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November 24 2020 3.29am

Preston North End 2 - 1 Palace

Sat Nov 24 2001 - League

Palace's poor away formed continued at Preston with a 2-1 defeat at Deepdale, despite taking a first half lead.

Freedman got the opener against the run of play in the 16th minute. Tommy Black's long pass flicked off the head of a Preston defender into the path of the Scottish international, who kept his cool to slot home.

Before this, Preston had twice hit the woodwork, first through Mark Rankine and then through Richard Cresswell.

Keeper Matt Clarke was caught flapping a few times as the home side put the Eagles under immense pressure.

But they got a deserved equaliser in the 51st minute when Richard Cresswell headed Graham Alexander's free-kick.

Preston got their winner through an Alexander penalty when Richard Cresswell was brought down by Matt Clarke in the box.

Freedman had a chance for an equalising goal seven minutes before time, but saw his shot saved by Preston keeper David Lucas.

Man of the Match: Rodger - battled hard in vain throughout

Post match comments:

Caretaker boss Steve Kember praised the performance of his players, despite losing 2-1 to Preston at Deepdale.

The Eagles took the lead through Dougie Freedman, only for Preston to go on and win the game in the second half.

Kember said: "I was happy to see the players come in for the break with a lead, which I admit was slightly fortunate.

"But, at the same time, it must be noticed how the team gave a very professional display in soaking up their pressure.

"After their equaliser there was a long period of the match which was dominated by ourselves and if any team was going to score, it was sure to be us.

"All credit to my side at the way in which we reacted to them getting themselves back in the match.

"The game was obviously decided by the penalty which was tough to concede but from where I was sitting it was impossible to see if the official made the correct decision.

"This gave them the points but it was pleasing to see a marked improvement from our match at Gillingham or Wednesday."

Preston captain Sean Gregan said: "They started well against the run of play. We had a lot of chances and hit the woodwork.

"In the last four matches we have managed to get back into the games. I think this was the right result in the end.

"We totally dominated them in the first half. They had the one chance, and it was a mistake from our point of view.

"It doesn't really get going till after Christmas. So long as we are there and thereabouts we have half a chance. I don't see why we can't be in that pack come the end of the season."

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Match Stats

Ground: Deepdale (Attendance: 15264)

Preston North End: Lucas, Alexander, Lucketti, Murdock, Edwards, Cartwright, Rankine, Gregan, McKenna, Healy (Basham 89), Cresswell.

Subs not used: Anderson, Keane, Eaton, Lonergan.

Goalscorers: Cresswell 52, Alexander 80 pen.

Palace: Clarke, Austin, Mullins, Edwards, Black, Rodger, Riihilahti, Gray, Kirovski, Morrison, Freedman.

Subs not used: Kolinko, Berhalter, Harrison, Kabba, Thomson.

Booked: Gray.

Goalscorer: Freedman 16.

Referee: P Rejer (Leamington Spa)

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