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Match Reports


9 April 2024

Match Reports


9 April 2024

Town undone in second half at Deepdale by Preston North End

- Preston North End 4-1 Huddersfield Town
- Josh Koroma gives Town first half lead
- Home side score four in second half at Deepdale

Despite leading at half-time, at second half hattrick from substitute Milutin Osmajic was the most telling contribution of the evening, with the home side leaving Josh Koroma's opener an afterthought.

A quick start from the Terriers over the Pennines in the evening sun, a venture forward straight from kick-off resulted in an early corner kick. Dealing with it admirably through their goalkeeper before clearing, but Town were setting the tone early for how they intended to approach the game ahead.

In a lively first half performance, Wiles’ first of many forward ventures saw a moment of hesitation punished by a well-timed challenge from behind as he approached the penalty area, but Town regained possession in good territory. Delivering into the box through Jackson on the left, Thomas met it with a measured knockdown intended for Koroma, but the forward was unable to fire before being met by the pressing defence.

The home side weren’t shy of a challenge it proved, and one such foul gave Sorba Thomas an opportunity to shoot from a central position around 30 yards away, but the effort flew comfortably over the crossbar. Involved again shortly after following a wonderful challenge from Brodie Spencer deep in his own half, Thomas sprinted through the heart of the Preston midfield at pace, before looking for Wiles running into space down the left ahead of him. Overhitting the pass just enough to evade the midfielder, Town’s 23 would’ve likely been clean through on goal had the pass reached him as it was intended.

Having broken down an attack in their own box, Ben Wiles emerged with possession at pace, flying forward with attackers streaking into space ahead of him. Chopped down by Town Academy graduate Duane Holmes, the now Preston midfielder saw himself booked for the intervention. With an extremely similar pattern of play occurring minutes later, Ali McCann was the home player in question bringing Wiles down for his own cautioning. Not to be outdone, David Kasumu got his own yellow in the same spell, with his late challenge on Holmes following a 50-50 just strong enough to warrant an identical result.

Playing with more freedom going forward following that late winner against Millwall, the expression was evident in the moves being attempted by Town once they’d crossed halfway. Sorba Thomas was inches away from finding Josh Koroma with an ambitious cross field ball that skipped away off the greasy turf before Town’s 10 did get the ball in his favoured position, using quick feet to beat his man from a standing start before firing across goal.

Five short minutes later, Koroma made no such error. Again propelled into the attacking penalty box thanks to forward running from Wiles and Burgzorg, both men exchanged passes before each seeing shots blocked at close range. A flash across goal from Burgzorg eventually found Koroma who controlled brilliantly before dropping a shoulder to beat a man and create space to shoot, getting his left footed effort perfect this time around, finding the opposite bottom corner.

Scoring just a few moments before the break, Town had one more effort before the whistle was blown, with Sorba Thomas drilling over from range following his own interception in the attacking half.

Neither side saw fit to make changes during the break, and play resumed with the same openness and intensity as it had in the first half. Momentum soon turned away from Town, however, with Alex Matos’ heavy touch on the edge of his own box giving the home side a chance to dispossess him with only Nicholls to beat, but the Chelsea-loanee’s lunge to rectify his earlier mistake gifted Preston the opportunity to equalise from the spot, which Will Keane didn’t need a second invitation to take.

Buoyed, the home side enjoyed the better of the momentum for the next five minutes, giving Town their sternest defensive challenge of the evening. Standing up to it well, the Terriers rode that wave and came out the other side, soon muscling back into the contest with attacks of their own as the forwards begun to see more of the ball.

Making three attacking changes across the half, Healey, Ward and Jones were all introduced by André Breitenreiter at Deepdale, but it would be a Preston substitute who would ultimately win the game for the home side. Having test Lee Nicholls on two notable occasions in the half, a simple ball across the box from Duane Holmes gave Milutin Osmajic the chance to tap home from close range having timed a late run perfectly, before a ball through from Browne sent him through one-on-one to slot home his seconds a few minutes later.

Completing his hattrick two minutes into added time with a strike than bounced off the turf into the top corner past Nicholls, Osmajic’s second half cameo turned the game on its head and handed the home side all three points.

TOWN’S TEAM (4-2-3-1)

Lee Nicholls; Brodie Spencer, Matty Pearson, Michał Helik, Ben Jackson; David Kasumu, Alex Matos (Rhys Healey 69'); Sorba Thomas, Ben Wiles, Josh Koroma (Pat Jones 76'); Delano Burgzorg (Danny Ward 76')


Chris Maxwell; Bojan Radulovic, Jaheim Headley, Tom Edwards, Ollie Turton, Tom Iorpenda


Josh Koroma 42'


David Kasumu 26', Alex Matos 52'



Town fans 


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