By Jack Wynne – Online Sports Editor
PNE’s unbeaten run came to an end after a 2-1 defeat to Ipswich at Deepdale.
The Tractor Boys took the lead inside 25 minutes after Brett Pitman got on the end of Freddie Sears’ cross before directing the ball past Jordan Pickford.
12 minutes later and Daniel Johnson equalized for the home side, slotting past the onrushing Dean Gerken showing all the composure in the world.
65 minutes played and Ryan Fraser sealed all three points for Mick McCarthy’s side in stunning fashion, curling the ball past a helpless Pickford from distance.
Preston North End manager Simon Grayson said: “I’m pleased because when you lose a football match, you want the opposition to have earned the right to win the match.”
PNE made a bright start, Paul Huntington thought he had scored an early goal for the home side but his header just edged over the bar following Paul Gallagher’s corner.
12 minutes played and another PNE striker tried to find the opener with his head, Joe Garner just directing the ball wide from four yards out.
Shortly after, Gallagher had another chance to put PNE in front arrowing a shot on target but Gerken just managed to parry the ball away.
Moments later and Gallagher was preparing another shot when referee Mark Brown pulled play back after Garner was adjudged to have fouled Gerken.
19 minutes gone and Garner spurned another opportunity, the striker finding time and space outside the box before hitting a low shot narrowly off target.
Six minutes later and Ipswich’s first purposeful attack resulted in the opening goal, Pittman meeting Sears’ cross before heading past Pickford.
Eight minutes before the interval and Johnson finally pulled PNE level after eight unsuccessful attempts from the home side.
Chris Humphrey picked out the midfielder who had just the goalkeeper to beat which he evaded with ease before firing the ball into the back of the net.
Into the second half and Calum Woods made a vital clearance to keep the scores level, heading Fraser’s cross over the bar from just two yards out.
Just after an hour at Deepdale and David McGoldrick’s dipping shot narrowly edged over the bar before Garner blazed the ball high and wide at the other end.
Four minutes later and Fraser put the visitors in the lead with a sublime effort, guiding the ball past Pickford from 25 yards out.
Soon after, Garner was presented with an opportunity to bring the scores level once more when the ball was tipped his way by Gerken.
Unfortunately there was very little space for the forward to pick his shot which lead to him blasting the ball too close to the keeper.
75 minutes played and Garner looked to have rescued a point for North End, after latching onto Humphrey’s cross and bundling the ball across the line.
However, the goal was disallowed and the referee awarded Ipswich a free-kick after the PNE striker appeared to deliberately handle the ball.
Into the final stages and substitute Jermaine Beckford knocked the ball down to Garner only for the striker to blast the ball straight at Gerken from distance.
PNE: Pickford, Clarke, Huntington, Wright, Cunningham, Welsh, Kilkenny (Beckford, 75) Johnson, Gallagher (Reid, 82) Humphrey, Garner. Subs not used: Kirkland, Vermijl, Woods, Browne, Brownhill.
Ipswich: Gerken, Chambers, Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse, Douglas, Fraser (Toure, 85) Sears (Emmanuel, 90), McGoldrick (Maitland-Niles, 62), Pitman. Subs not used: Crowe, Kenlock, Tabb, Coke.
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)