By Ben Reardon – Reporter
Preston North End secured their second league victory of the season with a 3-0 win against Cardiff City at Deepdale.
Captain Tom Clarke opened the scoring from close-range ten minutes prior to the interval after Ben Wilson’s mistake and the lead was doubled five minutes later through Callum Robinson.
Jordan Hugill completed the scoring with a curling effort into the top corner from outside the penalty area.
Cardiff had the first effort on target when Anthony Pilkington latched onto a cross but his effort was diverted over the bar by the palms of Anders Lindegaard.
Having seen a goal-mouth scramble involving Paul Gallagher and Clarke following an outswinging corner from the right valiantly thwarted, North End looked to take the encounter to the Bluebirds.
Preston went close again as Robinson was tripped having cut inside from the left before Gallagher bent a right footed free-kick that was turned behind by Wilson.
The Lilywhites would take the lead with 36 minutes played, as Clarke profited from Wilson’s misjudgement from Marnick Vermijl’s swirling cross to steer the ball into the roof of an empty net.
Preston doubled their tally shortly after when Robinson galloped down the left to arrow a driven effort across the face of goal, beyond Wilson’s helpless dive into the bottom right corner.
When play resumed for the second-half, Gallagher was at the heart of the action once again, this time, he lined up free-kick from 30-yards after the lively Robinson has been fouled, but the Scot’s dipping free-kick crashed against the crossbar.
Lindegaard then had to be alert to deny Craig Noone from Rickie Lambert’s knock-down, what subsequently followed was a barrage a pressure from Paul Trollope’s visitors, with Joe Ralls and Peter Whittingham both going close.
Gunnarsson later squeezed a shot into the grasp of North End’s goalkeeper, before Pilkington manoeuvred space to aim a powerful attempt towards goal, which Lindegaard was again equal to.
A neat interchange down the left concluded in Greg Cunningham’s venomous shot being beaten away by Wilson – Grayson’s buoyant battlers were keen to enhance the score-line.
Loanee Aiden McGeady also brought a low save from the 24-year-old.
Cardiff looked for a late consolation, though Whittingham and Pilkington both saw attempts saved by Lindegaard.
Forward Hugill had the final say to cap off the resounding performance as he jinked in from the left to curl a rasping shot that nestled into the top right-corner in the 87th minute.
By taking maximum points, North End move up the table considerably into 19th place.