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05 December 2020 Venue Deepdale Attendance

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Wycombe Wanderers Match Preview

3 December 2020

Preston North End welcome fan favourite Gareth Ainsworth and his Wycombe Wanderers side to Deepdale for the next test in the SkyBet Championship.

The Chairboys manager and the PNE faithful are probably equally as disappointed this one can’t be in front of the fans, who would no doubt have given him a great welcome on his return to PR1… at least until kick-off.

However, the Lilywhites and those watching at home on iFollow PNE will be looking for their side to pick up another positive result after Tuesday night’s latest away win, with an impressive team display against AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Wycombe make their first trip to Deepdale since January 2012 – a game you can read more about in our match to remember, with a link at the bottom of the page – with just two FA Cup ties played in between and for the third time in six years we will again head to Adams Park in the third round, in early January.

Match Information
Competition: EFL Sky Bet Championship (16/46)
Date: Saturday 5th December, kick-off 3pm
Venue: Deepdale
Kit: 2020/21 home kit – click here to buy it now!
Head To Head: PNE wins – 9; Draws – 4; Wycombe Wanderers - 2

Team News
Manager Alex Neil will be without Patrick Bauer, who will undergo an operation on his ruptured Achilles on Monday and whose season will now be over.

Fellow defender Darnell Fisher will serve the last of his three-match ban, joining the other full backs Andrew Hughes and Josh Earl on the sidelines.

Josh Harrop returned from injury for the midweek squad, but Paul Gallagher was still out, as are Louis Moult and Billy Bodin, who continue to rehab after knee operations.

Gareth Ainsworth was without Curtis Thompson and Dominic Gape for Wednesday’s clash with Stoke City.

Thompson was forced off injured after 17 minutes against Derby the previous weekend, while Gape missed that match after he came off with a knock against Huddersfield Town.

Jason McCarthy will also need to be checked, after he came off injured against the Potters, after what his manager described as a ‘WWF-style’ challenge.


Match Officials
Taking charge of his Saturday’s game is Isle of Wight match official James Linington.

The referee took charge of just one PNE game last season, the 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers, as well as two PNE games the year before, our August trip to Swansea City and the final game of the season away at Brentford.

He was also the man in charge of the game for our game with Cardiff City in December 2017, when Tom Clarke scored a late winner. James took charge of three PNE games that season in all, the trio all away from home, with the games being the 2-1 win at Hull City back in September, the aforementioned game at the Cardiff City Stadium and the 1-0 win at Sheffield United in our final away game of last season.

Four seasons ago, the referee made his first visit ever to Deepdale for the clash with Wolves back in November and was then the referee in the away game at Derby County back in March.

The season before he was referee of the PNE game at Ashton Gate, when Greg Cunningham scored the winner against his former club and that was his third game in charge of PNE. The other time he refereed North End was another game in the south of England, when the Lilywhites won 1-0 at Gillingham in the League One promotion season, courtesy of Paul Huntington’s goal in his first start of the season.

So far this season he has officiated just six games, issuing eight yellow cards and no reds and he will be assisted by Nik Barnard and Steven Meredith, with Simon Mather acting as the fourth official.

Match Coverage
North End fans can watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow PNE, with purchases of a £10 match pass available now.

Jonathan Breeze and former North End skipper Paul McKenna are on commentary duties, with replays, graphics and coverage from the Deepdale from 2.45pm on Saturday afternoon.

Click here now to sign up for a match pass

Linked Stories
Alex Neil Hoping For Continuity: Preston North End manager Alex Neil is hoping that Tuesday’s excellent performance and win over AFC Bournemouth is something his side can build on. Click here for the full interview.

A Match To Remember: For our look back to a previous encounter against the Chairboys, we have gone back to the day Graham Westley was appointed Preston North End manager. Click here for the details.

Joe Rafferty On A ‘World’s Apart’ Week: Preston North End full back Joe Rafferty has admitted that his demeanour from Tuesday to Tuesday this week was in stark contrast. Click here for Raff’s thoughts.

The One And Only Issue Eight: The latest edition of the club’s matchday programme previews the visit of Wycombe Wanderers with centre half Jordan Storey. Click here for more information.

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Match Reports

Preston North End 2 Wycombe Wanderers 2

5 December 2020

Tom Barkhuizen scored his fourth goal in five games, but it needed a late own goal for the Lilywhites to take a point against Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe Wanderers.

Alex Neil’s side had taken a deserved early lead through the No.29’s opportunism, but second half strikes from Garath McCleary and Scott Kashket put the Chairboys in front.

However, as they came under immense pressure in the closing stages, Jason McCarthy turned Scott Sinclair’s cross past his own ’keeper, before two big opportunities went begging in the injury time for the home side to get the win.

Paul Huntington replaced the injured Patrick Bauer in the only change from Tuesday night’s win at Bournemouth and with the boost of that victory behind them, North End had the chance to get off to a blistering start when Scott Sinclair wriggled through and had space 15 yards out to shoot, missing the left-hand post by a matter of inches just 35 seconds in.

But they had the lead on 14 minutes as a great low long ball from Declan Rudd was flicked on by Sean Maguire and Barkhuizen latched onto it, seeing an initial shot blocked, with Maguire’s follow up going up in the air, with Josh Knight trying to nod it back to Ryan Allsop in the visitors’ goal, only for Barkhuizen to anticipate and nip in to head over the goalkeeper and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.

The goal brought an air of confidence about the PNE play, as they moved the ball quickly and mid-way through the half Joe Rafferty found Ryan Ledson, who in turn fed Sinclair. The former Celtic man found Maguire on the left overlap, with the Irishman pulling the ball back to Daniel Johnson 15 yards out, but his goalbound effort was blocked by Anthony Stewart.

However, just after the hour mark the injury problems returned, with Ben Pearson going over, with no player around him, looking like he had turned his ankle and he was helped from the field; Josh Harrop replacing the No.4.

Ainsworth’s men capitalised on this and finished the half strongly, a brilliant Ben Davies block on the line keeping out an effort from Knight and Ledson made another stop to keep out McCleary. PNE’s No.1 was also needed to make a save, Declan making a superb one-on-one stop to keep out a strike from Kashket, who drove in from the left just before the interval.

And they got level three minutes after the break as former PNE man Daryl Horgan made a slide rule pass into the right-hand side of the penalty area, with McCleary collecting the ball and driving a right-footed effort into the top right-hand corner of the Bill Shankly Kop goal.

The Lilywhites were close to being back in front less than two minutes later, with both centre halves going close. Davies’ header was headed off the line from a Harrop corner and from Maguire’s ball back in, Alssop saved from Huntington.

Just after the hour mark a corner was won by block from a Johnson shot, after good hold up play by Emil Riis – on for Maguire – after a quick throw in from Barkhuizen on the right.

The visitors went ahead with 15 minutes left with Kashket following up from free kick from Joe Jacobson that hit the post, firing into empty net.

The equaliser came with three minutes of normal time remaining, with two more substitutes involved. Brad Potts broke down the right and spread the ball further wide to Sinclair, who delivered a low cross into the six yard box when McCarthy put the ball past Allsop, under pressure from Jayden Stockley.

Seven minutes was added on and within that period – which could have been much longer given the time taken by Allsop to take any set piece in the Chairboys goal – there were two chances to win the game.

Firstly, two minutes in, Riis ran onto a ball over the top in a right-hand channel, with Stockley up for support. The two were bearing down on Allsop’s goal, with McCarthy between then, but with the Dane set to shoot the ball took a bobble and the effort flew wide.

But there was to be another opportunity in the penultimate minute of the game as Ledson did well on the left-hand corner of the area, to create space to deliver a low ball into the six yard box that was not properly cleared, again falling to Riis, but he was unable to get his left-footed effort on goal and the game finished 2-2.

PNE line-up: Rudd, Browne (c), Rafferty (Stockley, 73), Pearson (Harrop, 32), Huntington, Davies, Barkhuizen, Ledson, Maguire (Riis, 61), Johnson (Potts, 73), Sinclair. Subs not used: Ripley, Bayliss, Storey, Holland-Wilkinson, O’Reilly.

Wycombe Wanderers line-up: Allsop, Grimmer, Jacobson, Stewart (Wheeler, 67), Kashket, Knight, Horgan (Bloomfield, 78), McCleary, Akinfenwa (c) (Samuel, 84), Onyedinma (Freeman, 78), McCarthy. Subs not used: Stockdale, Pattison, Parker, Mehmeti, Burley.

Referee: Mr J Linington

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