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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 1 Huddersfield Town 2

26 December 2022

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 1 Huddersfield Town 2

26 December 2022

Preston North End were beaten 2-1 as Huddersfield Town turned the game around after Greg Cunningham’s first-half opener.

Cunningham – who was the match-winner in the 1-0 victory over Huddersfield in October – headed home in the 34th minute to break the deadlock, but Rhodes scored against the run of play in the 75th minute for the visitors.

Ten minutes later, the Terriers got a winning goal with Kaine Kesler-Hayden finishing off unmarked at the far post.

North End were unchanged from their last Championship outing, but the bench was boosted by the returns from injury of Alan Browne, Ali McCann and Emil Riis.

Before there were any real chances of note at either end, there was an incident in the middle on 13 minutes when David Kasumu went in late and strongly on Ryan Ledson, but referee Geoff Eltringham decided a yellow card was the fair punishment.

Ben Woodburn had PNE’s first couple of opportunities, firstly heading wide on the end of a Ched Evans cross, before then volleying over the bar on 27 minutes.

The back of the net was found 34 minutes in, though, as Evans and Cunningham attacked Ben Whiteman’s corner from the left, and a header – which appears to have come off of Cunningham last – snuck into Lee Nicholls’ near post.

Huddersfield could have levelled the scoring in the final minute of first-half stoppage time, firstly through Kesler-Hayden who was in space inside the area at the far post but got his shot all wrong, before Duane Holmes then hit over the bar from 25 yards with the final kick of the half.

PNE remained the side on top at the beginning of the second half but it wasn’t until a flurry of chances soon after the 67th minute that they looked like they may extend their lead.

Fernández saw a shot blocked at close quarters before Evans was then frustrated by goalkeeper Nicholls at the near post.

Nicholls was beaten, though, as Ben Woodburn chipped the ball over the top of him while one-on-one, but his effort landed just inches wide.

Woodburn did then find the back of the net in the next attack, beautifully curling the ball with the outside of his boot into the bottom corner, only to be frustrated by the offside flag which punished Evans.

North End were made to pay for those missed chances on 76 minutes when Brahima Diarra came out on top in a race with Cunningham before finding Rhodes, who equalised for the visitors.

Within two minutes, he was almost giving his side the lead too, denied only by Freddie Woodman’s right-hand post.

The Terriers did get that second goal in the 85th minute, though, as Jack Rudoni sent a vicious ball across the face of goal and Kesler-Hayden was there at the far post to tap home.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham; Potts (Diaby, 90+2), Whiteman, Ledson (McCann, 77), Woodburn, Fernández; Johnson (Browne, 77), Woodburn (Riis, 77); Evans. Subs not used: Cornell, Bauer, Cross-Adair.

Huddersfield Town line-up: Nicholls; Lees, Helik, Boyle; Kesler-Hayden, Hogg, Holmes (Jackson, 90+6), Ruffels; Rudoni, Kasumu (Diarra, 71); Rhodes (Simpson, 89). Subs not used: Bilokapic, Mahoney, Camara, Jackson, Spencer.

Attendance: 16,982 (1,097 away fans)

Referee: Mr G Eltringham.

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