gibson, Windass (McManaman 69), Powell (Burn 45), Jacobs (Garner 69), Grigg. Subs (not used): Byrne, Roberts, Evans, Jones.

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 15,218 (3,831 away)