Hull City 1 Preston North End 0Advertisement
PNE slipped to a limp defeat away to Hull today leaving them staring relegation straight in the face.
Both Phil Brown and Ian Ashbee returned to the ground they called home for so long but their former team did them no favours.
Anthony Gerrard scored what proved to be the only goal of the game for the hosts on the stroke of half time.
Although North End were much better at the back they provided nothing at the other end of the pitch and never looked like getting a goal.
PNE lined up with an attacking looking 4-3-3 formation with Clarke, Ellington and Johnson up front but the rest of the team failed to get any service to the strikers.
David Gray replaced the injured Conor McLaughlin and Iain Turner on loan from Everton played in goal instead of Andy Lonergan. Otherwise there were no changes from the side that lost 4-0 to Bristol City last week.
The game started slowly and there were no chances until a Robert Koren header forced a good save from on loan goalkeeper Iain Turner on 20 minutes.
The rest of the first half passed without incident until a corner from Hull captain Andy Dawson was headed home powerfully by Gerrard who is on loan from Cardiff.
There were no changes at half time and the second half was very similar to the first.
Although PNE had a fair amount of possession and played well at times they lacked a cutting edge when they got into the final third.
Even at 1-0 up Hull looked more likely to score but Koren and Cameron Stewart put their chances wide.
PNE’s centre back Leon Cort had a few chances from corners but none of their strikers threatened to score.
Phil Brown put on Paul Hayes and Barry Nicholson but the substitutions could not change the flow of the game.
Despite battling bravely PNE never looked like scoring and Hull deserved all three points.
North End are still 10 points off safety after Crystal Palace’s loss against Coventry and need to start picking up points on Tuesday when they travel to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest.
PNE: Turner 7, Gray 6, Cort 8, St. Ledger 6, Jones 7, Ashbee 7, Barton 6, Russell 5 (Nicholson 6), Clarke 5 (Mayor n/a), Ellington 5 (Hayes 5), Johnson 5.
Hull: Guzan 6, Dawson 7, Chester 6, Gerrard 7, Rosenior 6, Stewart 7 (Devitt n/a), Corry Evans 6, Koren 8, Belaid 7 (Barmby 6), Fryatt 7, Mclean 6.