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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Blackburn Rovers 2

17 February 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Blackburn Rovers 2

17 February 2024

Preston North End came from two goals down to take a point at home against Blackburn Rovers.

The visitors took an early lead through Sammie Szmodics, before Sam Gallagher made it two in the 23rd minute.

Robbie Brady got one back for North End with a superb strike 39 minutes in and just four minutes later Emil Riis scored his third goal in as many games to level matters and ultimately earn a point.

North End went unchanged from the midweek victory over Middlesbrough, with Andrew Hughes, Ben Whiteman and Liam Lindsay all recovering from knocks.

Rovers went ahead seven minutes in when Gallagher sent a clever ball over the top for Szmodics to run on to, and the division’s top scorer found the bottom corner.

Liam Millar offered North End’s first threat in the 12th minute as he cut inside from the right, in a similar situation which led to his goal during the week, but Aynsley Pears made the save.

Midway through the half, the visitors doubled their lead as Callum Brittain’s long ball found Gallagher, who poked it beyond Freddie Woodman.


After Liam Millar had a penalty shout turned down in the 37th minute, North End built up a period of pressure and made it count a few minutes later as Brady’s corner came back to him, and the former Burnley man bent a beautiful left-footed effort into the top corner for his first PNE goal.

That unsurprisingly cranked the noise inside Deepdale right up and the 16,000 home fans were cheering once again in the 43rd minute when Riis drew level. Millar’s corner fell for Liam Lindsay, whose acrobatic effort led to a scramble on the goal-line, and the Dane just did enough to force it over.

PNE had all the momentum at that point and carried it into the second half, where Brady could have doubled his tally after superb build-up play by Mads Frøkjær, but a defender made the block.


Rovers had a positive spell of their own, midway through the half, although without really testing Woodman in the North End goal.

The hosts weathered that storm and looked to find a late winner with the backing of the home crowd, and skipper Alan Browne had the final chance of the day in the third minute of stoppage-time, as he saw a header tipped wide, meaning the points were shared.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Millar, Whiteman, Browne, Brady (McCann, 81); Frøkjær, Riis (Osmajić, 81), Keane (Stewart, 69). Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Ledson, Woodburn, Whatmough, Seary.

Blackburn Rovers line-up: Pears; Hyam, McFadzean, Wharton; Brittain, Fleck (Garrett, 17), Tronstad, Hedges (Chrisene, 64); Dolan (Sigurðsson, 64), Szmodics, Gallagher. Subs not used: Wahlstedt, O’Riordan, Markanday, Telalović, Ayari.

Attendance: 20,924 (4,722 Blackburn Rovers fans).

Referee: Mr D Webb.

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