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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 4 Huddersfield Town 1

9 April 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 4 Huddersfield Town 1

9 April 2024

Substitute Milutin Osmajić’s hat-trick within seven late second-half minutes earned Preston North End a 4-1 victory over Huddersfield Town at Deepdale.

Josh Koroma gave the Terriers the lead late in the first half and North End’s top scorer Will Keane drew his side level from the penalty spot eight minutes into the second.

Osmajić then came on in the 76th minute and remarkably netted three times in seven minutes to become the first PNE player to net three in a game since 2016.

Duane Holmes and Mads Frøkjær came in as part of two changes from the draw at Watford, while there were returns to the squad for Alan Browne and Ched Evans as substitutes.

There weren’t many chances of note in the game’s opening stages, with Sorba Thomas’ ambitious 30-yard free-kick over the bar the first shot for either side.

Just before the 20-minute mark, North End had five successive corners and may have made one count if a defender hadn’t got in the way of Jordan Storey’s header, and then a couple of Huddersfield bodies blocked a side-footed Holmes volley from 20 yards.

Keane sent a low strike wide half an hour in and at the other end Koroma was wasteful for the visitors, blazing a strike into the Town End from a promising position.

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Robbie Brady almost set the game alight with a moment of magic 35 minutes in as he unleashed a powerful effort from all of 30 yards which whistled over Lee Nicholls’ crossbar.

Three minutes before the break, it was the visitors who took the lead courtesy of Koroma. Delano Burgzorg broke forward and found Ben Wiles, who had an effort blocked, but as the ball fell for Koroma, he took a clever touch to create space to slam past Freddie Woodman.

North End had work to do in the second half and seven minutes into it, Keane won his side the opportunity to level from the spot, as he capitalised on a loose ball and was brought down by Alex Matos. It was the No.7 himself who stepped up to slot to his right and get PNE back into it.

That got the Deepdale crowd up and Holmes came close to turning the game on its head, sending a powerful effort at goal after a brilliant piece of skill to turn his man, and Nicholls had to be at his best to parry it away.

Keane had another penalty shout with ten minutes left on the clock as he went down with Brodie Spencer’s leg dangling, but referee Lewis Smith waved the appeals away.

Eight minutes after coming off the bench, Osmajić had Deepdale on its feet as Holmes sent a brilliant low ball in towards the front post, and the Montenegrin slammed it past the goalkeeper.

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Then, just three minutes later, Osmajić had his second as fellow sub Browne played the striker through on goal and he stayed calm to find the bottom corner.

Unbelievably, he wasn’t done there as Frøkjær crossed from the right and the striker got a touch on it to send it into the top corner and cap off a remarkable cameo off the bench.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Cunningham; Brady, McCann, Holmes (N.Mawene, 90+4), Frøkjær, Hughes (Browne, 76); Riis (Osmajić, 76), Keane (Stewart, 90+3). Subs not used: Cornell, Evans, Woodburn, Whatmough, Best.

Huddersfield Town line-up: Nicholls; Spencer, Pearson, Helik, Jackson; Thomas, Matos (Healey, 69), Kasumu, Koroma (Jones, 77); Wiles (Radulović, 87); Burgzorg (Ward, 76). Subs not used: Maxwell, Headley, Edwards, Turton, Iorpenda.

Attendance: 14,698 (1,292 Huddersfield Town fans).

Referee: Mr L Smith.


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