19 September 2023

Championship table-toppers Preston come from behind to beat Birmingham

19 September 2023

Milutin Osmajic scored his first goal in English football as Championship leaders Preston came from a goal down to beat Birmingham 2-1.

Jay Stansfield’s strike in the opening minute of the second half threatened to end Preston’s unbeaten start to the season but the table-toppers were on level terms when Krystian Bielik headed into his own net in the 51st minute.

Preston then made it six wins from their opening seven games thanks to Osmajic’s composed close-range finish in the 67th minute.

After a tight and cagey first 25 minutes, the game was almost unlocked by the hosts when Duane Holmes played in Brad Potts inside the area with the goal at his mercy but he blazed over the crossbar from close range.

Birmingham had the lion’s share of possession throughout the first half-hour and mustered their first half-chance when Keshi Anderson ran on to the end of a long ball before he skied his effort into the Preston fans behind the goal.

The game’s first shot on target came when Liam Millar let fly from 25 yards but it went straight down the neck of John Ruddy.

The Blues went looking for an opener themselves but Koji Miyoshi’s drilled long-range effort was comfortably saved by Freddie Woodman to keep the game goalless heading into the break.

Birmingham broke the deadlock straight after half-time when Miyoshi slid Stansfield through on goal before he touched and lashed home to make it 1-0.

Preston were not behind for long, getting back on level terms just five minutes later after Alan Browne’s corner was turned in by Bielik into his own goal.

The second half of the contest was a much more entertaining affair and Birmingham almost regained their lead but Ivan Sunjic’s goal-bound effort was well saved by the diving Woodman.

Birmingham went in search of another goal to try and get back to winning ways but Anderson’s strike from outside the area was again stopped easily by Woodman.

The Lilywhites turned the game on its head midway through the second half, once again Browne was the creator who slipped Osmajic through before he coolly slotted under the legs of Ruddy to get his first goal for the club.

North End almost increased their advantage in the 85th minute when Holmes unleashed a dipping effort towards goal but it was tipped over the frame by Ruddy.

Birmingham’s own unbeaten start to the campaign was ended on the weekend at the hands of Watford and they had enough time to bounce back after nine minutes of added time was greeted with a huge roar from the travelling contingent.

The visitors sensed an opportunity when the ball fell for Gary Gardner who let rip from outside the area but the deflection fell nicely for the hosts who cleared and held on for three points once again.

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