SkyBet Championship: Preston beat Lancashire rivals Wigan

Jordan Hugill’s early goal at Deepdale saw Preston North End claim their third league win of the season in the first Lancashire derby against Wigan Athletic in over a decade.

  •  First meeting of Lancashire rivals since May 2005
  •  Early Hugill goal the difference in tight contest 
  •  Three Preston wins in four games in all competitions
  •  Wigan stay in bottom three and winless in seven games
Jordan Hugill
Great from the start: The 24-year-old has now scored three goals from four starts this season (Picture from Sky Sports)

JORDAN Hugill’s early goal earned Preston North End a third Championship win of the season as they edged Wigan Athletic in the sides’ first Lancashire derby since 2005.

The striker diverted home Aiden McGeady’s mishit effort with his knee to score the only goal after seven minutes.

Hugill was denied a second by a fine low save from Adam Bogdan two minutes after the break.

Wigan dominated for long periods and Nathan Byrne struck the post after being kept out initially by Preston keeper Chris Maxwell, on his league debut.

Preston recovered from the heaviest defeat of Simon Grayson’s tenure, 5-0 at Brentford last weekend, by knocking Premier League side Bournemouth out of the EFL Cup in midweek.

And the Lilywhites, who had lost six of their previous eight league games, continue their momentum by recording a third win and clean sheet in the league, in front of Deepdale’s biggest crowd so far this term, to move up one place to 18th.

In contrast, Gary Caldwell’s men make the 13-mile journey back down the M6 with the disappointment of failing to make their superiority count still raw as they suffered a fifth defeat in six league games.

The Latics, who have now lost all five of their away games this season, remain 22nd ahead of Saturday’s games and could end the weekend bottom of the table.

The visitors were under severe pressure from the outset and Preston were rewarded for their enterprising start in unorthodox fashion.

McGeady got on the end of Tom Clarke’s knockdown and the Irishman’s half-volley into the ground was innocuously diverted in by Hugill, who notched for the second home game running after his spectacular strike against Cardiff.

Jordan Hugill 7 mins (Preston 1-0 Wigan)
Fortuitous: On-loan Everton winger McGeady’s shot was heading wide before Hugill’s touch wrongfooted Bogdan (Picture from Sky Sports)

But Caldwell pointed to a foul by Clarke on Shaun MacDonald in the build-up, which went unnoticed by the officials.

Shocked into action, the Latics responded well and top scorer Will Grigg could have added to his five goals this term on 17 minutes but headed over Jordi Gomez’s left-wing cross from six yards.

Gomez fired wide of Maxwell’s goal shortly before the break after Max Power’s clever pass around the corner got him clear of the Preston backline.

Preston, without the departed Joe Garner and injured Jermaine Beckford, couldn’t impose themselves in attack, as midweek hat-trick hero Simon Makienok struggled to use his physicality against the equally tall Dan Burn.

Wigan enjoyed 64 per cent of the possession and were the more progressive side in the first half, yet chances were few and far between at both ends.

Preston began the second half the way they started the first and almost doubled their lead within two minutes of the restart.

Alan Browne linked up well with Makienok before setting up Hugill but the former Port Vale striker’s low effort, bound for the bottom corner, was tipped around the post superbly by Bogdan.

Makienok, who scored his first Preston goals on only his second start against Bournemouth on Tuesday, then steered a back-post header from Paul Gallagher’s centre narrowly over the crossbar.

Despite the early introduction of Nick Powell from the bench, the visitors lacked firepower in the final third but Byrne had two quick-fire opportunities to level just after the hour.

The ex-Wolves and Swindon winger, on his first Wigan start, was picked out by Yanic Wildschut from the left, but was denied by the legs of Maxwell before striking the rebound against the post.

Preston’s intentions to protect their advantage were clear, with midfielders Ben Pearson and Daniel Johnson thrown on in place of Makienok and Gallagher to stifle Wigan’s supply lines.

Wigan – who sent on Craig Davies for Byrne in the closing stages – pushed for an equaliser, without ever posing a threat to the hosts’ stubborn defence.

Powell blazed over from 20 yards and Gomez curled a free-kick straight at Maxwell, as a dogged Preston held out to secure back-to-back home wins – and their first victory over the Latics since 2000.

But the problems mount for a frustrated Caldwell and Wigan, whose winless run since their only victory of the campaign against Blackburn on August 13 extends to seven games.

Preston North End 1 (Hugill 7)
Wigan Athletic 0


Preston North End XI
One change: Nathan Byrne replaced the injured Alex Gilbey from last weekend’s goalless draw with Fulham as Caldwell reverted to a back four (Picture from Sky Sports)

Subs:  Pearson (on for Makienok 72′) and Johnson (on for Gallagher 72′)
Not used:  Lindegaard (GK), Huntington, Pringle, Humphrey, Doyle.
Booked:  Cunningham (30′), Browne (75′)


Wigan Athletic XI
Three changes: Chris Maxwell, Simon Makienok and Bailey Wright came in for Anders Lindegaard, the injured Marnick Vermijl and Eoin Doyle from the 5-0 loss at Brentford (Picture from Sky Sports)

Subs:  Powell (on for MacDonald 52′), Perkins (on for Jacobs 59′) and Davies (on for Byrne 79′)
Not used:  Jaaskelainen (GK), Garbutt, Woolery, Le Fondre.
Booked:  Burn (45+1′), Perkins (67′)

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)
Attendance: 13,077


Moving on up: Grayson, who has been in charge of the Lilywhites since February 2013, will hope his side can start climbing the Championship table (Picture from Sky Sports)
Preston North End boss Simon Grayson told the club’s official website:
“It was a decent game; it was quite open, with plenty of chances for both teams. We got off to a good start with the goal, but from then on in the first half we were probably two yards off the pace. We allowed Wigan to get into the passing game that they are very comfortable and good at doing – without really hurting us too much. We got better in the second half and whilst the stats will prove they had more possession that us, we had the far clearer chances.”
Gary Caldwell
Tough task: The former Celtic defender faces a difficult job to turn around Wigan’s fortunes if they are to remain in the second-tier (Picture from Sky Sports)

Wigan Athletic boss Gary Caldwell told the club’s official website:

“I am disappointed for the fans of course. As I said before the game, these matches are for the fans and I thought they came out in great numbers to support the team so I am disappointed for them. They saw a team that gave absolutely everything again, played some great football, but just couldn’t get back in a game that the referee gave Preston a goal start in.”

SkyBet Championship Preview: Preston North End v Wigan Athletic

Preston and Wigan will be looking to move up the Championship table as the Lancashire rivals meet at Deepdale for the first time in a league game since May 2005.

Dugout dual: It will be the first time Simon Grayson (left) and Gary Caldwell face each other as managers (Picture from Sky Sports)

LANCASHIRE rivals Preston North End and Wigan Athletic will meet in a league match for the first time in over a decade on Friday night.

The Lilywhites and the Latics kick start the Football League weekend in front of the Sky cameras at Deepdale, looking to move up the SkyBet Championship table (KO 19:45 BST).

Separated by just three places and a solitary point in the bottom six after eight games, their first league clash since May 2005 is a crucial one even at this early stage of the season.

Preston will be hoping to build on their dramatic comeback win over Premier League side Bournemouth in the EFL Cup in midweek.

Former Charlton striker Simon Makienok struck his first goals for the club with a sensational hat-trick, on only his second Lilywhites start, to book a fourth-round tie against Newcastle.

It was the perfect reaction to suffering the heaviest defeat of Simon Grayson’s tenure – and worst league loss since 2004 – in last Saturday’s 5-0 drubbing at Brentford.

Danish frontman Makienok will be looking to continue in the same vein as Preston seek their first league win over the Latics since April 2000.

The Lilywhites have found results hard to come by on home soil with just one win in their last 10 league outings, but that victory came in emphatic fashion against Cardiff City in their previous game at Deepdale.

Three of their seven league goals this season also came against the Bluebirds but – despite being tight at the back last term on their way to an 11th-placed finish in their first season back in the second-tier – leaking goals has also been a problem, with 12 conceded so far.

Mixed fortunes: Preston fans have witnessed their team keep just two clean sheets in the league so far but score six in their last two matches (Picture from Sky Sports)

Meanwhile, Wigan ended a wretched run of four straight defeats with a tepid goalless draw against Fulham last weekend at the DW Stadium – keeping only their second clean sheet of the season.

Gary Caldwell’s team, who won the League One title last term, will be desperate to climb out of the bottom three with a positive result before their relegation rivals take to the field on Saturday.

The Latics – a Premier League club as recently as 2013 – could also benefit from having no midweek match, so they should be fresh when they make the short 18-mile trip up the M6 along with 3,000 of their supporters.

But the newly-promoted side have won only once in the Championship this term and have lost all four of their away league games so far.

Northern Irish striker Will Grigg isn’t exactly on fire at the moment, given his side’s predicament, but has had a hand in Wigan’s last four league goals – scoring three of them.

The main focus for both sides will be taking three points and holding the bragging rights in this particular Lancashire rivalry until the sides lock horns again at the DW in February.


Proud record: Wigan have only lost one of their last 10 meetings with Preston stretching back to 1998 (Picture from Sky Sports)

Preston’s Lancashire derby record last season:

31 Oct 2015 – Preston 0-0 Bolton (Deepdale)
21 Nov 2015 – Preston 1-2 Blackburn (Deepdale)
5 Dec 2015 – Burnley 0-2 Preston (Turf Moor)
12 Mar 2016 – Bolton 1-2 Preston (The Macron Stadium)
2 Apr 2016 – Blackburn 1-2 Preston (Ewood Park)
22 Apr 2016 – Preston 0-1 Burnley (Deepdale)

Played 6, Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 2


Wigan will be without midfielder Alex Gilbey, who will be sidelined for a while after being stretchered off with a knee injury against Fulham.

Deadline day signing Nathan Byrne – who replaced him off the bench last weekend – is likely to take his place.

Nick Powell returned from a groin problem as a substitute against the Cottagers and could be in contention for a start.

But defender Reece Burke had an operation on a hernia this week and will be out for up to a month.

Alex Baptiste, Aiden McGeady, Anders Lindegaard and Paul Gallagher should return to the Preston squad, having been left at home in midweek.

On-loan Everton winger McGeady could be reunited with Wigan boss Caldwell, who he played with for four years at Celtic before they both left Parkhead in 2010.

Former Manchester United defender Marnick Vermijl will again miss out with a hamstring strain suffered at Griffin Park but striker Jermaine Beckford could be involved after four games out with a hamstring injury.


No home comforts: The experienced former Leeds and Blackpool boss didn’t see his side win any of their three Lancashire derbies at Deepdale last season (Picture from Sky Sports)

Preston North End boss Simon Grayson told the club’s official website:

“These local derbies are special games, we had some good games last year with Blackburn, Burnley and Bolton and it will be no different with Wigan.

“They have had some good times being in the Premier League, winning the FA Cup, and they suffered the disappointment of going into League One but now they are back into the Championship and they’re looking to progress and stabilise as a football club.

“We know what to expect, they’ve recruited over the summer and on deadline day and they have got some threats but we will be concentrating on what we need to do to affect the game as well.

“We are at home, we are going to take the game to them and we’ve got to make sure that we play with the same tempo as we did in the Cardiff game and probably for the first 74 minutes that we did against Brentford.”

Plying his trade: The Scot is the youngest manager currently in the Championship at the age of 34 (Picture from Sky Sports)

Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell told the club’s official website:

“You can’t get too emotional; we are obviously up for it because we know the importance of it to the fans because the result and the night is for them to enjoy so we will do everything we can to give them a win and make sure they enjoy their night.

“I don’t know what Preston’s team will be because of their result the other night at Bournemouth in the Cup and the travelling they have had to do, so that will be interesting.

“We know them, though, we know the strengths they will bring and we will be ready.”


Oliver Langford with Sam Clucas (v Reading - 16th Dec 2015)
Long time, no visit: It will be Langford’s first trip to Deepdale since Preston’s 4-1 defeat by Barnsley in the Championship in September 2010 (Picture from Sky Sports)

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)
Assistant referees: James Wilson (Cheshire) and Christopher Akers (south Yorkshire)
Fourth official: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

West Midlands whistler Langford, 36, will take charge of his fourth Championship game of the season after being confirmed on the 18-strong list of Select Group 2 referees in the summer.

Despite impressing with his quiet but assured approach, he has often found himself officiating in League One and League Two in previous seasons.

You can read more on Langford’s appointment here.

Kevin Friend to referee Preston v Burnley derby

Kevin Friend will take charge of the Lancashire derby between Preston North End and Burnley at Deepdale on Friday night.

Kevin Friend speaks to Jon Obi Mikel
Busy weekend: Friend will also be the fourth official for Aston Villa’s Premier League game with Southampton on Saturday (Picture from Sky Sports)

PREMIER League referee Kevin Friend will take charge of the televised SkyBet Championship clash between Preston North End and Burnley on Friday night.

The 44-year-old will be in the middle at Deepdale as the promotion-chasing Clarets make the 25-mile trip across Lancashire to face mid-table Preston (KO 19:45 BST, live on Sky Sports 1).

He will be assisted by Select Group linesmen Richard West (East Yorkshire) and Marc Perry (West Midlands), while the fourth official is Andy Madley (West Yorkshire).

Friend has been the subject of divisive opinion recently after being removed from Spurs’ top-flight game at Stoke on Monday because of his perceived support of title rivals Leicester.

In the middle: Friend handled his 18th Premier League game of the season when Newcastle drew with City live on TV on Tuesday night (Picture from Sky Sports)
In the middle: Friend handled his 18th Premier League game of the season when Newcastle drew with City live on TV on Tuesday night (Picture from Sky Sports)

The Leicester-based official has attended games with friends at the King Power Stadium but is a Bristol City fan.

The decision, seemingly swayed by Spurs fans raising doubts on social media, has been praised in some quarters but criticised by others who believe the PGMOL have set a dangerous precedent and questioned the referee’s integrity.

Friend instead replaced Anthony Taylor as referee for Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa last Saturday and oversaw Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Before the aforementioned encounter at St James’ Park, he had dished out 80 yellow cards, sent off six players and awarded six penalties in 28 games across five competitions this term.

Kevin Friend stats 2015-16
Stats: How Friend’s season has panned out so far (Picture from

Friend was hospitalised with concussion last month after a nasty fall into the dugout when fourth official for Bournemouth’s win over Southampton and was subsequently replaced as referee for Southampton v Sunderland.

He was also the man in black for the reverse fixture at Turf Moor in December when he booked five players during Preston’s 2-0 victory.

His only other fixture between the sides was a dramatic one in September 2010 at Turf Moor in the second-tier.

The Bristol-born whistler sent off Preston’s Billy Jones with the visitors leading 3-1 on 78 minutes before an astonishing late turnaround saw the Clarets win 4-3 in a thrilling contest.

It led to a three-game touchline ban for then Preston boss Darren Ferguson, who confronted the official in the tunnel afterwards.

Friend also encountered Burnley in their 1-1 draw with Leeds at Elland Road on the opening weekend.

Kevin Friend points to the spot (Derby v Watford)
Dropping down: Friend will take control of his sixth Championship game of the season (Picture from Sky Sports)

It will be his first visit to Deepdale since the final day of the 2011-12 season, Preston’s 2-2 draw with Charlton in League One.

In February, Friend irked Norwich boss Alex Neil after sarcastically saying “it’s my fault you’ve lost the game” following a 3-0 defeat by Spurs, in which he gave Tottenham a penalty and failed to give the Canaries a spotkick.

He also opted to book Mathieu Flamini rather than send off the Arsenal midfielder for a two-footed challenge on Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling early on in the Gunners’ 2-0 win at the Vitality Stadium.

Friend’s most high-profile appointments to date were the 2012 Community Shield at Villa Park and 2013 Capital One Cup Final at Wembley – in which he issued a red card in both.

He sent off Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic for a two-footed lunge in their 3-2 defeat by Manchester City and Bradford keeper Matt Duke for a professional foul as the then League Two club lost 5-0 to Swansea.

Friend, who has been refereeing for 30 years since the age of 14, was also in charge of the 2009 FA Vase Final at the national stadium when Glossop North End lost 2-0 to Whitley Bay.

He has been on the Select Group list of full-time referees since the start of the 2009-10 season, handling his first top-flight game in September 2009 as Wolves beat Fulham 2-1 at Molineux.

Friend has since gone on to officiate over 130 Premier League matches and established himself on the list.

Andy Madley awards free-kick (Lge One PO Final - 24th May 2015)
Fourth official: Andy Madley refereed Preston’s 4-0 win over Swindon in last season’s League One Play-Off Final at Wembley (Picture from Sky Sports)

Second-placed Burnley enter the first match of the Football League weekend two points behind leaders Middlesbrough and are level on 84 points with Brighton in third.

Preston lie 10th, two points adrift of ninth-placed Birmingham, with three games remaining but are winless in four games since a 2-1 Lancashire derby win at Blackburn.

Phil Dowd to ref United’s FA Cup tie at Preston

PHIL Dowd has been appointed as the referee for Manchester United’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Preston North End at Deepdale next Monday night.

Phil Dowd referee (Tottenham v Chelsea - 1st Jan 2015)

PHIL Dowd has been appointed as the referee for Manchester United’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Preston North End at Deepdale next Monday night.

The 52-year-old – who is likely to retire at the end of his 15th season at the highest level – will take charge as the Premier League’s fourth-placed team travels to the fourth-placed side in League One in the final clash of the extended weekend.

He will be assisted by linesmen Dave Bryan and Mike Mullarkey while Football League referee David Webb will act as the fourth official.

Dowd will first be in control of Liverpool against Tottenham in the Premier League on Tuesday night at Anfield having also handled the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane back in August.

Prior to that match, he has officiated 22 games in all competitions so far this season – brandishing 95 yellow cards, sending off four players and awarding five penalties.

The Staffordshire-based whistler has not officiated Preston since September 2009 in a 5-1 Carling Cup defeat at home to Tottenham.

But he has overseen three of United’s Premier League games at Old Trafford this season against Queens Park Rangers, Chelsea and – most recently on January 11 – Southampton.

Only Martin Atkinson (83) has dished out more bookings than Dowd (82) in the top-flight this term among the 17 regular Select Group officials.

He has largely stayed out of the spotlight this season with a series of largely consistent displays in comparison to last term – which ended with six red cards in his last eight Premier League games.



Dowd has completed the full set of high-profile domestic matches having taken charge of the 2010 League Cup Final and 2011 Community Shield – both involving Manchester United, the 2011 Championship Play-Off Final and the 2012 FA Cup Final all at Wembley.

He has been refereeing since 1984 and was promoted to the Football League assistant referees list in 1992 before joining the National List of referees five years later.

In 2001, Dowd was elevated to Premier League level with his first match coming in December that year – and he has since officiated over 300 games in the division.

Dowd – the joint most experienced Select Group referee alongside Chris Foy – is renowned for being fussy and card happy, dishing out 10 bookings in a match between Swansea and Arsenal back in November.

He is also often the subject of taunts from football fans for his waistline with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho also launching an astonishing tirade against Dowd in which he claimed he was too fat to referee after the Blues’ 5-3 defeat at Tottenham on New Year’s Day.

After a seven-game winless run in all competitions, Simon Grayson’s Preston have won their last two games – including their FA Cup fourth round replay at Sheffield United – ahead of Tuesday night’s League One match at Chesterfield.

United have already overcome Football League opponents in Yeovil and Cambridge in this season’s competition but Louis van Gaal’s team have only won two of their last seven away games.