North End had done so much good work since the start of October to push themselves into a respectable position in the table. Injuries were mounting and the number of games over the festive period was going to prove tricky.
Sheffield Wednesday had decided to have a change of direction in terms of management. Whilst the team looked poor they managed to scrape past Preston who were reduced to ten men after Ben Pearson was sent off for a straight red card on 26 minutes.
The red card seemed to divide opinion. There is no doubting that Pearson got the ball and then the man. The issue is whether the midfielder could have curtailed the collision.
My view is that the red card was harsh especially given the inconsistency of the referee who failed to punish numerous challenges. If Pearson gets a red card then typically others should have been in the book for minor challenegs.
Preston held firm with ten men. Rudd made one excellenet save whilst the woodwork came to the rescue int he first half but the home side lacked any idea on how to break Preston down.
The goal eventually came from a corner. North End switched off and there appeared to be finger pointing at Nmecha who may have lost his man. In any event Hector had a simple chance to nod home and Preston could not find an equaliser despite a late surge.
The Boxing Day game saw Preston depleted again with Conor Simpson recalled from his loan spell and Ethan Waker again on the bench. The elevn on the pitch were poor in the first half with Graham Burke looking particularly lost.
Hull took the lead through Irvine which was deserved and again Preston were falling behind to a team who are struggling this term. North End did come out strong in the second half but it was only for a brief spell.
Preston are reliant on Browne and Barkhuizen bagging the goals at the moment without the injured Robison and Nmecha not havign a clue where the goal is.
Browne scored another stunner from the edge of the box to put North End level. The good work was udnone when Irvine scored his second as Preston fell asleep again at a set piece to allow the attacker to run free in the box.
Preston need bodies and quick otherwsie they will find themselves back in a relegation scrap by the end of January. The poor start to the season and subsequent injury list has meant that Preston will face a tough second half of the season and Villa at home this Saturday will be no exception.