Match Report: PNE 1-2 Fulham

By Owen Keighley – Reporter

Preston North End began their 2016/17 home campaign with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Sone Aluko and Matt Smith ensured The Cottagers maintained their 100% start to the season.

The first half was dominated by the away side. Matt Smith had a great chance to score from a Malone cross, but he glanced his header wide of the post.

After 33 minutes, Fulham took the lead. Tom Cairney initially taking a corner from the left hand side, Alan Browne’s deflected clearance went across goal and Aluko headed past Lindegaard from the six-yard box.

The visitors then had the ball in the net again from a corner. Matt Smith rose above Tom Clarke at the back post, but the referee James Adcock blew for a foul on the Preston defender

Preston started the second half well and were unlucky when Eoin Doyle had the ball in the back of the net, only to be ruled out for offside.

The visitors’ first chance of the second half came after 61 minutes when Scott Malone fed through Floyd Ayite on the left hand side, but his shot was saved well by Anders Lindegaard.

It was 2-0 shortly after. Tom Cairney ran through half the Preston team in a counter attack before feeding Smith, who slotted away at his second attempt after he saw his first saved by Lindegaard.

Preston brought on Robinson and Beckford to find a way back into the game, and just minutes after coming on, the two substitutes combined to half the deficit.

Beckford’s excellent far post cross found Robinson and his diving header found the top left hand corner.

North End thought they were level with three minutes left as Jermaine Beckford headed home from close range from a Tom Clarke knock-down, but the flag was up for offside.

The visitors hung on and made it two wins from two.

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