Sheffield Wednesday 1-3 Preston North End: Lilywhites come from behind to end winless run
Preston North End's Brad Potts scores his side's third goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End at Hillsborough. (Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Three goals in the last 20 minutes of the tie were enough to see Preston North End come from 1-0 down to put a stop to their seven-game winless streak.

Story of the game

Three minutes into a frantic first half Dominic Iorfa rattled the crossbar with a header from a Barry Bannan corner.

On the half-hour mark, Tom Barkhuizen then passed up a great opportunity to notch his 10th league goal of the season when he ran clear of the Wednesday defence after a Josh Harrop flick on which took Iorfa out of the game.

The forward had plenty of time to think about where to place the ball and this told as he slipped his effort wide of the upright.

The Owls hit back with a great chance at the Leppings Lane end 10 minutes before the break, Bannan found Alessio De Cruz who had sprung the offside trap, but the Dutchman dwelled and had his effort blocked by Jordan Storey who recovered expertly.

It was The Owls though who seized the initiative after the break and took the lead, Jacob Murphy set off on a mazy dribble from out wide and played a great one-two with Atdhe Nuhiu before squeezing the ball under Declan Rudd to make it 1-0 to the hosts.

This 57th-minute stab was Murphy’s sixth goal of the campaign; he is currently the highest scorer still at the club.

Then, after Jayden Stockley was introduced to the action the balance of the game swiftly shifted. 

On 78 minutes a defensive mix-up allowed substitute Scott Sinclair the time and space to pick his spot and level proceedings and grab his fourth Championship goal of the season.

With four minutes remaining, Julian Borner thought he’d snatched all three points only for his goal to be ruled out as Joey Pelupessy was offside.

Things then went from bad to worse for Garry Monk. A minute later and Jayden Stockley swept home out of Joe Wildsmith’s grasp to steal the points for the Lancashire side.

Brad Potts then made it game, set and match with a precise curling effort from 18-yards, again well out of the clutches of the Wednesday stopper.

Views from the dugout

Garry Monk said to the club's media: “To go from a situation where you think you’ve scored at the end but the main factor is, from the end of that game, we have to be much, much better at the fundamentals. It’s about that focus and concentration at the critical moment. You expect to have that at this level.

“Hugely disappointing that moment went against us with the goal but then those last ten minutes, the individual battles, the concentration, it has cost us. We didn’t concentrate in those vital moments. You have to focus and win those battles and we didn’t do that.”

Alex Neil said to Preston North End’s media team: “I thought first half we were excellent, but it felt as though it was going to be one of those days. We went really aggressive with our changes to try and force the issue and I think all of the substitutes made a really big impact.

“The disallowed goal swings the game in our favour, albeit it is a foul on Dec, and then the two after that are fantastic finishes for the goals.”

Takeaways from the game

Preston’s substitutes make the difference 

Alex Neil should be given the highest praise for the decisions he made to reverse the fortunes of his side after going a goal down. He brought on Potts who grabbed the final goal, Stockley who scored and assisted, Sinclair who scored Preston’s first and Daniel Johnson who assisted. His substitutes certainly did their jobs.

Things go from bad to worse for Garry Monk

With only three wins since Christmas, Garry Monk now has a poorer win ratio than Jos Luhukay last season who went down as one of the worst managers the club as ever had. For sure, Monk may not be the answer to Wednesday’s woes, but he is not the greatest of their problems. There is set to be a clear out at the end of the season, which has already somewhat started with the departures of Steven FletcherSam Hutchinson and Fernando Forestieri to name a few but many more could follow including Monk himself if performances fail to improve for the remainder of the season. 

Man of the Match: Jayden Stockley

Despite only being brought on in the 76th minute, the target man’s impact, on a game left wanting in terms of quality, is worthy of the reward. While he could easily have been sent off for an elbow on Julian Borner and seconds later a stray arm in the face of Liam Palmer, he instantly bullied Wednesday’s back three and had a part to play in all three goals. Stockley was the perfect super-sub for Alex Neil and was crucial to end The Lilywhites’ winless spell.

Next up for both

Wednesday travel to the capital and to Loftus Road for the second time this season, having beaten Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup in January, Garry Monk needs his men to come away with the same result, the importance of a win here cannot be underestimated. Preston meanwhile host Nottingham Forest, both sides kick off at 3PM on Saturday.

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