- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, September 28th 2019
|Preston North End||3|
James Crawley reports from Deepdale
Report: Preston North End 3-3 Bristol City
Saturday, September 28th 2019
City’s long wait for a win at Deepdale was extended as Preston fought back to snatch a 3-3 draw in their latest Sky Bet Championship clash.
It was looking a good first half for the visitors, with Taylor Moore slotting in his first Robins goal before Andreas Weimann headed them into a two-goal lead.
The heavy downpours in the North West continued and the home crowd boos soon turned the cheers when the hosts were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time; Preston skipper Paul Gallagher did his duty from 12 yards.
Alex Neil’s men then equalised through another penalty, this time Daniel Johnson converted shortly into the second half.
The goals wouldn’t stop there though and while City would have been devastated to blow their advantage, the Robins soon restored order courtesy of Nathan Baker’s close-range strike all before Patrick Bauer netted a backpost header to round off the six-goal encounter.
City are now unbeaten in eight consecutive league games, not tasting defeat since the opening day.
Antoine Semenyo made his first league start of the season, in one of two changes to Lee Johnson’s starting XI. Sammie Szmodics and Callum O’Dowda both sacrificed their places, with Kasey Palmer returned to the starting line-up.
Szmodics, who started against Swansea, was not in the squad as Johnson works around a busy three-game schedule but Baker was passed fit alongside an unchanged defence.
City enjoyed the best of the early action and when Weimann beat the offside trap looked to play the ball across the face of goal but Preston were thankful to Darnell Fisher who slide across to clear the danger.
Smart stops from goalkeeper Declan Rudd denied Semenyo and Tommy Rowe at his far post, as the heavens opened over Deepdale, with the hosts going close themselves but for the side netting.
However, Moore slotted home from Rowe’s corner to get the game up and running. Preston tried but failed to clear the initial corner and Moore reacted quickest to fire City ahead - his first goal for the club.
And City had another less than ten minutes later, exploiting another set piece weakness with a corner when Weimann crept towards the near post and guided a header into the far corner.
But Preston were soon to put a damper on City in what had already been a soggy afternoon, with two penalties either side of the break.
The first came inside five minutes of added time when Daniel Johnson caught by the swinging leg inside a busy penalty area and Gallagher halved the deficit from the spot.
And the referee awarded a second penalty when Ashely Williams handled the ball inside the box. Johnson stepped up and confidently dispatched his kick into the bottom right corner with Daniel Bentley sent the wrong way.
Now was the question of City’s mental strength having seen their early two-goal lead cancelled out.
Palmer would lead the charge in City’s search of retaking the lead but missed the target with an overhead kick before bursting forward and shooting into the side netting.
A double change shortly followed as Johnson looked to Marley Watkins and Famara Diédhiou to boost the forward play. Their introductions meant goalscorer Moore and youngster Semenyo would make way.
And City were soon back in front through an unlikely scorer in centre-back Baker. It came from yet another set piece, this time Brownhill notching his second assist of the day with a free kick into the penalty area and Baker slotted the ball through Rudd’s legs.
Johnson made his final roll of the dice when Callum O’Dowda replaced Palmer and the away side made a tactical shift. Back came the hosts once more though to pull the game level yet again when Bauer nodded home at the back post.
City still pushed forward and Captain Brownhill would test Rudd from distance but the keeper parried, while Diédhiou would see the ball in the back of the net only for the officials to rule out any goal for an earlier foul.
City will face Brentford away on Wednesday night, their second of three games over the next seven days before they host Reading.
Preston North End
- Gallagher (47' pen) , Johnson (51' pen) , Bauer (70')
- Paul Gallagher, Josh Harrop, Sean Maguire
- Moore (29') , Weimann (36') , Baker (60')
- Taylor Moore, Kasey Palmer, Antoine Semenyo