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Match Reports

AFC Bournemouth 2 Preston North End 3

1 December 2020

A superb North End performance saw the Lilywhites end AFC Bournemouth’s unbeaten home record with a 3-2 win at the Vitality Stadium.

Tom Barkhuizen opened the scoring in the first half, before Scott Sinclair fired in from 40 yards and Patrick Bauer – who was stretchered off late on – slid in for a third.

Late goals from Junior Stanislas and Sam Surridge pulled goals back to make it a tense 12 minutes of injury time, after the injury to Bauer, but North End deserved the win.

Skipper Alan Browne was back from suspension, along with Joe Rafferty, and Ryan Ledson also came into the side, with Browne playing alongside Johnson and Bens Pearson and Davies for the first time all season.

From the outset, the Lilywhites were on the front foot, pressing high and winning the ball in the Cherries final third and it was not a surprise when they broke the deadlock 16 minutes in with a swift counter-attack.

It was a brilliant and pacey break with Scott Sinclair holding the ball in the midfield and then sending Johnson away down the left. The Jamaican international delivered a superb low ball across the six-yard box and it was drilled in from the right corner of the opposite side by Barkhuizen for his fifth goal of the season and third in four games.

The pressure continued and more great build-up saw Rafferty find Barkhuizen and then on to Maguire, leading the line, and his shot from 25 yards saw Asmir Begovic scrambling backwards, the international stopper having to tip the vicious effort over the bar at full stretch.

Jason Tindall made a change at the break, Sam Surridge on for Rodrigo Riquelme, as they looked to add to their attacking options and switch to 4-4-2.

But it was North End who made it two and what a goal it was! Sinclair may have been caught on five goals for the season earlier, but he doubled the lead with his sixth of the season – all away from home – from 40 yards, as he saw Begovic off his line and fired a brilliant effort into the top left-hand corner with an assist from Maguire, who flicked on Pearson’s clearance.

And just after the half-way mark in the half, it was 3-0 and it was another brilliant goal as the Lilywhites moved the ball quickly with Maguire finding Johnson down the right, who played a drilled ball with pace into the back post where Patrick Bauer was sliding in to fire in off the right-hand post from six yards out on 68 minutes.

The Cherries pulled a goal back with an excellent right-footed free-kick from Junior Stanislas with 19 minutes left, curling the ball from 20 yards into the top left-hand corner; just seconds before a triple change for the home side, with the goalscorer, Lewis Cook and Diego Rico all hooked.

A controversial second came with four minutes to go as Chris Mepham looked to have handled to stop Sean Maguire going through, and the home side attacked with substitute Surridge heading home substitute Jaidon Athony’s cross from the left, making it 3-2 with minutes to go.

Brad Potts and Emil Riis replaced Tom Barkhuizen and Sean Maguire just as six minutes of injury time got underway and in the first minute, with Bauer down with an injury, Anthony fired over. Bournemouth played on despite the German being down and in pain, eventually needing to be stretchered off and being replaced by Paul Huntuington, with Tom Bayliss also on for Johnson at the same time.

It was a tense 12 minutes of stoppage time that was eventually played, with Jefferson Lerma firing over from the edge of the ‘D’ in the tenth of those minutes, but some brilliant play by Sinclair to race away and win a corner helped the Lilywhites take the points.

AFC Bournemouth line-up: Begovic, S Cook (c), Mepham, Brooks, Lerma, Solanke, Smith, L Cook (Billing, 72), Stanislas (Anthony, 71), Riquelme (Surridge, 46), Rico (Kelly, 71). Subs not used: Travers, Gosling, Ofoborh, Simpson, Kilkenny.

PNE line-up: Rudd, Browne (c), Rafferty, Pearson, Bauer (Huntington, 90), Davies, Barkhuizen (Riis, 90), Ledson, Maguire (Potts, 90), Johnson (Bayliss, 90), Sinclair. Subs not used: Ripley, Harrop, Storey, Stockley, Holland-Wilkinson.

Referee: Mr G Ward


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