Duane Holmes of Preston North End
photo: IMAGO / Focus Images

EFL Recap: Holmes the Key in Preston Win

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Duane Holmes came off the bench for Preston and immediately became the difference-maker by drawing a penalty and setting up the winner, in a game which also saw Lynden Gooch make his Stoke City debut in a losing effort.

Stoke City 0-2 Preston North End

Duane Holmes and Lynden Gooch both appeared on the bench for their respective teams, and both took the field in the second half, though PNE’s American substitute proved to be the more successful of the two.

In the fiercely contested first half, chances were scarce. Preston came closest after a chaotic scramble, initiated by Andrew Hughes, who dispossessed Ki-Jana Hoever and delivered the ball into a crowded area.

The deadlock was broken when Mads Frokjaer was replaced by USA international Holmes at halftime, and his impact was immediate. Just one minute after the restart, Holmes executed a clever run along the sideline and set up Keane for an opportunity that the leading scorer for Preston missed, shooting wide.

Four minutes later, Holmes skillfully maneuvered past Wouter Burger into the area and was fouled, setting up a deciding spot kick for the visitors. Keane confidently converted the penalty, sending the ball straight down the middle of the goal. He celebrated with the away fans behind the net.

Preston secured their victory in the 57th minute when Holmes outplayed Ben Wilmot, capitalizing on a well-placed Brad Potts pass, and set up Keane for his second goal of the match.

Gooch came on just past the hour to play just under half an hour for his new team, deployed at right back.

Holmes was arguably man-of-the-match for his impact in first drawing a penalty, which was scored by PNE talisman Will Keane, and for assisting Keane once again a few minutes later. He played his role as super-sub perfectly, which propelled Preston to the top of the Championship standings.

Coventry City 3-3 Watford

Haji Wright played the full 90 minutes in this six-goal thriller but couldn’t find his way onto the scoresheet.

Wright’s Coventry managed to recover from being behind three times, ultimately securing a single point in a match marred by defensive mistakes from both teams.

Matty Godden missed a golden opportunity to give his team the lead when he took a penalty kick in the 20th minute. His spot-kick down the middle at chest height was easily saved by goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.

Despite Watford taking the lead against the run of play with Mileta Rajovic’s strike after 35 minutes following Tom Ince’s delivery from the right, City leveled the score six minutes later. Milan van Ewijk’s remarkable 30-yard free-kick displayed both power and precision, beating the keeper.

In the early stages of the second half, Watford regained the lead as Matteus Martins cut inside from the left flank and curled a shot past Ben Wilson. However, their advantage was short-lived, as dreadful defending by Wesley Hoedt led to an own-goal in the 64th minute.

On the other hand, Coventry’s defense also faltered when Bobby Thomas under-hit a backpass to Wilson, allowing Bayo to seize the opportunity and set up Rajovic for an easy goal.

Coventry managed to level the score for the third time when Wright reached the byline and delivered the ball for Godden, who calmly slotted it past the goalkeeper. The game concluded with a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Despite not scoring, the USMNT striker picked up an important assist to level the match and completed the highest number of successful dribbles, according to the statistical app FotMob.


Josh Sargent is set to miss “months” for the Canaries after suffering an injury to several ankle ligaments, Norwich City coach David Wagner confirmed. Without the American, Norwich lost by a 2-1 score at Rotherham on Saturday.

Tyler Bindon picked up an injury and is did not suit up for Reading’s League One clash against Cambridge United on Labor Day Monday, which they lost by a 1-0 scoreline.

Charlie Kelmann, Daryl Dike, Vaughn Covil, and Jonathan Tomkinson all didn’t feature for their respective clubs in Championship action.

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Abdul Abdullahi

University Student from Ohio. Massive soccer/football fan and love talking about the beautiful game. Covering anything Chelsea FC and Americans at home and abroad. At the start of his long journey taking one step at a time.

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