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Match Reports

Match Report: Rotherham United 1 PNE 1

23 September 2023

Preston North End extended their unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season with a 1-1 draw against Rotherham United.

The hosts went ahead in the 35th minute through former North End forward Jordan Hugill, before Liam Lindsay drew level late in the first half with a close-range header.

Ryan Ledson and Milutin Osmajić both came close to giving their side a lead which would have earned a seventh successive victory, but it ended as a draw as the unbeaten start was stretched to eight matches.

Two changes were made to the side which beat Birmingham City on Tuesday evening, with Andrew Hughes and Robbie Brady coming into the starting XI.

After having to defend a number of crosses early on, Duane Holmes almost capitalised on some indecisiveness from the goalkeeper at the other end, but Viktor Johansson recovered just in time.

North End were playing some nice one-touch football and it was a decent move which saw the ball end at the feet of Ali McCann, who was just beaten to it on the edge of the box as he looked to take aim.

Ten minutes later, McCann dummied a low corner from Alan Browne so that Holmes could try his luck from 20 yards, but his effort was blocked.

Johansson then came up with a huge tip over the bar on the half-hour mark to deny Osmajić, who may have already been wheeling off in celebration after heading goalwards from six yards.

Despite North End’s promising play, it was the visitors who took the lead through Hugill, with the striker winning the ball from McCann and Lindsay before curling past Freddie Woodman into the top corner.

Lindsay soon had a header cleared just a few yards from the goal-line, but the centre back would get his goal in the final minute of the first 45, heading Brady’s corner from the left beyond the helpless Johansson.

Brady was heavily involved in the early stages of the second half, firstly having a cross collected by Johansson after a nice give and go with Ledson, before the Irishman then found McCann with a vicious ball across the face of goal, but the midfielder’s first-time effort was over the bar.

PNE were twice thwarted by the goalkeeper in the 74th minute. Ledson was the first to be denied as he sent a low effort towards the bottom corner from 20 yards, and Osmajić then saw his follow-up saved at close quarters.

With three minutes left of the 90, North End were almost level through a second own goal in a week as defender Tyler Blackett diverted Potts’ cross from the right against his own post.

Substitute Liam Millar went down in the area late on with claims for a penalty, but the appeals were waved away and the points were shared.

Rotherham United line-up: Johansson; Lembikisa, Humphreys (Revan, 45), Blackett, Bramall; Rathbone, Tiehi, Clucas (Nombe, 73); Green, Hugill (Kelly, 90+5), Onyedinma. Subs not used: Phillips, Eaves, Appiah, McGuckin.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts, McCann (Whiteman, 71), Ledson (Stewart, 88), Brady (Millar, 71); Holmes (Frøkjær, 71), Browne; Osmajić. Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Bauer, Woodburn, Whatmough.

Attendance: 11,434 (2,419 PNE fans).

Referee: Mr S Allison.

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