Preston North End 2-1 Fulham: David Nugent helps 10-man Lilywhites to victory

David Nugent scored his first goal for Preston since their 4-0 win against Coventry in April 2007

Preston North End ended a run of four consecutive Championship defeats as they beat Fulham in a game which saw both sides reduced to 10 men.

Sean Maguire put the hosts ahead from close range, before Fulham’s Denis Odoi was dismissed soon after for an elbow on Patrick Bauer.

Preston were shown a red card of their own just before the break when Joe Rafferty was sent off for a bad tackle on Joe Bryan.

David Nugent doubled Preston’s lead after the break when he bundled home, while Aleksandar Mitrovic pulled a goal back with a deflected long-range strike.

Defeat was Fulham’s second in a row in the league, having lost against Bristol City on Saturday, and leaves them 10 points behind second-placed West Bromwich Albion in third.

Meanwhile, Preston moved up to sixth thanks to their victory, which gives them a two-point cushion on seventh-placed Sheffield Wednesday.

Preston almost made their player advantage count soon after Odoi’s red card when Maguire fired goalbound, but his effort was parried away by Cottagers keeper Marek Rodak.

That advantage did not last long after Rafferty’s red card on the stroke of half-time, but the hosts scored again after the break and were almost out of sight.

Veteran forward Nugent, who rejoined the club in the summer, scored his first goal for Preston since 2007 as the hosts took control.

However, Mitrovic inspired a late Fulham rally courtesy of his strike that bounced and deflected past North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd.

Preston North End boss Alex Neil told BBC Radio Lancashire:

“We’ve built an expectation up this season, we’ve done really well so far and after our previous defeats it hurts more.

“I still don’t think the balance is quite right, we’re missing that tactician in the centre of midfield. Once we have everybody available I think we’ll be strong.”

[On Joe Rafferty’s sending off] “At the time I thought he had been hard done by. I’ve actually had a word with him now because it was a really bad challenge.”

Fulham manager Scott Parker told BBC Radio London:

“I am disappointed we have not been able to get a result out of the game, but I am disappointed with our performance as well.

“We didn’t defend well and I didn’t think we had enough quality in the final third. At both ends of the pitch we weren’t on it and ultimately we need to improve on that.

“We huffed and puffed and had a few chances, and maybe on another day we can get a draw. But you can’t walk around feeling sorry for yourself, especially in this league.”

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