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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Swansea City 1

26 August 2023

Preston North End sealed a third successive league victory courtesy of a 2-1 comeback win over Swansea City.

Harrison Ashby had given the visitors from South Wales the lead in the 33rd minute, before Cardiff-born defender Andrew Hughes brought North End level in the 67th minute.

Duane Holmes then got his first league goal for the club 11 minutes from time to extend PNE’s unbeaten start to the Championship campaign.

Ryan Lowe went unchanged from the victory over Sheffield Wednesday for this one, while there was a return to the squad for substitute Ali McCann, who missed out in Yorkshire through injury.

Liam Cullen had the first meaningful effort of the game inside the opening five minutes but Jordan Storey came up with an impressive block to thwart him, while Ryan Ledson sent a first-time strike over the bar on the end of a good team move shortly after.

Mads Frøkjær twice fired over from the edge of the box, in the 22nd and 28th minute respectively, with North End’s No.10 not realising the time he had to take a touch and settle himself before he took on the second of those efforts.

It had been a half hour which PNE probably edged but they fell behind just after the 30-minute mark, with Charlie Patino’s cross from the left finding Ashby unmarked at the back post and he took the ball on the bounce to fire beyond Freddie Woodman.

Ashby would have had a tap-in to make it two in the 39th minute if it wasn’t for a crucial block by Hughes to prevent Jay Fulton’s pass finding the goalscorer, after the Swans had taken a quick free-kick.

On the other side of half-time, visiting captain Matt Grimes sent a low strike wide, before Storey flicked a dangerous-looking effort from Josh Key over the bar.

Frøkjær tried to inject some flair into proceedings in the 64th minute when he cut in onto his right foot and unleashed a rocket which flew just too high to trouble Carl Rushworth in goal.

PNE did get their equaliser, though, in the 67th minute courtesy of a superb header from Hughes from ten yards on the end of an equally impressive cross from skipper Browne.

Not satisfied with a point, North End went looking for a winner and it arrived through Holmes in the 79th minute. Frøkjær slotted the ball through a defender’s legs before cutting back for PNE’s No.25 who side-footed a powerful effort over the head of Rushworth and into the back of the net from 12 yards.

The visiting Swans inevitably searched for an equaliser and had a good chance to draw level through Mykola  Kukharevych in stoppage-time, but PNE were resolute as they sealed a third successive victory.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts, Browne, Ledson, Best (McCann, 63); Holmes (Whatmough, 85), Frøkjær (Woodburn, 90+3); Keane. Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Bauer, Rodriguez-Gentile, Mawene, Seary.

Swansea City line-up: Rushworth; Darling, Cabango, Wood; Ashby (Abdulai, 80), Fulton (Allen, 80), Grimes, Patino (Cooper, 71), Key; Cullen (Paterson, 71), Yates (Kukharevych, 84). Subs not used: Fisher, Naughton, Congreve.

Attendance: 14,464 (765 Swansea City fans).

Referee: Mr J Smith.

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