PNE have extended their unbeaten run to five games and move to 4th in League One after a two goal victory over a 10-man Port Vale.
Goals from Paul Gallagher and Alan Browne just before half and full time respectively saw off the visitors in a comfortable victory for the Lilywhites.
The Vale gained some early possession in the fixture and looked promising in patches of the opening stages. After settling into a rhythm, Preston attempted some attacking play of their own with Kyle Reid and Chris Humphrey troubling down the wings.
The home side were deadly on the counter as proven by Neil Kilkenny’s powerful drive that glanced the bar inside 25 minutes, and Joey Garner’s audacious attempt at a bicycle kick nearly paid off, with his effort needing a save from Neal.
Port Vale’s ship was sunk in the 42nd minute when on loan signing Paul Gallagher found his third goal of the season for the club. The Leicester City player pounced on the ball outside of the box before curling a left-footed strike into the corner. The Lilywhites looked comfortable going into half time with a healthy cushion under their belts.
Paul Gallagher continued where he left off as he nearly grabbed his second goal just minutes after the restart. Joe Garner’s importance to his team was clear as Stephane Zubar closely monitored the fan-favourite’s movements. Off-the ball incidents brought the referee into play and Vale’s centre-half was sent off for misconduct.
With a man-down and all substitutions made for the away side made, Preston North End capitalised on their man advantage to score their second goal of the match. Alan Browne carried the ball with him from midfield into shooting range for his effort to be deflected into the net.
Typical to Simon Grayson’s attitude, Preston never gave up on chances as full backs Scott Wiseman and man of the match David Buchanan continued to press the Port Vale defence. A standing ovation was given to Joe Garner as he was substituted for his excellent effort for his side.
North End had a comfortable end to the game as one-way traffic flowed towards the Vale goal.
Preston North End: Jones, Wiseman, Clarke, King, Buchanan, Kilkenny, Browne, Humphrey (Hayhurst – 90′), Reid (Robinson – 70′), Gallagher, Garner (Davies – 83′).
Subs: Stuckmann, Laird, Davies, Huntington, Hayhurst, Robinson, Brownhill.
Goals: Gallagher 42′, Browne 81′
Yellow Cards: Garner
Port Vale: Neal, Yates, Duffy (McGivern – 65′), Zubar, Dickinson, Dodds (Moore – 69′), Lines, O’Connor, Marshall, Pope, Williamson (Daniel – 70′).
Subs: Johnson, McGivern, Birchall, Daniel, Brown, Moore, Streete.
Yellow Cards: Duffy, Pope.
Red Cards: Zubar
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