Match Report: PNE 2-1 QPR

By Jake Hartley-Moore - Reporter

Preston North End kept their play-off hopes firmly alive as they came from behind to beat 10-man QPR 2-1.

Goals from Aiden McGeady as Jordan Hugill ensured that the Lilywhites walked away with all three points after a scintillating second half performance.

Kazenga Lualua crafted the first chance of the game as he struck a tame effort well wide from 25 yards.

Hugill had North End’s first chance of the game as his low drive inside the box was well saved by Alex Smithies before being ruled offside.

The striker very nearly did get on the score sheet, as he was somehow denied by an incredible save from Smithies, who tipped over his header from five yards out.

Congolese winger Lualua produced a great piece of skill to break the deadlock. As he held off a tackle Lualua back heeled a crisp finish through Maxwell’s legs to give QPR the lead.

North End squandered another a really good chance as Callum Robinson was played through on goal before striking a powerless strike for Smithies to gather.

Aiden McGeady though produced his own piece of brilliance to match that of Lualua’s, as he created a great bit of room on the edge of the box to allow him to curl a stunning finish past the helpless Smithies from 20 yards.

QPR very nearly struck gold in the opening minute of the second half as Ryan Manning found himself in acres of space in the Preston box but could only blaze his shot over the bar.

Greg Cunningham very nearly gave the Lilywhites the lead as he curled a low strike just wide of the QPR goal just inside the box after a great lay-off from Huntington.

Robinson thought he gave the home side the lead just after the hour mark, as Greg Cunningham attempt fell to the winger at the back post who tapped in but was ruled out for offside.

Hugill did get his goal eventually though as he scored on the second attempt from a corner as he tapped it in at the near-post.

The 24-year-old very nearly added a second moments later as got on the end of a Robinson cross at the near post only for his effort to go over the bar.

QPR’s game went from bad to worse as Luke Freeman was sent off for a second bookable offence for an incident involving McGeady by the dugouts.

QPR should have equalised as Yeni Ngbakoto lifted his effort over the bar from ten yards out.

PNE could have added a third in the closing stages as both Hugill and Tom Barkhuizen came close.

The first being Hugill whose volley from close range was well saved before Bakrhuizen’s curling effort was palmed away.

The win sees Preston go up to 8th place just six points adrift of Sheffield Wednesday in sixth place.

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