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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 1 Cardiff City 2

20 November 2021

Two Cardiff City goals in the second half saw Preston North End beaten after Sean Maguire’s early opener.

PNE got off to a flying start, with Maguire opening the scoring within 90 seconds of kick-off, but Cardiff started brightly themselves in the second, as Mark McGuinness equalised on 51 minutes.

Half-time substitute James Collins then completed his side’s turnaround 15 minutes later, heading home from a corner.

Frankie McAvoy made four changes from the defeat against Nottingham Forest prior to the international break, with Alan Browne, Greg Cunningham, Ryan Ledson and Maguire all coming into the team.

North End came out of the blocks with real purpose, as Emil Riis was sent forward by Alan Browne, and he pulled the ball back for Ali McCann to send an effort goalwards, which was deflected wide.

From the resulting set piece, PNE earned a second corner from the other side. Ryan Ledson whipped in the corner, seeing it flicked on to the back post where Maguire was waiting to tap home to give his side the lead within 90 seconds.

After Andrew Hughes saw a 25-yard free-kick saved on 17 minutes, Cardiff went up the other end for their first chance of the game, but Aden Flint could only head wide as the ball fell to him just more than six yards from goal.

North End almost doubled their lead before the half-hour mark as Browne marauded forward before feeding Ali McCann, who struck a fierce effort at Alex Smithies, but the goalkeeper was equal to it.

The Lilywhites continued to dominate the opening period and deservedly had the lead at the break, but the visitors came out firing at the start of the second half.

Half-time substitute James Collins fizzed an effort just wide a minute in, before Will Vaulks struck a fierce, low effort against the base of the post just a few moments later.

Cardiff weren’t made to wait much longer for their equaliser, though, levelling the score on 51 minutes when Mark McGuinness headed Will Vaulks’ free-kick past Daniel Iversen.

Ryan Ledson came close to putting his side back in front before the hour mark, but his shot on the bounce from the edge of the box, having controlled well with his left, was tipped around the post by the ‘keeper.

It was at the other end that the third goal of the game came, though, with Collins getting on the end of Giles’ corner from the right to put his side ahead.

McAvoy used all three substitutes available to him to try and swing the game back in his team’s favour – bringing Josh Earl, Scott Sinclair and Daniel Johnson off the bench – but it was Cardiff who almost scored again late on, with Rubin Colwill being denied by a superb save from Iversen at close range.

PNE line-up: Iversen; van den Berg, Bauer, Hughes; Barkhuizen, McCann, Ledson (Sinclair, 68), Browne, Cunningham (Earl, 68); Riis, Maguire (Johnson, 77). Subs not used: Hudson, Lindsay, Storey, Potts.

Cardiff line-up: Smithies; McGuinness, Flint, Nelson; Ng, Vaulks, Pack, Giles; Davies (Harris, 62), Zimba (Collins, 45), Colwill (Bacuna, 87). Subs not used: Phillips, Morrison,, Sang, Brown.

Referee: Mr L Doughty

Attendance: 10,749 (927 away)

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