Huddersfield Town were beaten 3-0 by Preston North End in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Terriers had made a bright start and went close through Isaac Mbenza and Lewis O’Brien before Brad Potts put the hosts ahead.
Ched Evans and Scott Sinclair completed the scoring in the second half as the Terriers were beaten by three at Deepdale.
Carlos Corberán made two changes to the Town side from last time out with Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Isaac Mbenza returning to the XI.
New signing Yaya Sanogo was included on the bench in Lancashire having signed for the Terriers as a free agent earlier in the week.
It was the Spaniard’s side who got off to the brighter start in the north west when the game got underway.
The early exchanges saw a pair of early chances for Mbenza on his return to the starting line-up. After mistiming a first-time strike with his first effort, he struck sweetly at goal moments later, but his aerial strike was tipped over by Daniel Iversen, springing to his left.
Preston’s first attempt came courtesy of Captain Alan Browne. Having scored both of the Lilywhites’ goals in October’s reverse fixture at the John Smith’s Stadium, the Irish midfielder powered over from a central area just outside the box.
The Terriers countered that with an opportunity of their own at the other end. This time it was Pipa, starting at left-back, who cut in on his right foot and produced a low drive at goal that was spilled by Iversen but cleared from danger by the hosts’ defence.
Town’s pressure on the home goal continued and with it came a strong shout for a penalty. Fraizer Campbell had been slipped in on goal and looked to be brought down from behind but the referee waived the Terriers’ claims away.
In the moments that followed, a clever Duane Holmes through-ball created Town’s best chance of the game so far.
One week on from his brace against Swansea City, the midfielder turned playmaker and smartly lobbed in Lewis O’Brien who saw his low effort denied well by an on-rushing Iversen.
For all of Town’s work in the opening 25 minutes, it was the hosts who took the lead. After Ryan Schofield had denied Scott Sinclair’s original effort, Brad Potts’ effort was too strong for Naby Sarr to keep out on the line, putting the Lilywhites 1-0 up.
In search of an equaliser, it was Mbenza who was again involved for Town. The winger’s free-kick tested Iversen and forced the Preston ‘keeper to get across his goal and parry the whipped effort to safety.
Juninho Bacuna, who scored Town’s goal on our last visit to Deepdale in November 2019, was also causing problems for the Lilywhites’ defenders.
He tricked his way around the edge of the penalty area before riding a challenge and getting a low shot off that was collected comfortably in the end by the goalkeeper.
Having gone into the break a goal behind, Town made one half-time change with Aaron Rowe entering the fray in place of Rarmani Edmonds-Green.
It was the former who got off the Terriers’ first effort of the half, firing low from the edge of the box with his shot deflected away from goal.
At the other end, Potts had his eye in for goal again early in the half. Preston’s goalscorer was teed up and produced a curling effort which cannoned off the bar and flew over.
Potts then turned provider as the Lilywhites took the opportunity to double their advantage on 67 minutes.
The attacking midfielder pulled the ball back into the path of Ched Evans who slotted the ball into the net to put the home side 2-0 ahead.
Almost immediately after, Town had a chance to get back into the encounter. A corner from the left was cleared to O’Brien who struck his volley in the path of Sarr, with the defender flicking the ball towards the goal but over the crossbar.
With just over 15 minutes to go, there was a Town debut for new signing Yaya Sanogo. The forward replaced Campbell as the Terriers continued the push for way back into the game.
But the game’s third and final goal went in the way of the hosts not long after. Substitute Tom Barkhuizen played the ball into the path of Sinclair who rounded off a counter-attacking move by finding the net to make it a three-goal lead in the closing stages.
Referee James Linington’s whistle went soon after as Town were condemned to defeat in Lancashire.
Next up for the Terriers is a return to the John Smith’s Stadium to face Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday 2 March 2021; 7pm kick-off.
PRESTON NORTH END (4-2-3-1)
Daniel Iversen; Greg Cunningham, Andrew Hughes, Jordan Storey, Sepp Van den Berg; Alan Browne (c), Ben Whiteman; Anthony Gordon (Tom Barkhuizen, 77’), Brad Potts, Scott Sinclair; Ched Evans
Connor Ripley; Tom Bayliss, Daniel Johnson, Joe Rafferty, Emil Riis, Jayson Molumby, Paul Huntington, Joe Rodwell-Grant
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (4-3-3)
Ryan Schofield; Pipa, Naby Sarr, Richard Keogh (Richard Stearman, 75’), Rarmani Edmonds-Green (Aaron Rowe, 46’); Álex Vallejo, Lewis O’Brien (c), Juninho Bacuna; Duane Holmes (Kieran Phillips, 53’), Fraizer Campbell (Yaya Sanogo, 75’), Isaac Mbenza (Scott High, 68’)
Joel Pereira; Alex Pritchard, Demeaco Duhaney, Sorba Thomas