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2017/18 English League Championship, 2017/2018 English League Championship
  • Maxime Colin (35')
  • Daniel Johnson (56')
  • Jordan Hugill (60')
  • Tom Barkhuizen (67')

Preston hit back to see off Birmingham and move up to fourth

Preston scored three times in 12 second-half minutes as they hit back from a goal down to claim their first away win of the season at Birmingham.
Daniel Johnson cancelled out Maxime Colin's opener for the Blues before forward duo Jordan Hugill and Tom Barkhuizen struck soon afterwards to secure a 3-1 victory for Preston at St Andrew's.
It was a second win in a week for the Lilywhites, who had ended Cardiff's unbeaten start to the Championship season on Tuesday, and they have now collected 11 points from their last available 15.
While Preston are flying high in fourth, Birmingham slipped to their sixth successive defeat in all competitions to leave Harry Redknapp's side second from bottom with four points from eight fixtures.
Their afternoon was compounded by a leg injury to Jason Lowe, who lasted just two minutes on his home debut following his move from Blackburn on deadline day.
Two minutes later another newcomer, Harlee Dean, very nearly marked his St Andrew's debut with an own goal and only a reflex save by David Stockdale prevented Preston taking the lead.
The visitors played with the confidence of a team in the top six and there was a high tempo about their game despite Hugill and Josh Earl collecting disputed yellow cards in the first half hour.
A spell of intensive Birmingham pressure finally paid off in the 35th minute and it was another newcomer in Colin who broke the stalemate.
There appeared little danger as Colin gained possession near the byline but he cleverly wrong footed Calum Woods and ran inside to hammer home a low angled shot past Chris Maxwell.
There was a more positive attacking policy from Preston early in the second half when both Sean Maguire and Josh Harrop tested Stockdale with long range efforts.
This pressure eventually paid off in the 55th minute. Johnson gained possession and advanced unchecked to equalise with a blistering 25-yard low shot which easily beat the slow moving Stockdale.
Preston took full advantage of Birmingham's disorganised defence when Hugill put the Lilywhites ahead on the hour.
The Preston striker cut in from the left and Stockdale had little chance with his powerful shot which went home at the near post.
North End put the game out of Birmingham's reach in the 67th minute, with Maguire coolly putting Barkhuizen in possession to score in front of an empty goal.