Preston 3-1 Stoke: Jack Butland errors prove costly at Deepdale
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 21/08/19 11:30pm
Jack Butland made two bad mistakes as Stoke's miserable start to the Championship season continued with a 3-1 defeat at Preston.
The Stoke goalkeeper fumbled a shot from Daniel Johnson into the net in the seventh minute and then let another straightforward effort from Billy Bodin squeeze under his body in the 25th minute.
Preston added a third in the second half through Josh Harrop before Stoke, who are yet to win and are bottom of the Championship, managed a late consolation effort through James McClean.
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The win is Preston's second of the season in the Championship and moves them up to 10th.
Butland errors cost struggling Stoke
Preston took the lead after seven minutes as Johnson hit a low shot from the edge of the box that squeezed past Butland, who should have comfortably saved.
Worse was to follow for Butland as he was also at fault for Preston's second goal.
Even Bodin couldn't believe it as his shot from around 25 yards out squirmed underneath Butland and went into the net.
Stoke also struggled in attack with Tom Ince spurning their best openings when he shot over the bar.
The visitors improved slightly after the break and went close as Ince turned over from close range at the back post from an excellent Peter Etebo cross.
Preston made three changes from their defeat to Swansea as Tom Clarke, Josh Harrop and Tom Barkhuizen start. Sean Maguire missed out with concussion.
Tom Edwards replaced Tommy Smith for Stoke.
However, Preston added a third in the 69th minute when Johnson turned in the box and saw a shot saved by Butland, who could only push the ball out to Harrop to finish.
Stoke managed a late consolation when McClean turned in at the back post.
Man of the match - Daniel Johnson
Johnson set the ball rolling for Preston as he scored the opener before helping create the third with some clever footwork to turn away from a tackle in the box. He also buzzed around midfield as Preston prevented Stoke from building many attacks.
"He made life difficult for Stoke when they have tried to play out from the back and has defended from the front," said Danny Higginbotham on Sky Sports. "He was full of energy and endeavour."
Alex Neil: "This was always going to be a tough game so I'm really pleased. The lads have carried out all their instructions great, so I'm really pleased everything worked out well on the night.
"It's hard to be critical after a performance like that, but to be honest I thought we were poorer than we were at Swansea on Saturday. We struggled at home at times last season, so that home form needed improving. It's been a good start this time around, so we have to build on these opening two wins here."
Nathan Jones: "We are on the bus and it's on Sky Sports about him being left out of the England side. Everyone talks about him having to leave for his England place, but he's got to do his job for Stoke first.
"I don't know where mentally he must be because there's so much talk about him. You don't go from being a top goalkeeper to making the errors he is, there must be something playing on his mind. But look, he's a top keeper who trains really well, but it doesn't help us."
Preston host Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship on Saturday and then welcome Hull to Deepdale in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Stoke face Leeds twice in the next week. The two sides meet in the league at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday before facing off again at Elland Road in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.