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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 1 West Bromwich Albion 1

18 September 2021

Preston North End were pegged back to a draw at home to West Bromwich Albion, with Ben Whiteman’s goal being cancelled out by Matt Phillips.

Whiteman gave his side the lead inside 26 minutes as he saw his effort deflect past former North End goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, but West Brom were level in added time of the first half as Phillips headed home.

After a stop-start opening to the game, with Sepp van den Berg going into the book and Patrick Bauer receiving treatment for a head injury, the latter was then involved in the first chance of the game.

He headed wide from Ryan Ledson’s corner 20 minutes in, before Johnstone took a quick goal-kick to launch it forward towards Grady Diangana, who blocked Daniel Iversen’s clearance with his hand before putting the ball in the back of the net, rightfully being pulled up for the offence.

Diangana soon tested the Dane legally, though, producing a tip over the bar from North End’s shot-stopper just two minutes later. From the resulting corner, the Baggies earned another from the opposite side, which found Kyle Bartley but his header was blocked by his own team-mate, Jordan Hugill.

It was the home side who would go ahead on 26 minutes as Emil Riis worked hard to keep the ball and find Whiteman on the edge of the box, and his deflected effort wrong-footed Johnstone on its way into the back of the net.

The visitors very nearly drew level on 32 minutes, as Phillips struck a fierce volley just wide on the end of Adam Reach’s cross.

Ten minutes later, Riis came close to his side’s second as he did remarkably well to take Ledson’s floated cross down, but the ball landed just too far away from him for the forward to make the meaningful contact.

It looked as though PNE were set to head into the break ahead, however Phillips drew his side level two minutes into added time, heading home at the far post on the end of Darnell Furlong’s long throw-in.

Phillips tried his luck again early in the second 45, seeing his curled effort five minutes into the period land on top of Iversen’s goal.

The game remained tight as time went on, with both sides making attacking changes, including Connor Wickham, who came on for his PNE debut and Callum Robinson making his return to Deepdale from the West Brom bench.

Ali McCann also came on for his home debut and he almost created a winner, with his cross falling to Ryan Ledson, who hit a sweet half-volley goalwards, only for Johnstone to save down low.

Jordan Hugill then had a late opportunity himself, being played onto the edge of the box with Iversen to beat, but the Dane comfortably saved.

PNE line-up: Iversen; Storey, Bauer, Hughes; van den Berg, Whiteman (McCann, 64), Johnson, Ledson, Earl; Maguire (Wickham, 64), Riis (Murphy, 83). Subs not used: Rudd, Cunningham, Lindsay, Potts.

West Brom line-up: Johnstone; Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend; Reach, Mowatt, Livermore, Furlong; Diangana (Grant, 63), Hugill, Phillips (Robinson, 69). Subs not used: Button, Molumby, Kipre, Snodgrass, Taylor.

Attendance: 13,840 (3,219 West Brom fans)

Referee: Mr A Davies


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