A debut goal for Cameron Archer following Emil Riis’ first-half opener gave Preston North End a deserved victory over West Bromwich Albion.
Riis gave his side the lead just before the half-time break, with a deflected Greg Cunningham cross being tapped over the line by Riis for his 14th goal of the season in all competitions.
Archer then came off the bench for his first appearance for the club since arriving on loan from Aston Villa and sealed the three points for his new side.
PNE made three changes to the starting XI, with Andrew Hughes, Brad Potts and Ryan Ledson all coming into the side, with Archer being named as a substitute.
North End saw a lot of the ball in the early stages and could have had the lead within three minutes, with Andrew Hughes heading inches wide from Ben Whiteman’s cross.
The visitors had a penalty shout 15 minutes later, as a clever pass from Ledson found Riis in the box and he went down under the challenge of Cedric Kipre, but the referee waved away the appeals.
Riis was involved again just after the half-hour mark, being played into the area by Alan Browne, although he couldn’t quite find the target with his powerful effort.
West Brom’s first real chance of note came soon after, with Adam Reach pulling the ball back for Alex Mowatt, who blazed over the bar under pressure from Ledson.
North End made their first-half dominance count four minutes from the break, as Whiteman’s deft touch found Cunningham, who in turn sent a dangerous cross into the area, which a defender deflected goalwards and Riis just got a touch to help it over the line.
The Dane was replaced by Archer for his debut on 65 minutes and just over ten minutes later, the 20-year-old was on the scoresheet, heading home after Cunningham’s shot was saved.
From that point, it was about managing the game and North End did just that to make sure they left The Hawthorns will all three points.
West Brom line-up: Button; Kipre (Gardner-Hickman, 45), Bartley, Townsend; Furlong, Livermore (Molumby, 72), Mowatt, Reach; Diangana, Phillips (Robinson, 56), Grant. Subs not used: Palmer, Clarke, Faal, Fellows.
PNE line-up: Iversen; van den Berg, Bauer, Hughes; Potts, Ledson (McCann, 83), Browne, Whiteman, Cunningham; Riis (Archer, 65), Evans (Maguire, 74). Subs not used: Ripley, Lindsay, Rafferty, Sinclair.
Attendance: 20,776 (1,092 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr K Stroud