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Match Reports

Blackburn Rovers 0 Preston North End 1

9 March 2019

Ten-man Preston North End did the double over local rivals Blackburn Rovers thanks to Daniel Johnson’s early goal.

First Team News

Alex Neil Delighted With ‘Ugly’ Derby Day Win

9 March 2019

The No.11 made it two goals in as many games, finishing off a superb team move that started with goalkeeper Declan Rudd.

The Lilywhites then defended resolutely, with Rudd’s most important work, coming with a late save from his own man, as Ryan Ledson slid in to cut out a right-wing cross. And they played the closing minutes with ten men after Darnell Fisher received a second yellow card for a foul.

Manager Alex Neil had been forced to make one change, with Brad Potts missing out through injury and Lukas Nmecha taking his place and the Manchester loanee was heavily involved in the eighth minute winner.

Rudd rolled the ball out to Jordan Storey, who in turn found Ledson. The Irishman turned the ball around the corner for Alan Browne and he sent Nemcha away down the right-hand side.

The No.45 raced away from Derrick Williams, in the Rovers left back position, got to the right-hand edge of the box before reversing a pass for Johnson, 15 yards out, who drilled a left-footed shot past David Raya and into the roof of the net, to send the 7,500 away fans into ecstasy.

First Team News

‘Hard Defending’ Sweetens Derby Win For Davies

9 March 2019

The home side played a very direct game and mid-way through the opening period, forced the North End stopper into his first save. Adam Armstrong had drifted to the right and clipped a deep ball to the back post to where Danny Graham headed back across goal, but Rudd – at full-stretch – got two hands to the ball, to push it around the post for a corner.

After the interval it was the visitors who had the best of the chances. Just before the hour mark the returning Paul Gallagher forced a save from Raya after collecting a switched ball from Browne from the right, dancing into the box past four men and shooting low, but the keeper saved low to his left.

On 68 minutes Nmecha saw a shot blocked after Browne found Johnson, the midfielder then turning the ball into the Manchester City man – who had moved up top, with Maguire going wide – but again Raya saved and blocked.

With 12 minutes go, the vital save of the match from a PNE point of view saw PNE’s No.1 make a brilliant low stop from one of his own. Substitute Amari’I Bell had found some space down the left and drilled in a low cross. Ryan Ledson slid in and the ball was heading towards the bottom left hand corner, but a strong right hand from the custodian pushed the ball around the foot of the upright.

With a minutes to go, the game was almost wrapped up. Johnson swung a right-wing corner into the penalty area and Browne wriggled free to get a powerful headed on target that seemed to have Raya beaten, but Corry Evans managed to get something on the ball and it diverted narrowly wide.

Five minutes of stoppage time was added and in the second one Fisher was sent off for second bookable offence by referee Oliver Langford, after foul on Bell, his first having come mid-way through the half after a tangle with Graham, however, the rest of an impressive backline held firm to claim the points and take six from Rovers in 2018/19.

Blackburn Rovers line-up: Raya, Nyambe, Williams, Reed (Nuttall, 63), Smallwood (Rothwell, 72), Armstrong, Graham, Mulgrew (c) (Bell, 72), Dack, Evans, Bennett. Subs not used: Leutwiler, Brereton, Travis, Conway.

PNE line-up: Rudd, Fisher, Hughes, Ledson, Storey, Davies, Nmecha (Rafferty, 90), Gallagher (c) (Stockley, 77), Maguire (Barker, 83), Browne, Johnson. Subs not used: Crowe, Earl, Ginnelly, Huntington.

Attendance: 21,577 (7,514 PNE fans)

Referee: Mr O Langford

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