By Jake Hartley Moore – Reporter
Preston North End failed to strike revenge against a resilient Newcastle side that held out a 2-1 victory.
After a goalless first-half, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s double gave Newcastle a commanding lead before Jermaine Beckford’s late consolation goal.
Preston had the first effort of the game as Bailey Wright met Paul Gallagher’s free-kick with a header which glanced wide of the Newcastle goal.
Newcastle managed to register their first effort 20 minutes in as Ritchie curled a low effort to left bottom corner which was then easily gathered by Maxwell.
Gallagher then had the best chance of the half as his low drive across the goal from 20 yards out was well palmed away by Darlow.
North End nearly took the lead in the closing stages of the first half as Karl Darlow was forced to make a tremendous save from a looping clearance as he pushed it over the bar.
The Lilywhites again started the second half on the attack with Ben Pringle firing a left footed volley wide of the Newcastle goal in opening minute of the second half.
Gallagher came agonisingly close for North End as the ball fell to the former Leicester man where he swivelled and shot towards goal only for a great reflex save from Darlow denying him.
Newcastle then gradually came more into the game as some great work by Yedlin on the right hand side played in Isaac Hayden whose lunging 25-yard effort veered past the post.
The Magpies came close 10 minutes into the second half as after some good football saw Mitrovic’s outside of the foot strike just skim past the right hand post after a perfectly teed lay up for the Serbian striker.
Newcastle’s persistence though would soon pay off as Matt Ritchie produced a wonderful diagonal pass towards Mitrovic who chested the ball down before coolly volleying home past Maxwell.
The Serbian forward nearly got his second goal of the game as Jonjo Shelvey’s whipped free-kick was met by Mitrovic who was left completely unmarked as he glanced his header wide.
Preston could have been awarded a penalty shortly after the hour mark as Ciaran Clark appeared to push Callum Robinson down but it was waved away.
Mitrovic then converted his second as he headed Yedlin’s cross which was spilled by Maxwell with the Serbian sliding in to finish.
Ben Pearson then struck a driving effort from 25 yards out which was pushed away by Darlow into Gallagher’s path only for him to fire into the side netting.
Jermaine Beckford then gave PNE a lifeline as he got ahead of his marker and tap the ball past Darlow from a low Cunningham cross.
Wright very nearly equalised at the latter stages as he fired a left footed drive over the bar which was then followed up by Simon Makienok as he attempted an overhead kick which struck the post.