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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 3 Huddersfield Town 1

7 January 2023

Preston North End sealed a place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to a 3-1 comeback victory over Huddersfield Town.

The visitors took the lead in the 57th minute through Florian Kamberi, but North End were quickly level thanks to a Tom Lees own goal.

Then, in the 73rd minute, Bambo Diaby’s first goal for the club – a rocket into the top corner – put his side in the lead, before Alan Browne made it three.

Ryan Lowe made three changes from the victory over Stoke City, with Woodburn and Ryan Ledson coming in, while Mikey O’Neill made his first senior start.

PNE were creating all of the chances in the first half hour, with the first of note coming in the 16th minute, when Daniel Johnson laid the ball off for Ledson who looked for the bottom corner with a first-time effort, which Nicholas Bilokapic dived low to keep it out.

Johnson was proving to be the source of creation in the opening stages and he very nearly provided an assist for O’Neill on his full debut, and his searching cross was inches away from finding the striker’s head and the ball bounced just wide.

Out of nothing on 35 minutes, the Terriers had their first effort at goal when the ball fell to Tyreece Simpson inside the area and his improvised volley nicked the top of the crossbar on its way over.

A minute later, there was a contentious moment as the already-booked Loick Ayina brought down Woodburn in a dangerous area, but referee Anthony Backhouse decided against a second yellow, and the defender was substituted immediately after receiving a final warning.

Kamberi was brought on as part of a double change for the visitors at half-time and he made his mark inside 12 minutes, firing past Woodman first time after the ball had dropped kindly for him six yards out.

North End were not behind for long, though, as Woodburn sent a vicious cross into the area looking for O’Neill, but the ball made its way to defender Lees who looked to clear, only to see it find the back of his own net to draw PNE level.

The game burst into life at that point and on 64 minutes it looked as though Kamberi had an open goal to double his tally, but Diaby backtracked onto the goal-line and did fantastically well to throw his body in the way.

North End then went straight down the other end and Browne struck a shot which looked destined for goal before Will Boyle stuck out a leg to divert it wide.

However, the goal was to come on 73 minutes for the Lilywhites as a Ledson cross was headed in the direction of Diaby who thumped it into the top corner to open his account for the club in style, before wheeling off to celebrate with his teammates.

The win was then confirmed five minutes from time when Ledson sent an inviting ball into the area and Browne did well to sneak in front of the defender to cushion it past the goalkeeper.

There was even time for a professional debut for 17-year-old Kaedyn Kamara in stoppage-time, and he could have found himself on the scoresheet as he met Robbie Brady's cross, sending it just over the bar.

PNE progressed to the fourth round thanks to the 3-1 win and they'll find out their fourth-round opposition just after 4pm on Sunday when the draw is made live on BBC One.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Diaby, Lindsay, Hughes; Browne (Kamara, 90+2), McCann, Ledson, Johnson, Fernández (Brady, 88); Woodburn, O’Neill (Cross-Adair, 61). Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Bauer, Slater, Mawene, Potts.

Huddersfield Town line-up: Bilokapic;  Leeds, Helik, Ayina (Boyle, 38); Lowton (Diarra, 70), Kasumu (Harratt, 74), Camara, Kesler-Hayden; Thomas, Simpson (Kamberi, 45), Rudoni (Holmes, 45). Subs not used: Chapman, Jackson, Ruffels, Rhodes.

Attendance: 6,799 (762 Huddersfield Town fans)

Referee: Mr A Backhouse.


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