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Match Reports

Preston North End 0 Leeds United 2

9 April 2019

Ten-man Preston North End were defeated on a controversial night at Deepdale.

Ben Pearson was given a straight red card early in the second half after a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge on Patrick Bamford, the striker then going on to score a brace.

It was a very tight game until the sending-off, with neither side dominating and very few clear-cut chances, but the reduction in bodies for the Lilywhites allowed space which the visitors took advantage of when the forward curled home his first and then headed a second.

Alex Neil was able to bring back Daniel Johnson into the starting XI, replacing Ryan Ledson in the side, the only change to the team.

Once again, North End’s major threat in the first half was Lukas Nmecha and he had a chance in the 13th minute, but his shot could only find the side-netting after Alan Browne had headed down from Sean Maguire’s cross.

Five minutes later and chances came at both ends in the space of a few seconds as a driven cross by Callum Robinson after a clever quick free kick was blocked and then on the break Bamford fired over the bar after a swift counter-attack.

The major talking point came four minutes into the second period when a long ball through to Bamford – who looked suspiciously offside – saw him collect and Pearson run alongside him and then ease him off the ball, only for the No.9 to end up in the floor in a crumpled state.

Referee Robert Jones was swiftly on the scene and produced a straight red card without hesitation.

And the Lilywhites were punished by Bamford just after the hour mark, collecting a ball that had come off a ricochet and then curled the ball into the bottom left-hand corner, Declan Rudd having no chance.

And then he made it 2-0 with less than a quarter of an hour to go when Mateusz Klich picked up the ball in the right-hand side of the penalty area and crossed to the penalty spot to where the former Chelsea man headed into the top right-hand corner.

A brilliant tackle in the final minute from Ben Davies prevented Bamford grabbing a hat-trick, as he raced clean through, only for the PNE No.6 to get back and superbly deny his shot and in the final of six added minutes Jayden Stockley was denied a consolation by a superb block by Liam Cooper after a brilliant build up by Fisher and Browne, but it remained 2-0.

PNE line-up: Rudd, Fisher, Earl, Pearson, Storey, Davies, Nmecha (Stockley, 87), Johnson, Maguire (Ledson, 70), Browne (c), Robinson (Moult, 58). Subs not used: Crowe, Rafferty, Ginnelly, Huntington.

Leeds United line-up: Casilla, Ayling, Cooper (c), Bamford (Roofe, 90), Alioski, Roberts (Forshaw, 83), Jansson, Hernandez, Harrison (Berardi, 77), Phillips, Klich. Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Dallas, Shackleton, Stevens.

Attendance: 18,109 (5,426 Leeds United fans)

Referee: Mr R Jones


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