Birmingham City 1-2 Preston North End: Lilywhites score twice to pile misery on Blues

Preston North End had lost three in a row to end 2022 but have now won three in four games in all competitions since the turn of the year
Preston North End had lost three in a row at the end of 2022 but have now won three in four games in all competitions since the turn of the year

Preston North End struck twice in six minutes in the first half to pile the misery on Birmingham City, who lost their fifth Championship game in a row.

The visitors led early on through Ryan Ledson’s strike from the edge of the box and they doubled their lead through Alan Browne’s header soon after.

Birmingham offered little in the way of response for much of the game, with fans going on to protest against the club’s ownership as they headed for a fifth consecutive defeat.

Lukas Jutkiewicz got them off the mark with seven minutes remaining as he headed home from Maxime Collin’s cross but they could not find an equaliser.

The match was the first to see a woman referee a men’s Championship game, after Rebecca Welch took charge at St Andrew’s.

It was not long before she officiated her first Championship goal, with Ledson doing well to fire from distance after Blues failed to clear away a North End cross.

The Lilywhites took just six more minutes to head into a 2-0 lead, with an unmarked Browne heading home at the near post from a Robbie Brady delivery.

Blues came into the game with a woeful losing run, with Tuesday’s FA Cup win over Forest Green a rare exception amid four straight defeats.

The hosts have now not won any of their past 35 games when they have conceded first – losing on 30 of those occasions – following Saturday’s defeat.

As the game went on, Birmingham fans protested in front of the directors’ box against the club’s ownership, with two fans also running on to the pitch late in the second half before they were removed.

Rebecca Welch previously refereed a League Two match and an FA Cup third-round tie before stepping up to referee Saturday's Championship fixture at St Andrew's
Rebecca Welch previously refereed a League Two match and an FA Cup third-round tie before stepping up to referee Saturday’s Championship fixture at St Andrew’s

Line-ups

Birmingham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 21Ruddy
  • 2ColinSubstituted forGrahamat 88′minutes
  • 28sanderson
  • 26LongSubstituted forFriendat 62′minutes
  • 5Trusty
  • 18chongBooked at 45minsSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 62′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 6MejbriBooked at 32minsSubstituted forBacunaat 62′minutesBooked at 79mins
  • 31Bielik
  • 17Khadra
  • 8Deeney
  • 9Hogan

Substitutes

  • 1Etheridge
  • 3Friend
  • 7Bacuna
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 11Graham
  • 19James
  • 42Chang

Preston

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Woodman
  • 14Storey
  • 6Lindsay
  • 16Hughes
  • 8Browne
  • 13McCann
  • 18Ledson
  • 20WoodburnSubstituted forJohnsonat 88′minutes
  • 11BradyBooked at 45mins
  • 7DelapSubstituted forevansat 69′minutes
  • 28CannonSubstituted forParrottat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Fernández
  • 3Cunningham
  • 9evans
  • 10Johnson
  • 15Parrott
  • 23Diaby
  • 25Cornell

Referees:
Rebecca Welch

Attendance:
1,659

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