Norwich City fell to their first home defeat of the season as an Alex Baptiste header was enough for Preston to beat the Canaries.
It was a frustrating game which Norwich dominated, but couldn’t find an opening allowing Preston to claim a huge victory as they climb to ninth in the Championship table, despite Norwich having eighteen shots at the Preston goal.
Norwich failed to correct the defensive mistakes which cost them vital points in the second half on Tuesday night against Fulham at Craven Cottage, a result which was considered as two points lost instead on a point gained.
The afternoon started relatively badly for the Canaries with full-back Ivo Pinto, who initially was named in the starting lineup, receiving an injury in the warm up, allowing Ryan Bennett to start with Seb Bassong on the bench. Norwich were also once again without last year’s player of the season Jonny Howson, with manager Alex Neil revealing that the former Leeds man will be out until the new year. The exclusion of Alex Pritchard from the first team also left many Norwich fans scratching their heads.
Norwich bossed the majority of the match despite quality saves from Michael McGovern throughout. This all changed, however, when former Blackpool defender Baptiste headed past the Northern Irishman to give North End the lead at Carrow Road. Norwich responded with good chances through striker Cameron Jerome to pile the pressure on the Preston defence but came up short, sending the Lilywhites back to Lancashire with all three points, with Norwich slipping to fourth.
Up next for Norwich is a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion, who have leapfrogged The Canaries in the table. This is the start of a tough run of fixtures which also includes games such as Leeds and QPR. Let’s hope this game was just a slip-up and not a dip in form at a potentially costly time of the season.