Preston North End’s unbeaten start to the Championship season on the road came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Bristol City.
After a relatively quiet first half, the hosts opened the scoring shortly into the second through defender Rob Atkinson, before Andrew Hughes fired home eight minutes from time to level the scoring.
Centre half Atkinson got his second of the evening, though, in the last minute of normal time to earn the points for his side.
Ryan Lowe made two changes from the weekend’s victory over Norwich City, with Andrew Hughes and Daniel Johnson replacing the suspended Jordan Storey and Alan Browne, respectively.
The hosts started the better of the two sides, with North End called into some early defending, but those in front of Freddie Woodman ensured the ‘keeper wasn’t called upon, coming up with some good blocks.
PNE did begin to grow into the game, keeping plenty of possession and going on to create an opening for Andrew Hughes, who saw a shot blocked at close range.
A lovely team move, culminating with a sliding pass from Daniel Johnson, almost unlocked the door for Sean Maguire inside the area, but goalkeeper Max O’Leary rushed out and just beat the Irishman to it.
On 39 minutes, Maguire then looked to catch O’Leary out with an audacious 30-yard chipped volley, which looped just over the crossbar.
On the other side of half-time, Antoine Semenyo and Jay Dasilva both tried their luck in a spell of pressure for the hosts, before Atkinson did open the scoring, heading home from close range after a cross into the box was flicked on to him.
North End made a double change – already planned prior to the goal – with Ryan Ledson one of the men to come on, and he so nearly had an assist to his name almost immediately. He found Emil Riis with a looped ball over the top, and the Dane took it down exceptionally well, but saw his low drive kept out by O’Leary.
The lively Semenyo could have soon doubled Bristol City’s lead, ushering Lindsay off the ball before firing over with his left foot.
Semenyo again tried his luck ten minutes from time, breaking forward and unleashing a powerful strike at goal, where Woodman dived to his left to parry it out.
A few minutes later, the back of the net was struck, but it was PNE who were celebrating. Robbie Brady’s cross was met by a PNE head in the middle, the ball then falling kindly to Hughes, who slammed home from 12 yards.
The hosts had the final say of the evening, though, as Alex Scott’s corner found Atkinson free on the edge of the six-yard box, and the defender headed home to win the game.
Bristol City line-up: O’Leary; Vyner, Klose, Atkinson; Sykes (Martin, 90+3), Scott, Williams, Dasilve; Weimann; Conway (Wells, 85), Semenyo. Subs not used: Bentley, Martin, King, Pring, Tanner, Kadji.
PNE line-up: Woodman; Hughes, Lindsay, Cunningham; Brady, Whiteman (Diaby, 90+5), Fernández (Browne, 77); McCann (Evans, 77), Johnson (Woodburn, 55); Maguire (Ledson, 55), Riis. Subs not used: Cornell, Potts.
Attendance: 17,467 (464 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr K Stroud.