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Match Reports

West Bromwich Albion 2 Preston North End 0

25 February 2020

Preston North End were defeated by league leaders West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns thanks to goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Livermore.

Former North End forward Callum Robinson was involved in both the two first half strikes, his deep cross controlled and finished well by Robson-Kanu early on, before finding the Welshman again, who chested down for skipper Livermore to add the second right on half-time.
 
And the chances of a second half comeback were curtailed when the visitors were reduced to ten men when Darnell Fisher went given a straight red card for a foul on former team-mate Robinson.
 
Manager Alex Neil was able to recall Daniel Johnson after injury and he was one of three changes, with Saturday’s match-winner Alan Browne and David Nugent also returned to the starting XI.
 
But it was the Baggies who grabbed an early goal when Robinson took told of the ball out by the left touchline and drove a ball into the box and Robson-Kanu chested the ball down perfectly between two defenders and fired home from ten yards out.
 
The visitors grew into the game and mid-way through the half some good build-up play eventually saw Johnson find Andrew Hughes on the left and he delivered a powerful deep ball that Nugent headed down but up and over the bar.
 
Robinson was denied twice in the space of a few minutes by Declan Rudd. Firstly, Matheus Pereira played the No.47 down the right-side of the penalty area and he got behind the defence and clipped the ball on target, with PNE’s No.1 making a smart save and then the same two combined to see Robinson run through the middle, only to be denied by the man he shared a dressing room with.
On 32 minutes, Fisher crossed from the right and Nugent with a superb header was inches wide of the right-hand post from 15 yards out.
But with 15 seconds left of normal time in the opening period, a Robinson ball in from the left again found Robson-Kanu, who chested down for Livermore to half volley into the bottom left-hand corner.
 
On 64 minutes the task became even harder for the Lilywhites when Fisher was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Robinson.
 
The home side tried to take advantage and made all three changes looking to extend their lead and Kamil Grosicki found space to create a chance for Charlie Austin from 15 yards, but Rudd made a superb save to palm over and then dealt with the corner.
 
Rakeen Harper also caught the bar with a long range effort in the final minute of normal time as the Baggies tried to work space by moving the ball from one side to the other, but a resolute and hard-working ten men of North End kept them at bay as the game finished 2-0.
 
West Bromwich Albion line-up: Johnstone, Robson-Kanu (Austin, 82), Ajayi, Krovinovic, Livermore (c), Pereira (Phillips, 72), Townsend, Harper, Hegazi, O’Shea, Robinson (Grosicki, 79). Subs not used: Bond, Furlong, Bartley, Barry.
 
PNE line-up: Rudd, Fisher, Hughes, Pearson, Bauer, Davies, Barkhuizen (Stockley, 84), Browne (c), Nugent (Sinclair, 78), Johnson, Maguire (Potts, 85). Subs not used: Ripley, Clarke, Gallagher, Rafferty.
 
Attendance: 22,150 (925 PNE fans)
 
Referee: Mr K Friend

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