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Preston North End 1-0 Bristol City: Daniel Johnson penalty gives Lilywhites victory

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Daniel Johnson scores a penalty for Preston
Daniel Johnson’s three goals this season have all been penalties

Daniel Johnson’s first-half penalty was enough for Preston North End to beat Bristol City and hand the Robins their third straight Championship loss.

Johnson placed his spot kick down the middle after top scorer Scott Sinclair was brought down by the dangling leg of Robins defender Taylor Moore.

Former Celtic and Swansea forward Sinclair also saw a low shot deflected wide and volley well saved by Daniel Bentley as Preston deserved their lead at the break.

Dean Holden’s visitors were a different side after the half-time introduction of Antoine Semenyo who, along with midfielder Callum O’Dowda, forced several excellent stops from Declan Rudd as Preston held out for victory.

Bristol City stay ninth, two points from the play-offs, after failing to score for the fourth time in five games, while Preston are now four points behind them in 13th.

Referee Geoff Eltringham paused to award the decisive penalty as he appeared to wait and see if there would be an advantage for Preston, who went on to hit the bar through Tom Barkhuizen before he brought play back.

Robins defender Moore got a touch on the ball in the challenge but also caught Sinclair, with Johnson sending Bentley the wrong way from the spot after a stuttering run-up.

City were particularly dangerous down their right as they chased an equaliser in the second half, Jack Hunt twice crossing for Semenyo to go close before O’Dowda saw a header tipped over by the impressive Rudd.

Preston were perhaps fortunate not to down go to 10 men when Darnell Fisher escaped a second yellow card after 66 minutes for a late challenge on livewire Semenyo, with the full-back taken off minutes later.

But Alex Neil’s side, who have conceded a Championship-high 30 goals this season, have now kept back-to-back clean sheets at Deepdale for the first time since December 2017 and not lost any of their past 15 league meetings with the Robins.

The Lilywhites could have made the closing stages more comfortable but substitute Emil Riis Jakobsen saw a low effort saved by Bentley.

Line-ups

Preston

  • 1Rudd
  • 2FisherBooked at 51minsSubstituted forRaffertyat 69′minutes
  • 23Huntington
  • 6Davies
  • 3Earl
  • 12GallagherSubstituted forBaylissat 76′minutes
  • 8Browne
  • 29Barkhuizen
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forStockleyat 80′minutes
  • 31Sinclair
  • 24MaguireSubstituted forRiis Jakobsenat 69′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Bayliss
  • 10Harrop
  • 14Storey
  • 15Rafferty
  • 19Riis Jakobsen
  • 20Stockley
  • 25Ripley
  • 27Holland-Wilkinson
  • 32O’Reilly

Bristol City

  • 1Bentley
  • 26Vyner
  • 22Kalas
  • 23MooreSubstituted forSemenyoat 45′minutes
  • 2Hunt
  • 42MassengoSubstituted forBakinsonat 45′minutes
  • 4Nagy
  • 11O’Dowda
  • 25Rowe
  • 21Wells
  • 7Martin

Substitutes

  • 12O’Leary
  • 18Semenyo
  • 19Mariappa
  • 24Smith
  • 27Edwards
  • 28Pearson
  • 30Bakinson
  • 33Bell
  • 34Towler

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