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Jamie Paterson nets late winner to complete brace as Swansea edge Preston

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Dec 2023

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Jamie Paterson scored an injury-time winner to hand Swansea their first home win in eight games and deny Preston a valuable away point following a narrow 2-1 Championship result.

Neither side could have complained with sharing a draw as a game of little inspiration ticked into added time at Swansea.com Stadium.

Liam Millar had earlier cancelled out Paterson’s first effort before with two brief glimpses of class.

However Alistair McCann gave away possession inside his own half and Swansea at last found a clinical edge as Jay Fulton released Paterson, who struck the winner in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage-time.

Swansea climbed four places to 15th in the table as a result, while Preston continued their dramatic slide in form and slipped to ninth.

Alan Sheehan had been told he would be in charge of Swansea over the Christmas period as the club continues to search for a long-term replacement for Michael Duff.

However the interim manager had urged for clarity over the vacancy, having taken four points from his previous three games in charge.

Sheehan named the same starting XI beaten by Middlesbrough, while Preston counterpart Ryan Lowe made six changes to the side thrashed 5-1 by Watford last time out.

That included a first league start for former Swansea goalkeeper Dai Cornell, who spent six years with his hometown club without playing in the league.

Cornell was first to be pressed into a save when he denied Jamal Lowe from close range following Josh Key’s smart cut back from the right.

Preston, with just one win in six, were limited to a long-range effort from Robbie Brady though should have done better with Duane Holmes’ counter-attack, if not for Alan Browne’s heavy touch.

Harry Darling went close to finishing a sweeping team attack but Swansea’s frustration grew amid the stalemate with Matt Grimes, Lowe, Ben Cabango and Paterson all booked in the space of eight minutes.

Preston’s cause was not helped by losing Brady to injury before half-time, replaced by Millar, though Ched Evans brought a decent save from Carl Rushworth early in the second half.

But it was Swansea who scored first when Grimes found Paterson free on the edge of the box and the striker swept his right-footed shot beyond Cornell.

That prompted a swift response from Preston, who levelled the scores just six minutes later.

Evans attacked deep on the right before Millar gathered the ball on the left, steadied himself and stepped inside Darling to curl his effort beyond Rushworth.

Millar came close to an almost carbon copy second just moments later but this time the Swansea goalkeeper tipped the shot past the post.

Swansea defender Cabango missed a free header in front of goal from a free-kick and the game looked destined for a draw before Paterson struck again in added time to clinch maximum points.

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