A penalty in either half secured the three points for Preston North End in the Sky Bet Championship as they beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0 at the Kiyan Prince Foundation stadium.
The big team news before the game saw Lyndon Dykes out of the QPR squad, clearly still feeling the effects of international duty, whilst Emil Riis Jakobsen made his full debut for Preston.
The first chance of the evening came for the home side. A creative dink from attacking midfielder Ilias Chair played in Bright Osayi-Samuel who had drifted in from the right. Managing to get the ball from under his feet, he looked to round goalkeeper Declan Rudd but the Preston stopper was wise to it, poking the ball away as the winger jinked left.
Indeed, up to the penalty for the visitors, QPR enjoyed more of the possession but there was little in the way of thrust from the hosts. Macauley Bonne would overhit a square ball in front of Osayi-Samuel minutes after the winger’s first chance, in a moment that largely summed up a frustrating first period for the R’s.
For Preston, it had also been fairly quiet with them not seeing as much of the ball but Scott Sinclair’s drive into the box found Lee Wallace’s leg and, though initially a free-kick was given, referee Kevin Friend eventually pointed to the spot.
Daniel Johnson would step up and stroke home, sending Seny Dieng the other way.
This rather woke North End up and further chances for them would follow before half-time but no more goals would ensue.
They could have had another penalty, too, with Emil Riis Jakobsen going down under the attention of Rob Dickie but Friend wasn’t interested in the tug. On another day, you may well have seen it given.
Riis Jakobsen was proving a handful for Preston on his full debut, however, and in the second half had a golden chance to make it 2-0 early on.
A swooping in-swinging cross from the left-hand side found the North End signing but he just couldn’t react. Seemingly seeing it late, the ball struck his knee before he’d even managed to set himself and ran clear.
A missed chance to make it two, then, but soon after he was the catalyst that led to Preston doubling their lead.
Nipping onto a ball over the top under the nose of Rob Dickie, he looked to squeak past Lee Wallace and, in getting to it first ahead of the back-tracking left-back, the Scot clipped him to give away his second spot-kick of the night.
The result was the same, too, as Scott Sinclair took over from Daniel Johnson and found the net, putting the away side firmly in the driving seat.
From here, Preston looked pretty content to sit on their lead and with good reason. QPR saw plenty of the ball this evening but never really got in behind their visitors enough to cause them serious issue. And, when they eventually did into injury time, Albert Adomah could only roll his shot against the post.
Indeed, the game petered out despite Mark Warburton’s efforts to inject some attacking impetus with the introductions of Adomah and Chris Willock whilst Preston were forced into a sub as Daniel Johnson needed to come off.
Another good away win for Preston in west London this season, then, whilst Mark Warburton and QPR will want to forget about tonight’s frustrations – where they didn’t record a shot on target – as quickly as they can.