By Jack Wynne – Sports Editor
Joe Garner’s 1st goal in over 18 hours was enough to secure a 1-0 victory at Deepdale, ending Sheffield Wednesday’s seven-game unbeaten run.
The Owls finished the game with ten men after Fernando Forestieri was shown a second yellow card for handball in the 65th minute.
PNE manager Simon Grayson decided to name an unchanged side from the team which won at Molineux last week.
His opposite number, Carlos Carvalhal also started with the same eleven which secured an emphatic 4-0 victory at home to Brentford in their last match.
Calum Woods missed an early chance for the home side when he shot wide from close range following Greg Cunningham’s cross from the left-hand side.
At the other end, Ross Wallace failed to test PNE goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, firing a free-kick from the edge of the box straight into the Preston wall.
21 minutes played, Joe Garner hit a fierce shot on the half-volley from outside the box but it was too close to Owls goalkeeper Kieren Westwood.
Two minutes later, Adam Reach almost found the opening, curling a shot inches wide of the right-hand post from outside the box.
Garner forced a fine save from Westwood, the Wednesday stopper pushing Garner’s close-range header away from goal following Paul Gallagher’s delivery from near the half-way line.
On the half-hour mark, Tom Clarke failed to direct Gallagher’s free-kick on target, dragging his shot wide after Garner was fouled by Barry Bannan near the half-way line.
Seven minutes before the interval, Reach arrowed a shot wide from just outside the box after receiving the ball from Garner.
Referee Keith Stroud waved away Preston appeals for a penalty in the 51st minute after Jack Hunt appeared to push Garner inside the six-yard box, stopping him from reaching Woods’ cross.
On the hour, Pudil fired straight into the stand from inside the box after Forestieri’s intial shot from distance was blocked.
Five minutes later and Wednesday were reduced to ten men after Forestieri was shown a second yellow card for handling Nuhui’s cross inside the box.
Garner broke the deadlock with 18 minutes of normal time remaining, latching onto Woods’ cross from the right before heading the ball into the back of the net from inside the six-yard box.
Substitute Lucas Joao looked certain to direct Gary Hooper’s low cross goalwards but Clarke made a brilliant interception to avert the danger.
Four minutes into stoppage time at the end of the second half, substitute Ben Pearson curled a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post from outside the box.
After the match, Grayson was full of praise for his each of his players and is delighted to claim all three points against tough opposition.
“It was a very good performance against a very good team,” he told PNE PlayerHD.
“They have some very talented individuals and collectively I thought there were a lot of really good performances in our team.”
PNE: Lindegaard, Woods, Clarke, Huntington, Wright, Cunningham, Browne, Gallagher (Pearson, 87), Johnson, Reach and Garner (Hugill, 88). Subs not used: Kirkland, Kilkenny, Welsh, Robinson and Doyle.
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt (Matias, 84), Lees, Sasso, Pudil, Wallace, Bannan, Lee (McGugan, 76), Forestieri, Hooper and Nuhiu (Joao, 68). Subs not used: Price, Turner and Bennett.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
Attendance: 16,923 (5,648 Sheffield Wednesday)