Preston 1-0 Hull: Match Report

28 December 2015 05:34

Paul Gallagher on song as Preston topple Hull

Paul Gallagher's second-half strike was enough to secure the three points Preston's dominance deserved as promotion-chasing Hull again faltered on the road.

Steve Bruce's side made the trip across the Pennines buoyed by a Boxing Day thumping of Burnley, but they never got going in this one-sided encounter at Deepdale.

Allan McGregor's goal was under siege from the outset, but Gallagher's attempt was the only effort to penetrate the Hull goal as Preston ended 2015 with a 1-0 win.

It was a third successive away Championship defeat for City, who rode their luck in the first half as Preston somehow failed to net with any of their 11 shots.

Substitute Tom Huddlestone tested Jordan Pickford as the visitors returned from half-time rejuvenated, but Simon Grayson's men would eventually find a way to edge the match.

Gallagher slotted home Daniel Johnson's well-worked free-kick in the 66th minute of a match which ended with referee Peter Bankes and his officials requiring steward protection after ruling a stoppage-time Hull effort had not crossed the line.

It would have been a harsh blow for Preston, who dominated from the off.

Adam Reach had two attempts within minutes, although North End's first-half display only underlined just why no Championship team had scored fewer home goals this term.

A timely block prevented Joe Garner getting a shot on target after selfless play from Will Keane, before the former forced two saves from McGregor and Gallagher tried his luck from distance.

Hull were struggling to cope with the hosts' intensity and should have fallen behind in the 14th minute, when Garner took a touch away from danger only to inexplicably blaze over from six yards out.

Robert Snodgrass curled over on his first start for 499 days on a rare Hull voyage forwards, before Shaun Maloney put his team-mates in trouble at the other end.

The Scotland international's poor pass was lapped up by Keane and the on-loan Manchester United striker fired across the face of goal, much to the annoyance of team-mate Garner.

"Brucey, sort them out" chanted those that made the journey from Hull - words which appeared to have the desired effect as City firmed up for the remainder of the half.

However, it was not until Huddlestone's half-time introduction that they truly threatened, with the substitute forcing Pickford into a fine save down to his right.

Chuba Akpom found the net moment later, unaware the offside flag had been raised, as Hull returned a sharper-looking outfit, albeit North End were still proving a threat.

Gallagher and Reach attempted to eke out an opener, which arrived in the 66th minute after Huddlestone was adjudged to have fouled Garner on the right flank.

Rather than swing the free-kick in, Johnson slid it across for Gallagher in a pre-prepared routine that saw McGregor beaten in the 66th minute.

The Deepdale faithful erupted as much in relief as celebration, but there were still to be a few edgy moments as Abel Hernandez threatened and City penalty appeals were ignored.

Reach had an effort cleared off the lined by Harry Maguire as the match ended in controversial fashion as City were denied a last-gasp leveller as the officials adjudged the ball to have been scrambled away before crossing the line.


Source: PA


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