Ipswich Town 1 PNE 0
The Tottenham Hotspur loanee stroked the ball into the bottom right hand corner after a clearance fell right to him on the quarter hour mark and that proved to be the only goal of the game.
North End suffered an early blow when Jermaine Beckford was forced off inside the opening 15 minutes with lot looked like concussion, following a bang to the head in the first few minutes.
And the job became harder moments after the enforced change, Grant Ward collecting the ball from substitute Jordan Hugill’s clearance on the edge of the box and firing back into the bottom right hand corner of Anders Lindegaard’s goal.
The big Danish goalkeeper needed to be at his best to deny the home side a second mid-way through the half; diving with a full stretch to make a finger-tip save to deny Freddie Sears from 15 yards out after he had broken onto a through ball from Kevin Bru.
As the half went on the yellows started to come into the game and Callum Robinson showed strength down the left to collect the ball and hold off a defender before shooting from 18 yards, forcing Bartosz Bialkowski to palm the ball out of the top right corner for the first corner.
Just before the interval Robinson again ran onto Hugill’s head down from Daniel Johnson’s right wing cross, and shot on target, low to the goalkeeper’s left, but there was no real power and the host’s stopper was able to claim.
On the hour mark Chris Humphrey, now right back in a 4-2-3-1, after Eoin Doyle’s introduction, drove into the Ipswich box with a 45 yard run down the right, checking inside before firing goalwards, only for an excellent block by Luke Chambers to deny him an equaliser.
It became a 4-2-4 for the Lilywhites in the closing stages, with Robinson, Hugill, Doyle and Humphrey all as an attacking force as they threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser.
In the closing stages North End tried to get balls into the box to cause problems for the home side, but the ball would not fall for them in the penalty area.
Ipswich Town line-up: Bialkowski, Knudsen, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Skuse, Pitman (Varney, 83), Bru (Bishop, 76), Ward (Webster, 90), Sears, Douglas. Subs not used: Gerken, Digby, Dozzell, Kenlock.
PNE line-up: Lindegaard, Cunningham, Clarke (c), Wright, Humphrey, Gallagher, Welsh, Johnson (Grimshaw, 76), Spurr (Doyle, 55), Beckford (Hugill, 14), Robinson. Subs not used: Maxwell, Browne, Makienok, Huntington.
Attendance: 15,296 (297 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr T Robinson