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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Middlesbrough 1

29 October 2022

Jordan Storey’s header in stoppage time, after Emil Riis had equalised in the first half, saw Preston North End come out 2-1 winners at home to Middlesbrough.

The visitors had taken an early lead through Chuba Akpom, before Riis scored his fifth goal in as many games against Boro in the 35th minute.

It looked as though the points were to be shared at Deepdale, but Storey came up with a stoppage-time winner for the hosts.

Ryan Lowe made two changes from last weekend, with Alan Browne and Robbie Brady coming into the side, and there was also a switch of formation as PNE started with a back four for the first time this season.

Boro took the lead just eight minutes in as Ryan Giles’ corner from the right went over Robbie Brady at the near post, before bouncing in the six-yard box and there was Akpom to head home at the far post.

There were huge shouts for a PNE penalty on 27 minutes when the ball appeared to strike the arm of Dael Fry in the area, but nothing was given. Ben Whiteman had slotted the ball through to Álvaro Fernández who in turn found Ben Woodburn, and it was his effort which was blocked.

North End found the leveller eight minutes later, though, as Liam Lindsay hooked the ball into an area for Browne to compete in the air, and as the ball fell to Riis he smashed a volley past Zack Steffen.

Middlesbrough could have retaken the lead soon after through goalscorer Akpom, but he missed the target on that occasion from close range, volleying wide on the end of a Ryan Giles cross.

Ben Woodburn then almost gave his side the advantage going into the break with a stunning effort from the left corner of the box, sending a piledriving strike no more than a few inches wide of the top corner.

The visitors had the first chance of the second period through Rodrigo Muniz, but Freddie Woodman was equal to his near-post effort, and the striker then headed Giles’ cross over a few minutes after the hour mark.

North End saw a goal ruled out in the 65th minute as Storey headed back across goal and Riis – who was adjudged to be offside – swung at it but made no contact, and Browne tucked it in at the back post.

As Brady departed for Andrew Hughes, Fernández moved forward from full back to the left of midfield and he came close to opening his account for the club on 80 minutes, only to be denied from 20 yards by Steffen.

There was then late drama at Deepdale, as Ryan Ledson sent a free-kick towards Lindsay who sent the ball back across goal and Storey was there to head home his second of the season to earn all three points.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Potts, Storey, Lindsay, Fernández (Johnson, 86); Whiteman (Ledson, 56); Brady (Hughes, 76), Browne, McCann, Woodburn (Evans, 86); Riis. Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Maguire.

Middlesbrough line-up: Steffen; Smith, Dry, Lenihan, Giles; Jones, Howson, Hackney, McGree (Mowatt, 86); Muniz (Forss, 71), Akpom. Subs not used: Roberts, Hoppe, Dijksteel, McNair, Bola.

Attendance: 16,984 (2,839 away fans).

Referee: Mr G Ward.

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