Preston North End were knocked out in the second round of the Carabao Cup as Wolverhampton Wanderers came out 2-1 winners at Molineux.
The Premier League side went into half-time with a two-goal lead courtesy of strikes from Raúl Jiménez and Adama Traoré, while Dai Cornell saved a late first-half penalty from Hee Chan Hwang.
North End then got one back inside the opening three minutes of the second period, with Ben Woodburn scoring his first goal for the club, and PNE challenged for an equaliser from there on, but it didn’t arrive.
Seven changes were made from the weekend’s draw against Watford, and there was a competitive PNE debut handed to goalkeeper Cornell, while first starts of the season were in order for Ched Evans and Matthew Olosunde.
Cornell was tested early on, diving acrobatically to his left to keep out Jiménez’s curling effort inside two minutes, before Ben Whiteman tested Matija Sarkic at the other end.
Jiménez was soon on the scoresheet, though, as he had the simple task of tapping home from a few yards out on the end of Rayan Ait-Nouri’s cross from the left.
Cornell was kept busy, keeping out Leander Dendoncker’s powerful, long-range free-kick and saving a header from Jiménez, but there was nothing he could do when Traore sent a spectacular first-time volley into the top corner on 29 minutes.
Olosunde was adjudged to have brought down Hwang in the final minute of the half, giving the hosts a great chance of going into the break with a three-goal lead, however, Cornell dived to his right to deny the South Korean forward from the spot.
Olosunde made way at the break, with Alan Browne coming on in his place, and within three minutes PNE got a goal back, as Woodburn found the bottom corner with a low left-footed strike from 20 yards.
Emil Riis then tested Sarkic moments later as North End enjoyed a spell of pressure, but his flick was kept out by the goalkeeper, before Cornell then produced a great reflex save at the other end to deny Max Kilman’s header.
His defensive partner Nathan Collins came close on 61 minutes, heading over the bar from six yards, while Riis saw a shot saved by Sarkic after breaking forward a few minutes later.
Brad Potts – just a couple of minutes after coming on – had a big chance ten minutes from time, as fellow substitute Parrott fizzed a ball across goal towards the wing back, but he could only find the side netting.
There were late appearances for youngsters Lewis Leigh and Jacob Slater, and PNE kept looking for the equaliser, however it didn’t come as they bowed out of the Carabao Cup.
Wolves line-up: Sarkic; Semedo (Jonny, 79), Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri; Moutinho, Dendoncker (Neves, 62), Nunes; Traoré (Neto, 62), Jiménez (Podence, 86), Hwang (Guedes, 62). Subs not used: Smith, Toti, Cundle, Bueno.
PNE line-up: Cornell; Storey, Bauer, Cunningham; Olosunde (Browne, 45), Whiteman, McCann (Leigh, 86), Woodburn (Potts, 79), Johnson (Slater, 86); Evans (Parrott, 79), Riis. Subs not used: Woodman, Lindsay, Amaral, O’Neill.
Attendance: 21,946 (1, 406 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr T Bramall.