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Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Bristol City 0

13 January 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: PNE 2 Bristol City 0

13 January 2024

A brace from half-time substitute Will Keane earned Preston North End a 2-0 victory at home to Bristol City.

Both goalkeepers came up with important saves in the first half to keep the game level going into the break, at which point PNE chose to make three changes.

One of those was Keane who opened the scoring in the 65th minute before then taking his tally for the season to eight in the 77th minute.

Ryan Lowe opted to make one change from the defeat to Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend, with Duane Holmes returning to the side.

The visitors had the first chance of the day and it was a presentable one too as Joe Williams sent Taylor Gardner-Hickman on his way in the seventh minute, but Freddie Woodman did well to tip wide.

20 minutes in, Alan Browne poked a clever pass through to Milutin Osmajić and he tried to lob goalkeeper Max O’Leary, although he got the effort wrong on the stretch and it landed well wide.


O’Leary was called into action to save an Andrew Hughes header, while Woodman made a better stop at the other end to tip Gardner-Hickman’s strike over from inside the area.

The goalkeepers were coming out on top in the opening period, epitomised by O’Leary producing another big stop to deal with a powerful close-range effort from Liam Millar.

Heading into half-time goalless, North End made a triple change at the break, with Emil Riis, Keane and Mads Frøkjær all introduced, and that turned out to be an effective move.

Around 90 seconds into the second half, Riis used his pace to latch onto a forward pass and he found Keane, who cleverly spun before firing an effort destined for the top corner, but again O’Leary was there.

The forward then had his head in his hands five minutes later when he volleyed over on the turn from six yards as the ball fell his way from a corner.

Keane didn’t have to wait long for a goal, though, as he capitalised on a loose George Tanner header and nicked in ahead of O’Leary, taking it past the goalkeeper and finding the empty net from 18 yards.


PNE’s tails were up at that point and Millar had a shot blocked, before Frøkjær then had a promising effort saved at the near post.

In the 78th minute, Keane scored his second of the afternoon, smartly cushioning in at the near post on the end of a superb cross from fellow substitute Riis, cuing more celebrations in front of the Town End.

The Lilywhites professionally saw out the remainder of the game to secure a clean sheet and three points in the opening home match of 2024.

PNE line-up: Woodman; Potts (Brady, 79), Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Browne (Frøkjær, 45), Whiteman, McCann; Holmes (Riis, 45), Osmajić (Keane, 45), Millar. Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Stewart, Ledson, Best.

Bristol City line-up: O’Leary; Tanner, Vyner, Dickie, Pring; Williams, Gardner-Hickman (James, 75); Bell (Wells, 75), Knight (King, 89), Mehmeti (McCorie, 75); Conway (Cornick, 89). Subs not used: Bajic, Roberts, Knight-Lebel.

Attendance: 14,929 (661 Bristol City fans).

Referee: Mr S Barrott.

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