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Match Reports

Swansea City 3 Preston North End 2

17 August 2019

Swansea City came from behind with a brace from Borja Baston helping them to a 3-2 win against the Lilywhites at the Liberty Stadium.

Joe Rafferty, in for the injured Andrew Hughes, opened the scoring with his first goal for the club with a curling effort into the bottom left hand corner from 25 yards out just 11 minutes in, only for Borja Baston to fire home from close range in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time.
 
There was a lot of time added on in the opening period after both sides suffered early injuries, Nathan Dyer forced off for the Swans and Louis Moult stretchered off after landing awkwardly in the opposition box.
 
But half-time substitute George Byers put the Swans back in front, only for Daniel Johnson to level from the spot, but within two minutes the home side had sealed the points when Baston headed home Jake Bidwell’s left-wing cross from the edge of the six-yard box.
 
Until the late equaliser, the first half was the perfect away performance from the yellows. The opening goal was the first real chance of the game, as the stand-in left back picked up a clearance from the home defence, cut inside to open some space, before firing in a shot that beat Freddie Woodman at his near post and nestled in the corner of the goal, his sixth career strike in his sixth start for PNE.
It was all PNE in terms of first half chances. On 17 minutes, some superb play from Ben Pearson outside the opposition box, saw him dummy a defender and drop a shoulder and then found Billy Bodin, but the Welshman couldn’t get a shot on target from 12 yards out to the right of goal.
Moult was replaced in the 24th minute, Andre Green taking the attacking role, but the chances continued and just before the half hour mark Daniel Johnson volleyed just wide of the right-hand post after good pressure, with Bodin’s pacy ball in from the right only partially cleared.
 
Bodin again saw a shot saved by Woodman on 39 minutes, it came on the turn, after great spell of possession, Pearson finding the No.39 out on the right-hand side once again.
 
A corner from skipper Paul Gallagher from the right, Sean Maguire, glancing header across the goal and inches over the bar was another big opportunity for the Lilywhites.
 
But the home side drew level just before the break from their only shot on target in the first half. The ball was worked out to the right for Connor Roberts to deliver into the box and Baston fired home into the bottom left-hand corner from eight yards out.
 
The second half started in helter-skelter fashion, going one way and then the other. After a strong start to the half by Steve Cooper’s side, Sean Maguire hit the outside of the left-hand post after a run down the left and a drive into the box.
 
But on 63 minutes the home side were back in front as a loose ball fell to half-time substitute Byers – on for Kalulu - who fired home into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal from 12 yards out.
Two minutes later and North End were handed a chance to get back level as Connor Roberts fouled Maguire in the penalty area and referee Dean Whitestone pointed straight to the spot. After a delay for the Irishman to get treatment, Daniel Johnson was the man who stepped up and calmly fired low into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.
However, they were only level for two minutes as City went back in front, as Baston was on the score sheet again with a header from a cross by Bidwell, the striker powering it home from six yards out.
 
In the last minute of four added on for stoppages Maguire saw a shot blocked for a corner, which Gallagher delivered into the six-yard box and the man who won it got his head on it, but the effort was straight at Woodman, who held on at the second attempt with what was the last action of the game.
 
Swansea City line-up: Woodman, Rodon, van der Hoorn, Fulton, Grimes (c), Baston (Surridge, 81), Celina, Dyer (Ayew, 22), Kalulu (Byers, 46), Roberts, Bidwell. Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Peterson, Wilmot, Naughton.
 
PNE line-up: Rudd, Fisher, Rafferty, Pearson, Bauer, Davies, Bodin (Barkhuizen, 81), Gallagher (c), Moult (Green, 26), Johnson (Browne, 81), Maguire. Subs not used: Ripley, Clarke, Stockley, Potts.
 
Attendance: 15,250 (412 PNE fans)
 
Referee: Mr D Whitestone

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