Championship
Preston0West Brom1

Preston North End 0-1 West Bromwich Albion: Charlie Austin's penalty sends Baggies top

Kyle Edwards.
Preston vehemently protested the decision to award West Brom a penalty for goalkeeper Declan Rudd's challenge on Kyle Edwards

Charlie Austin's controversial 90th-minute penalty sent West Bromwich Albion back to the top of the Championship as they snatched a last-gasp victory at Preston.

Preston were adamant keeper Declan Rudd had not touched Baggies substitute Kyle Edwards but referee Oliver Langford pointed to the spot and Austin slotted home to send Albion two points above Leeds.

The spot-kick gave West Brom a fifth successive victory but they left it late at Deepdale as injury-hit Preston, without a host of players including their entire first-choice back line, looked set to earn a point.

Instead, Alex Neil's men saw their unbeaten home record ended and they remain sixth, just inside the play-off places but 11 points behind the table-topping Baggies.

Preston's depleted defence had performed well to limit West Brom, the Championship's top scorers and now unbeaten in nine matches, to efforts from distance for much of the game.

Rudd denied Nathan Ferguson and Matt Phillips from distance in a one-sided first half while Kyle Bartley spurned West Brom's only real clear-cut chance, side-footing a Phillips free-kick wide from close range.

North End, however, were not content to settle for a point and leading scorer Daniel Johnson's 20-yard strike forced a fine fingertip save from Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone after the break.

But as stoppage time approached, Edwards latched on to a hopeful ball over the top and went down in the area despite Rudd seeming to do his best to pull out of the challenge.

Austin coolly stroked home the penalty - his third goal in as many games - to condemn Preston to a third-straight defeat after losses at Derby and Hull.

Albion, meanwhile, now boast the division's best away record with seven wins and just one defeat from 10 games as they became the first side to keep a clean sheet at Deepdale this season.

Preston boss Alex Neil told BBC Radio Lancashire:

"When it's a last-minute goal you concede, it certainly makes it worse that it's a really contentious decision as well. If it was a little bit of quality from them, it would be more palatable.

"It certainly wasn't a vintage performance from us but we set up in a manner that I felt gave us the best chance of getting a win or getting something from the game, because we had so many players missing.

"I thought we were really comfortable in the second half, I don't think they had a shot on target but then the penalty decision swings the game.

"It doesn't look like a penalty to me. For how hard they worked, and how little space and time they gave some really good players in Albion's team, I thought we deserved something from the match."

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic told BBC WM 95.6:

"In the first half we were very dominant, we just lacked quality in the final third and I told the guys just raise the tempo and be patient.

"In the second half Preston improved and had their moments but the game changed in the final 20 minutes and we camped in their half of the pitch, and if any team deserved to win it was us.

"You can't imagine how big a result this is for us because Preston is a very difficult place to come and play."

Line-ups

Preston

  • 1Rudd
  • 8Browne
  • 23Huntington
  • 14Storey
  • 15Rafferty
  • 4Pearson
  • 11Johnson
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forNugentat 90+1'minutes
  • 44PottsSubstituted forHarropat 88'minutes
  • 24MaguireSubstituted forBodinat 90+1'minutes
  • 20Stockley

Substitutes

  • 7Bayliss
  • 10Harrop
  • 18Ledson
  • 25Ripley
  • 34Armer
  • 35Nugent
  • 39Bodin

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 36Ferguson
  • 5Bartley
  • 6AjayiBooked at 50mins
  • 3Gibbs
  • 19Sawyers
  • 8Livermore
  • 10PhillipsSubstituted forEdwardsat 61'minutes
  • 12Costa Pereira
  • 29DianganaSubstituted forAustinat 75'minutes
  • 4Robson-KanuSubstituted forKrovinovicat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Furlong
  • 7Krovinovic
  • 15Austin
  • 18Barry
  • 21Edwards
  • 23Bond
  • 26Hegazi
Referee:
Oliver Langford
Attendance:
13,015

Match Stats

Home TeamPrestonAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home7
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away9
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Preston North End 0, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Preston North End 0, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. David Nugent replaces Tom Barkhuizen.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Billy Bodin replaces Sean Maguire.

Goal!

Goal! Preston North End 0, West Bromwich Albion 1. Charlie Austin (West Bromwich Albion) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty West Bromwich Albion. Kyle Edwards draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Declan Rudd (Preston North End) after a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Josh Harrop replaces Brad Potts.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Brad Potts.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Filip Krovinovic replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.

Attempt missed. Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

Attempt blocked. Jayden Stockley (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Johnson with a cross.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

Offside, Preston North End. Declan Rudd tries a through ball, but Jayden Stockley is caught offside.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).

Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Charlie Austin replaces Grady Diangana.

Kyle Edwards (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alan Browne (Preston North End).

Foul by Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion).

Sean Maguire (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Jayden Stockley (Preston North End) header from very close range is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Alan Browne with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Grady Diangana.

Attempt blocked. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sean Maguire.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Semi Ajayi.

Attempt saved. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sean Maguire.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Kyle Edwards replaces Matt Phillips.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Nathan Ferguson.

Foul by Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion).

Sean Maguire (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Daniel Johnson (Preston North End).

Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jayden Stockley (Preston North End).

Foul by Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion).

Sean Maguire (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).

Paul Huntington (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Joseph Rafferty.

Foul by Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom19126136191742
2Leeds19124328101840
3Fulham19105431191235
4Nottm Forest1895424141032
5Bristol City198833127432
6Preston199463123831
7Brentford1993729141530
8Swansea198652420430
9Sheff Wed198562618829
10Cardiff197752725228
11Blackburn198382627-127
12Hull197573026426
13Millwall196852325-226
14Derby196762025-525
15Birmingham197481924-525
16QPR197482837-925
17Charlton196582626023
18Reading186392223-121
19Huddersfield194692231-918
20Middlesbrough193881627-1117
21Luton1952122540-1517
22Wigan1944111731-1416
23Stoke1942132033-1314
24Barnsley1926112138-1712
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