MX23RW : Monday, November 18 02:16:37| >> :600:4890361:4890361:
Sep 21, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​St Andrew's
Attendance: 20,806
BirminghamBirmingham City
PrestonPreston North End
FT(HT: 0-1)
Maguire (23')

Neil likes what he sees from matchwinner Maguire

Neil likes what he sees from matchwinner Maguire
© Reuters
Preston boss delighted as his team end their poor away run with victory at Birmingham.

Preston manager Alex Neil hailed Sean Maguire as a 'special player' who can reach double figures this season after his goal gave them a 1-0 win at Birmingham.

The Irish forward scored the only goal in the 23rd minute to help move North End up to third in the Sky Bet Championship and end a run of seven away outings in the league without a win.

It was their first away victory since March and shattered City's seven-match unbeaten record at St Andrew's.

Neil was delighted with the contribution of Maguire, who has scored three goals this season and has netted in the last two games.

The boss explained: "He's a special player at this level.

"It's always nice when you've got someone in your team who can produce something from nothing. It's such an ace to have up your sleeve.

"I've always thought Sean is a double-figures striker at this level. He's not a wide player, he's more of an inside forward who plays in between the lines and does it really well."

Neil believes Maguire could also have won his team two penalties.

He continued: "I think he should have had at least one penalty – you can't just barge someone from the back.

"I spoke to the referee and he said he should have been stronger, but I'm not sure how much stronger he could be!

"In the second half, he shifted the ball and the lad caught his foot – if you don't kick the ball but kick the man, it's a penalty."

The only goal came when Maguire tapped home after Paul Gallagher's low curling free-kick hit the inside of the post. Birmingham midfielder David Davis conceded the set-piece after upending Maguire following a surging run.

The home side can count themselves unlucky not to claim something from the game, however.

They appealed strongly for a penalty when Maxime Colin's cross appeared to strike the hand of Ben Davies, and had an effort from substitute Alvaro Gimenez controversially ruled out for offside 11 minutes from time.

Preston had two penalty shouts, first when defender Harlee Dean appeared to shove Maguire in the back, causing him to fall over.

In the second half, Maguire was caught by a stray foot as he ran through in the box – but referee Stephen Martin waved play on for both incidents.

Birmingham's big penalty appeal came in the 56th minute. A cross from right back Colin appeared to strike the hand of centre-back Davies in what looked like a 'hand to ball' movement.

The home side had the ball in the net in the 79th minute, only for Gimenez's tap-in from Lukas Jutkiewicz's cross to be ruled out for a very close offside call.

Their caretaker head coach Pep Clotet had no complaints at the two major decisions that went against his team.

For the disallowed effort he said: "I was very surprised he called it because when I saw it, I had a lot of doubts – it was very difficult to see even from so many difficult angles.

"From some angles I don't think it's offside, from some I do, so fair play to the linesman if he saw it. I don't think that affected the game."

Regarding the penalty appeal, he added: "The ref thought the hand was there but it is normal to have a hand there, so he gave us a corner, fair enough."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Sean Maguire

Click here for more stories about Birmingham City

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Fran Villalba in action for Birmingham City on August 31, 2019
Read Next:
Injury boost for Birmingham City

Euro Champ Qualifying
League One
European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Segunda Division
Eerste Divisie
Uruguayan Primera Division
Australian A-League
International Friendlies
Women's Super League
European Champions Cup
2Leicester CityLeicester128222982126
4Manchester CityMan City1281335132225
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd12453139417
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd124441612416
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves123721615116
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124351517-215
12Crystal Palace124351016-615
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle124351118-715
14Tottenham HotspurSpurs123541817114
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham123451420-613
17Aston Villa123271720-311
20Norwich CityNorwich122191128-177

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!