MX23RW : Wednesday, December 12 03:36:07
Sep 29, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Deepdale Stadium (Preston)
PrestonPreston North End
2-3
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
Hughes (71'), Browne (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Rodriguez (48'), Davies (73' og.), Gayle (88')

Result: West Brom go top after beating struggling Preston

PNE sunk to the bottom of the Championship standings.

West Brom’s superb start to the season continued as striking partners Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle punished Preston in a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Deepdale.

Rodriguez and Gayle struck either side of a Ben Davies own goal to move West Brom to the top of the Championship and consign Preston to the foot of the table despite goals from Andrew Hughes and Alan Browne.

Following a drab opening 45 minutes, all five goals arrived in the second half.

Rodriguez nodded home his seventh of the season straight after the break to give the Baggies the advantage before Hughes curled in a fine equaliser.

But just as Preston looked to turn the match around, Davies then nodded past his own goalkeeper Chris Maxwell.

That own goal left Preston on the back foot and Rodriguez capitalised late on, curling home a fine free-kick before Browne nabbed a late consolation.

Rodriguez and Gayle are both helping to set the early goalscoring pace in the Championship this term and West Brom did not take long to threaten as Maxwell produced a fine point-blank save to tip over a close Kyle Bartley header early on.

After 11 minutes, it was Preston’s turn to nearly seize the lead but Ryan Ledson’s 20-yard strike bounced back off the foot of the post and away to safety.

The game entered a lull as half-time approached and neither side could claim to be dominating an encounter that was full of effort and intent but precious little real threat.

Immediately after the restart though the game exploded into life and West Brom finally made their quality count as Rodriguez broke the deadlock, rising highest to brilliantly finish off Jake Livermore’s intelligent cross.

The goal sparked Preston into life as they knew they needed a quick response and although Brandon Barker and Ledson battled hard, the visitors’ muscular defence had little to worry about until Ben Pearson was fouled on the edge of the box after 70 minutes.

That allowed Hughes to step up and curl a fine effort into the far corner that left Sam Johnstone unsighted and helpless.

However, Preston were only level for two minutes as Davies attempted to head a threatening cross away but could only loop it over Maxwell.

Gayle then stepped up and hit a wonderful 20-yard free-kick in the dying moments and although Browne that nodded home a close-range goal deep into injury time, Preston could not find an equaliser.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich21134438241443
2Leeds UnitedLeeds21126335181742
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd21114634241037
4Derby CountyDerby2111463124737
5West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom21106544301436
6Middlesbrough219932314936
7Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest21810332221034
8Aston Villa218854132932
9Birmingham CityBirmingham217953025530
10Stoke CityStoke217952725230
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn217952731-430
12Swansea CitySwansea218582523229
13Bristol City218582524129
14Queens Park RangersQPR218492531-628
15Preston North EndPreston216783235-325
16Wigan AthleticWigan2174102329-625
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds216692738-1124
18Brentford215793332122
19Hull City2156102130-921
20Rotherham UnitedRotherham214982132-1121
21Millwall2147102635-919
22Reading2146112634-818
23Bolton WanderersBolton2146111529-1418
24Ipswich TownIpswich2118121737-2011

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