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Birmingham end Preston’s unbeaten start with 1-0 win

Birmingham City v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – St Andrew’s
(Image credit: Leila Coker)

Preston’s unbeaten start in the Championship came to an end as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Birmingham.

Maxime Colin put the Midlands side in front after 16 minutes when he headed home Jordan Graham’s cross.

The hosts had a number of chances to draw level, with striker Emil Riis proving particularly wasteful in front of goal.

Victory for the Blues was just reward for a valiant defensive effort, ending a run of three consecutive losses in the league.

Both sides had injury problems going into the game, with Preston’s Ben Woodburn and Blues’ Gary Gardner out after picking up knocks in midweek.

The Lancashire side were hoping to extend their three-match unbeaten record against their opponents and started the better side.

John Ruddy denied Riis one-on-one inside five minutes before Liam Lindsay saw a header saved from a corner.

At the other end, Graham had Blues’ first effort on target after 14 minutes with a first-time effort that was parried wide by Freddie Woodman.

Preston had become only the third English side in history to start the league season with seven consecutive clean sheets when they beat Coventry on Wednesday.

But that run was ended in the 16th minute when Colin stole in at the far post to meet Graham’s delivery from the left wing.

For the first time this season, the Lilywhites were behind in a league game.

And they were frustrated before the break, with their opponents defending stoutly and using a variety of tricks to slow the game down.

Troy Parrott felt he had a strong case for a penalty within minutes of the restart but the referee was not interested. The striker then found the back of the net seven minutes later but it was ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

Robbie Brady was next to try his luck after a neat move but Ruddy was equal to it, before Riis hit the side netting.

They came even closer on 63 minutes when Ben Whiteman played the ball across the six-yard box, where Alan Browne was inches from tapping into an empty net.

Game management was prevalent in the latter stages of the game, with Birmingham proving too much to break down.

And George Hall could have doubled the winning margin in added time but miscued his shot into the stand.

It did not matter for the visitors, who moved out of the relegation zone with their first away win in the league this season.

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