Blackburn Rovers vs Preston North End: Match Report

Preston North End walk away 1-2 victors in this Lancashire derby as Rovers fail to close the gap between themselves and the play-offs . 

Goals from former Blackburn loanee Greg Cunningham and Liam Lindsay inflict a second successive defeat on Rovers, concern is starting to arise that their season might be drifting away once again.

Top scorer Adam Armstrong pulled a goal back from the penalty spot right before half time, but Rovers struggled to create much going forward in the second half as they looked for an equaliser.

Rovers have been poor defensively on a few occasions this season but tonight’s performance was as bad as we’ve seen for quite a while. There was a severe lack of communication between both centre backs and goalkeeper and the defence also lacked shape which Preston exploited countless times.

Tony Mowbray made two changes from the side that lost 1-0 away at QPR last weekend, Barry Douglas returns to the starting lineup after the birth of his daughter last week replacing Amari’i Bell and Bradley Dack made his second start of the season as Harvey Elliott dropped to the bench.

It was a very cagey start from both teams with the first real chance of the game ended up putting Preston in the lead. Former Rovers loanee Greg Cunningham found himself in lots of room on the left hand side and he fired a fantastic strike right into the bottom right hand corner 0-1.

After that Rovers seemed to collapse and it was all Preston, Thomas Kaminski flapped at a corner and the ball fell to Ched Evans who went down under pressure but nothing was given.

The first real chance for the home side came 36 minutes in, nice link up play between Dack and Joe Rothwell allowed Dack to thread the ball through to Adam Armstrong who’s shot was fired wide of the right hand post.

Two minutes before half time North End managed to double their lead, Ryan Ledson whipped in a corner and Liam Lindsay managed to bundle the ball home to make it 0-2.

Suddenly the game sprung into life two minutes after Preston made it 0-2, Rovers came down the right hand side with Ryan Nyambe he slid the ball through to Sam Gallagher who went down rather softly but a penalty was awarded. Armstrong stepped up to take the penalty and he slotted it into the right hand corner, Daniel Iverson guessed right but he couldn’t keep it out 1-2.

In added time the first half nearly fell apart for North End, Douglas came racing forward on the left hand side and he crossed it into Armstrong who’s shot was remarkably saved by Iverson to keep the score at 1-2.

Half Time: Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Preston North End. 

Preston will have been extremely disappointed not to enter halftime with a two goal lead after dominating the majority of the first half.

Second Half: 

Mowbray obviously wasn’t impressed with that first half as he made a double change bringing on former Preston youngster Tyrhys Dolan and Stewart Downing for Jacob Davenport and Rothwell.

It was Preston who started the brightest again as the press continued to work for the away side as they won the ball from a Blackburn throw, the ball found its way to Daniel Johnson but his deflected shot just creeped past post for a corner.

Sloppy defending again by Blackburn this time from Darragh Lenihan who gave Preston another chance, Tom Barkhuizen burst through on goal but he couldn’t find the corner as he fired wide of the post.

Rovers were pushing for an equaliser and managed to forge a couple of corners in quick succession, the latter of which fell to Dack at the back post but his header landed on the roof of the net.

Another big chance for Preston to get their two goal lead back, substitute Emil Riis managed to skip the challenge of Jarrad Branthwaite but his shot was rather tame and was hit straight at Kaminski in goal.

The home side then had the ball in the net through Dack but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside by the linesman.

With five minutes left of normal time Preston managed to counter through Brad Potts he had options both right and left but he decided to go alone and his shot was deflected wide.

North End thought they had secured the win as Evans managed to deflect the ball in but he was also ruled out for offside.

Preston managed to hold out for the win in what was a brilliant away display. Rovers will disappointed in the manner of goals they conceded but will also be continuing to wonder where have all the goals gone?

Blackburn are back in action on Wednesday as they face Barnsley at Oakwell.

Full Time: Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Preston North End.

 

 

 

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