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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 3 Ipswich Town 2

3 February 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 3 Ipswich Town 2

3 February 2024

A stunning first-half display featuring a brace from Will Keane helped Preston North End come out 3-2 winners against promotion-pushing Ipswich Town, despite a late threat of a comeback by the visitors.

The striker’s first of the day came in the fifth minute, albeit with the aid of a hefty deflection, and the lead was doubled three minutes on when George Edmundson put into the back of his own net.

Keane took his tally for the season to 11 in the 39th minute after superb pressing from the frontline and, despite a second-half brace from Kieffer Moore, PNE hung on for all three points.

There was one change to the starting XI from the draw with Millwall last weekend as skipper Alan Browne – fresh from making his 400th appearance for the club – returned to the side.

It was clear right from the start Ipswich Town would look to play out from the back and PNE were there to press every step of the way, almost capitalising in the opening minute through Liam Millar.

North End didn’t have to wait long for an opener, though, as Keane – opting to shoot instead of playing wide for Riis – was rewarded for his confidence as a kind deflection off Edmundson took the ball beyond Václav Hladký.

Keane then turned provider in the eighth minute when he played it through for Riis, who beat the offside trap, and as he raced through on goal Edmundson inadvertently poked it into the bottom corner to double North End’s advantage.


The Lilywhites were rampant in the opening stages and may have had another through Millar on 20 minutes, but this time a deflection took it just the wrong side of Hladký’s right-hand post.

North End were putting the visitors under immense pressure as they persisted with playing out from the back and that’s where they were caught in the 39th minute. Morsy was challenged by both Frøkjær and Riis inside the penalty area, and the ball fell kindly for Keane to score his second of the day.

Ipswich had a late sniff when Harry Clarke sent an effort wide of Freddie Woodman’s goal in their only real opportunity of the half.

Third-placed Ipswich were second best in the first 45 and they opted to introduce new recruit Moore at the break. PNE had to deal with a bright start by the Tractor Boys, who struck the post via Leif Davis’ free-kick three minutes into the second period.

Jeremy Sarmiento tested the palms of Woodman on the hour mark and Massimo Luongo dragged an effort wide shortly after.

Ipswich were knocking on the door and they got their goal in the 75th minute when Davis stood a cross up towards the far post where Moore nodded home.

The visitors were hoping that would be the start of the comeback, although it was PNE creating the immediate better chances, with Liam Lindsay and substitute Milutin Osmajić both coming close.

However, Moore scored a second three minutes from time when the ball rebounded his way after Woodman made a terrific stop to thwart Ali Al-Hamadi.

That understandably got the visitors and the travelling 3,435 fans up, but North End held on for three brilliant points.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts, Whiteman, Browne, Millar (Brady, 78); Frøkjær (McCann, 70), Riis (Osmajić, 70), Keane (Woodburn, 90+5). Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Ledson, Mawene, Whatmough.

Ipswich Town line-up: Hladky; Clarke, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Davis; Morsy, Luongo (Harness, 81); Burns (Al-Hamadi, 81), Chaplin (Hutchinson, 67), Sarmiento (Broadhead, 67); Jackson (Moore, 45). Subs not used: Walton, Travis, Humphreys, Tuanzebe.

Attendance: 17,313 (3,435 Ipswich Town fans).

Referee: Mr G Scott.

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