Preston North End were beaten 4-1 by Hull City on the opening day of the 2021/22 Championship season.
Emil Riis gave his side the lead in the eighth minute, slotting home at the back post after being found by Tom Barkhuizen, but goals from Keane Lewis-Potter, Richie Smallwood, Josh Magennis and Andy Cannon sealed victory for the visitors.
The game was preceded by a presentation made to Paul Gallagher, as everybody connected to the club, including all supporters inside the ground, got the opportunity to thank the club legend for his service as a player.
Once the game got underway, it was very soon brought to a halt as Declan Rudd took an early knock to the head from a Hull attacker, one which would eventually mean he would have to leave the pitch with concussion, being replaced by Daniel Iversen, but not before PNE took the lead.
It was a great move which created the goal just eight minutes into the game, with Alan Browne sending a nice ball out wide to Barkhuizen who excellently squared it for Riis to tap home at the far post, sending the Deepdale crowd into raptures.
There weren’t many chances of note before Hull’s equaliser then arrived on 35 minutes, with Lewis-Potter showing good composure to slot past Iversen from inside the area on the end of a defence-splitting pass from Smallwood.
North End could have doubled their lead just before the half-time break, with Barkhuizen’s long throw being flicked on by a Hull head and the ball fell kindly to goalscorer Riis, but his volley was blazed over the crossbar.
PNE made a double change during the interval, with Brad Potts and Sepp van den Berg coming on for Riis and Greg Cunningham, and that brought a change of formation, as Barkhuizen headed up top from wing back.
The forward came so close twice within three minutes of the restart, forcing Matt Ingram into two superb saves. Firstly, Barky tried to curl the ball right into the top corner from 18 yards, but Ingram just managed to get his fingertips to it to keep it out, and it was the same result when PNE’s No.29 latched onto a short header back to the goalkeeper and tried to sneak the ball past him.
PNE fell behind on 62 minutes when Smallwood picked the ball up 20 yards out and took aim, and courtesy of a double deflection it crept past Iversen off the inside of his right-hand post.
Frankie McAvoy turned to Daniel Johnson off the bench 70 minutes in, replacing Ben Whiteman, and he kick-started an attack which finished in Ingram’s hands as a Ched Evans effort deflected kindly for the ‘keeper.
At the other end, Hull confirmed their victory late on as strikes from Magennis and Cannon gave North End to an opening day defeat.
PNE line-up: Rudd (Iversen, 13); Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Barkhuizen, Ledson, Whiteman (Johnson, 70), Browne (c), Cunningham (van den Berg, 46); Evans, Riis (Potts, 46). Subs not used: Bauer, Rodwell-Grant, Thomas.
Hull City line-up: Ingram, Coyle, Greaves, Jones, Smallwood (c), Wilks (Smith, 80), Docherty, Lewis-Potter (Scott, 90), Emmanuel, Moncur (Cannon, 90), Magennis (Eaves, 89). Subs not used: Baxter, Fleming, Bernard.
Attendance: 12,452 (1,798 Hull City fans)
Referee: Mr G Ward