Preston North End made it back-to-back wins as Liam Lindsay’s header earned a 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
After a relatively even first half, Lindsay got on the end of a Kian Best free-kick four minutes into the second period to give his side the lead and that was enough to make it seven points from the opening three matches of the Sky Bet Championship campaign.
There was one change made to the side which beat Sunderland on home turf last weekend, with Duane Holmes coming in for Ali McCann to make his first league start for the club.
Brad Potts had North End’s first real chance of the match in the ninth minute and on another day he might have seen his left-footed, cushioned volley find the back of the net, but goalkeeper Devis Vasquez was able to tip round the post.
At the other end, PNE were answering the questions asked of them, epitomised by two important blocks by Andrew Hughes in the same phase of play, denying Barry Bannan first and then Juan Delgado.
Best – who had crossed for that earlier Potts effort – was involved again in the 34th minute as the teenager sent another promising ball into the area, with this one being sent wide by an improvised Will Keane volley.
Freddie Woodman was called into action six minutes before the break to deny Lee Gregory, who was at full stretch to try and beat the PNE No.1.
North End then took the lead four minutes into the second period as Best once again whipped a brilliant cross right into the danger area and Lindsay was there to powerfully head home into the bottom corner for his first goal since May 2021.
Skipper Alan Browne then looked to get his side’s second in the 61st minute from a 20-yard free-kick, but his strike was deflected wide by a defender in the wall.
At the other end, Woodman was alert to rush out and gather the ball as Gregory looked to break through on goal, and the striker then fired an effort over the bar in the 72nd minute.
North End had some late defending to do as Wednesday bombarded the PNE box with crosses and long throw-ins, but the visitors in red held on for another three points.
PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts, Browne, Ledson, Best (Whatmough, 77); Holmes (Woodburn, 77), Frøkjær (Mawene, 88); Keane Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Bauer, Rodriguez-Gentile, Taylor, Leigh.
Sheffield Wednesday line-up: Vasquez; Palmer, Iorfa, B Diaby, Famewo; Byers, M Diaby (Smith, 65); Delgado (Paterson, 73), Bannan, Musaba (Gassama, 73); Gregory (Fletcher, 77). Subs not used: Dawson, Vaulks, Windass, Bakinson, Ihiekwe.
Attendance: 25,138 (1,766 PNE fans).
Referee: Mr J Simpson.