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Preston North End 2-0 Luton Town – FLW report as Riis brace guides Lilywhites to victory

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An Emil Riis brace – which included a thunderous strike from outside the box – contributed to Preston North End’s second league home victory in a row as they dispatched of Luton Town 2-0 at Deepdale.

The first half of the opening 45 minutes was somewhat of a non-event, with neither side grabbing the initiative with lots of long, direct balls being played without success.

It took around 17 minutes for the first shot of the match and that fell the way of PNE’s Tom Barkhuizen, but he blazed it over the bar from outside the box.

But if there was going to be one man who brought the game to life it was North End’s top scorer Emil Riis, and on 27 minutes he did just that.

In what looked like a crossing opportunity for the Dane, he instead chose to rifle the ball from an awkward angle and his thunderbolt of an effort travelled at speed and nestled into the far top corner of Simon Sluga’s net for his 10th goal of the season already.

That brought the game fully to life and there could have been a few red cards as well after a melee broke out following Alan Browne’s challenge on Tom Lockyer.

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The Welsh defender didn’t take too kindly to Browne’s attempt to win the ball whilst he was on the floor and it led to a shove in the back, which brought players from both teams into the mix.

Both players were booked to the furore of PNE fans who believed Browne was innocent, and they were angry moments later when Luton won a free-kick 30 yards from goal.

And the move ended with a double save from North End stopper Daniel Iversen to deny firstly Glen Rea’s header and then Kal Naismith from an even closer distance, and it looked like following that PNE would go into half-time a goal to the good.

However North End were able to double their tally right before referee Dean Whitestone blew his half-time whistle after Ali McCann was hacked down in the box, and Riis was able to slot the ball home for his second of the afternoon despite the best efforts of Sluga who got a hand to it.

Luton came out for the second half with a new look as Nathan Jones made a double change at the break, with Admiral Muskwe and Henri Lansbury replacing Sonny Bradley and Glen Rea and Zimbabwe international Muskwe’s impact was almost immediate.

It took a fantastic stop from Iversen to deny his former Leicester City under-23 team-mate from contributing very quickly as the Hatters stepped up the pressure.

Even though it was the visitors who were chasing goals it was North End who ended up being the more threatening, with Tom Barkhuizen having a chance from a narrow angle and then Patrick Bauer having a header tipped over the bar by Sluga from the resulting corner.

In truth the away side didn’t threaten Iversen’s goal too much from then, with the hosts having more of the chances and Riis was desperate to get his third, but his best chance being a header from Barkhuizen’s cross sailed over the bar.

It was substitute Scott Sinclair who could have extended the lead even further as he raced through late on, but he stumbled before shooting and his effort was tame and straight at Sluga.

Luton still had some late chances in their locker as Iversen sensationally turned away a shot from distance and then Fred Onyedinma headed an effort just wide of the Dane’s post, but that was as good as it got for the away team.

FULL TIME: Preston North End 2-0 Luton Town


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Preston North End 2-0 Luton Town – FLW report as Riis brace guides Lilywhites to victory

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