Match Report | Preston North End 2-0 Cardiff City
The Bluebirds fell to a frustrating 2-0 loss against Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday.
Sabri Lamouchi made four changes to the side which defeated Bristol City last time out, with Jak Alnwick, Callum O'Dowda, Andy Rinomhota and Kion Etete coming into the starting eleven.
It was the latter who had the first real opportunity after five minutes; Jaden Philogene clipped a dangerous ball into Etete's path, but Freddie Woodman was out to block. The goalkeeper sustained a head injury in the process, bringing a lengthy delay.
Once play resumed, Etete had another good opportunity to break the deadlock. The striker drove forward towards the edge of the box and fired from 20 yards, with the ball whistling just wide of the upright.
Preston's best chance of the first half fell to Jordan Storey, who struck wide moments before the interval. The half-time whistle blew, sending the sides in with the score goalless after an even first half.
City started the second period brightly, with a number of early chances. Philogene used his body well to make space on the edge of the box, before sending an effort on goal which dipped just a fraction too late, dropping over the crossbar.
Moments after driving into the box and attempting to fire into the net, Callum O'Dowda won a free-kick in a dangerous area. The set-piece from the edge of the box was once again taken by Perry Ng, who drew a strong, two-handed stop from Woodman.
The Preston 'keeper was called into action again moments later, as Sory Kaba fired on goal. The striker broke the offside trap and sent a sweet strike towards goal, with Woodman tipping the ball around the post.
However, against the run of play, the hosts found themselves with the lead after 68 minutes. Thomas Cannon got the better of Cédric Kipré from an awkward aerial ball, firing past the helpless Alnwick from close range.
Brad Potts should have added another for North End minutes afterwards, but, unmarked at the back post, could only stab the ball wide of goal.
The Bluebirds looked to hit back through Philogene, who brought another save from Woodman after dribbling into the penalty area. The winger tried his luck again minutes later from the edge of the box, but put the ball wide.
Deep into injury time, Alnwick was shown a red card after rushing out of his box to make a necessary tackle, which he unfortunately mistimed. Rohan Luthra came off the bench for his senior debut.
However, from the resulting free-kick it was Preston who scored the second goal of the game. Luthra parried the initial effort from Ben Whiteman, with Welsh striker Ched Evans reacting first to tuck home the rebound.
Full-Time: Preston North End 2-0 Cardiff City
Preston North End: Woodman, Storey, Diaby, Cunningham, Whiteman, Potts, Woodburn (Brady 60'), Johnson (Onomah 82'), Fernández (Ledson 82'), Cannon, Parrott (Evans 60').
Subs not used: Cornell, Bauer, Delap.
Cardiff City: Alnwick, Ng, Kipré, McGuinness, O'Dowda, Sawyers, Wintle, Rinomhota (Harris 72', Luthra 90+4'), Philogene, Kaba (Ojo 64'), Etete.
Subs not used: Romeo, Sang, Colwill, Davies.