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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 1 Cardiff City 2

25 November 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 1 Cardiff City 2

25 November 2023

Preston North End agonisingly conceded two goals in stoppage-time to be beaten by Cardiff City after battling for more than 40 minutes with ten men.

After a quiet opening half, Osmajić gave his side the lead inside three minutes of the second period, finishing well beyond the goalkeeper after nicking the ball off a defender.

A red card for Robbie Brady in the 52nd minute wasn’t part of the script, but it looked as though North End had done enough to hold onto victory, until late goals from Karlan Grant and Iké Ugbo turned the game on its head.

Two changes were made to the side which beat Blackburn Rovers prior to the international break, with Brady and Ched Evans coming in – the latter for his first start since March.

In a quiet opening to the match, Cardiff City were the first to have a shot on goal, but Freddie Woodman found it easy enough to make the save to deny Manolis Siopis from distance.

At the other end, North End were almost inadvertently presented the opener in the 11th minute when Mark McGuinness’ attempted clearance looped over goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, but defensive partner Dimitros Goutas got him out of trouble.

Liam Lindsay came up with a crucial block a couple of minutes later to get in front of Callum Robinson’s shot, and from the resulting corner another huge block denied McGuinness and Freddie Woodman then saved well from Perry Ng’s volley.

There was a contentious moment just after the half hour mark when Jamilu Collins went head-to-head with Evans, sending the North End forward to ground, but referee Robert Madley dished a yellow card out to both parties.

There were only half chances for both sides then before the break, with Lindsay heading Kian Best’s corner into the arms of Rúnarsson and Robinson having a shot saved by Woodman.


It took just three second-half minutes for North End to take the lead, though, and it was all through the work of Osmajić. After dispossessing McGuinness, the Montegrin charged down on goal and slotted past the onrushing Rúnarsson to find the far bottom corner.

While PNE had the advantage in scoreline, the visitors had a man extra in the 52nd minute when Brady was shown a second yellow for a foul on Méïté in the middle of the pitch.

After that point, possession was very much with the Bluebirds, however North End were doing well to limit any clear-cut opportunities.

Grant came close in the 69th minute, whistling a low strike just past Woodman’s right-hand post, maybe even clipping the woodwork on its way wide.

Woodman produced a simple enough stop to deny Robinson from a similar area ten minutes from time, while substitute Ryan Wintle whistled an effort inches over the bar in the second of nine additional minutes.

It looked as though PNE were doing enough to hold on to the victory, but the visitors equalised in fortunate fashion as Duane Holmes saw a clearance deflect into the back of the net off of Grant.

The action wasn’t done there, though, as Ugbo rose highest in the ninth minute of added-time to head into the far corner and snatch a late win.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Best (Hughes, 58); Potts, Browne, Whiteman, Holmes, Brady; Evans (Ledson, 58), Osmajić (Millar, 84). Subs not used: Cornell, Keane, Frøkjær, Stewart, Ramsay, Whatmough.

Cardiff City line-up: Rúnarsson; Ng, Goutas, McGuinness (Panko, 75), Collins; Siopis (Wintle, 90+1), Ralls (Colwill, 71); Bowler (Tanner, 72), Robinson, Grant; Méïté (Ugbo, 71). Subs not used: Alnwick, Romeo, Adams, Rinomhota.

Attendance: 14,593 (789 Cardiff City fans).

Referee: Mr R Madley.

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