Report: Bristol City 1-2 Preston North End
Tuesday, November 21st 2017
A late strike from Cauley Woodrow proved only a consolation as City suffered their second home defeat of the season.
Goals from Paul Gallagher and Callum Robinson proved to be enough for Alex Neil's Preston North End, as they left Ashton Gate with all three points with a 2-1 win.
Lee Johnson made three changes to the side which drew at Hillsborough. Club captain Bailey Wright returned to the starting XI after serving a two-game suspension, slotting in at right-back.
Korey Smith returned to central midfield, Jamie Paterson was handed his first league start in four games and Milan Djuric partnered Bobby Reid up top with Marlon Pack, Hordur Magnusson and Matty Taylor all rested on the bench.
The Lilywhites looked the more likely to take the lead and bossed the early chances. Captain Paul Huntington headed over from a free kick and inform striker Jordan Hugill forced Frank Fielding into a low save, all before Tom Barkhuizen fluffed over the bar.
City’s best chance of the first half came when Jamie Paterson broke down left and forced Chris Maxwell to parry a low shot. Preston fluffed the clearance and Aden Flint pounced but his shot was cleared off the line by Ben Davies.
There was a brief break in play after Ben Pearson and Huntington clashed heads, which gave both sides the chance to assess their gameplans.
And it was the visitors who looked to take advantage after the breather. Daniel Johnson saw an effort land just wide with a shot that had Fielding scrambling towards his far post.
Preston finally broke the deadlock through Gallagher as half time loomed. The ball made its way to Hugill in the box, who shielded the ball well on the turn and Gallagher pounced from close range; his shot wrong-footing Fielding on its way in.
City almost equalised seconds before the break but defender Nathan Baker could only convert a Brownhill free kick inches off target.
Pack and Niclas Eliasson were introduced for the start of the second half as City looked to bolster the midfield and the hosts looked a threat every time time they went down the young Swede's wing.
Eliasson almost set up Baker, whose header was first cleared off the line before his follow up effort fizzed wide.
But the Lilywhites failed to accept a 1-0 scoreline and Hugill glanced a header just wide as they went in search of a second.
GAME, SET AND MATCH
And they did double their advantage through substitute Robinson. Barkhuizen burst down the Preston right and squared the ball into the path of his teammate, who slotted the ball into the net, in front of their 373 away fans.
Reid went close shortly after, forcing Maxwell into a fine save from close range, before Woodrow's rifled effort halved the deficit. City moved the ball well inside the Preston area and the Fulham loanee beat Maxwell from the edge of the box with a thumping strike.
City were unable to snatch a late equaliser in their bid to keep the pressure on third-placed Cardiff City.
The result sees City drop down to fifth in the Sky Bet Championship ahead of their trip to Hull City on Saturday.