Andrew Hughes’ last league goalie for Preston came on February 23, 2019
Preston came in the first game in more than three weeks after losing a goal to Stoke City.
Ben Wilmot’s great 30-yard blow into the top corner gave the Potters the lead in the second half after a narrow first third.
But Preston equalized inexorably as Brad Potts’ volley thundered the outside of his foot into the top of the net from 10 yards after a Daniel Johnson cross.
The turn was over when the unmarked Andrew Hughes headed the corner from Ben Whiteman nine minutes from time.
The win lifts Preston to 14th place in the championship after two straight wins under new manager Ryan Lowe.
Stoke remain in eighth place, five points below play-off spots after suffering a fourth loss in their last six games.
Preston was on for the first time in 23 days after a series of Covid-19-related postponements, and the game was only a second on top for Lowe despite nearly a month in the role.
His side had the better half of the first half with Whiteman, Ched Evans and Alan Browne all having early chances before Hughes cleared from close range after a shot from Steven Fletcher in the 24th minute.
Preston keeper Daniel Iversen didn’t stand a chance with Wilmot’s opening game as the Stoke defender ended a 408-day wait for a goal in a spectacular manner and the Potters could have been 2-0 up if they were desperate to defend as Sam Clucas and Tyrese Campbell had clogged shot.
But the lead only lasted 13 minutes and Stoke keeper Adam Davies had little chance of saving Potts’ volley when Preston stepped up his intensity to worry the hosts.
Stoke substitute Alfie Doughty brought in a good low save from Iversen with 12 minutes remaining but the Potters were second best for most of the game and had to pay when Hughes nodded off the winner to ensure Lowe kept a perfect record on his new side .
Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill told Radio Stoke:
“We were in a very good position in the game, I thought we played well in the first half, our ball was bad, we got into good areas but we didn’t make enough of it.
“We’re going ahead and it’s a great goal from Ben and we might have a chance to make it 2-0 and then we’ll lose a weak goal. We have to defend the goal better, we didn’t put any pressure on the team.” Ball at any point in the setup.
“Then I think our game got worse, we found it difficult afterwards, we had to make substitutions to get energy into the team, which gave us energy, but I think it weakened our quality a little at times .
“But we lose a goal after a set piece. It’s a corner, we should better defend it and that’s the difference in the game.
“But the worrying thing is that we’re back in front of the game and we can’t get away with anything.”
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe told Radio Lancashire:
“The players, honor them, over time they have done what we asked them to do.
“We had a hard time with the Covid situation, the training ground was closed, they had four days of work on what we wanted to do and it paid off.
“I thought the two goals were well done, thought we could have scored goals early on. If they score a world-famous goal, you think, ‘is that just the thing, will that seal the game?’
“But no, fair play to our boys, they had this character and resilience to go on and score two good goals.”
- 23SlimBooked at 90 minutes
- 4thEveryoneBooked at 64 minutes
- 8thVrancicReplaced byBrownat the 75 ‘protocol
- 9FletcherReplaced bySurridgeat the 52 ‘protocol
- 10CampbellReplaced byDoughtyat the 69 ‘protocol79 minutes booked
- 20thOakley booth
2van den Berg5Farmer16Hughes
- 2van den Berg
- 16HughesBooked at 49 minutes
- 4thWhite man
- 11thJohnsonReplaced byLedsonat the 88 ‘protocolBooked at 90 minutes
- 9EvansReplaced byMaguireat the 89 ‘protocol
- 19thRiis JakobsenReplaced bySinclairat the 80 ‘protocol
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Game ends, Stoke City 1, Preston North End 2.
The second half ends, Stoke City 1, Preston North End 2.
Yellow card for a bad foul. Tom Ince (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.
Joshua Earl (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Tom Ince (Stoke City).
Corner, Preston North End. Admitted by Danny Batth.
Ryan Ledson (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ryan Ledson (Preston North End).
Tom Ince (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution (in), Preston North End. Sean Maguire is replacing Ched Evans with an injury.
Substitution (in), Preston North End. Ryan Ledson replaces Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tom Ince (Stoke City).
Offside, Preston North End. Brad Potts tries a through ball, but Scott Sinclair is caught offside.
Aim! Stoke City 1, Preston North End 2. Andrew Hughes (Preston North End) header from the center of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Benjamin Whiteman after a corner.
Corner, Preston North End. Granted by James Chester.
Substitution (in), Preston North End. Scott Sinclair replaces Emil Riis Jakobsen.
Yellow card for a bad foul. Alfie Doughty (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card.
Alan Browne (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alfie Doughty (Stoke City).