Bristol City player ratings vs Preston North End: Four 5/10s scored as several struggle in sloppy Championship defeat - gallery

Preston North End 2-0 Bristol City

Bristol City's search for a first win of 2024 goes on as they were defeated 2-0 against out-of-form Championship rivals Preston North End on Saturday.

Jason Knight twice came closest for City in the first half, as the Robins dominated until the break.

PNE substitute Will Keane proved the difference maker, as the ex-Manchester United man twice capitalised on sloppy defending from City to earn his side the victory.

The result sees the Robins drop to 14th, while the Lilywhites move up to 11th.

Following a cagey start to the match, it was the Robins who carved the first clear-cut opportunity on the seven-minute mark.

Joe Williams won the ball back in midfield and sent Taylor Gardner-Hickman through on goal.

The West Brom loanee assessed his options and opted to go alone, but saw his effort pushed behind by Freddie Woodman.

City were able to dominate the ball, as both teams offered little going forward in the opening 20 minutes.

Milutin Osmajic fluffed his lines when Max O’Leary was caught in no man’s land, while Knight had a couple of chances towards the end of the first half as the two sides went in goalless at the break.

Ryan Lowe made a triple change for the second period, which got Preston firmly on the front foot.

One of the incoming players was Keane, who went close twice inside the first six minutes of the second half before he netted the opening goal of the match.

A long ball from Liam Lindsay was met by George Tanner, but the right-back could only direct the ball into the path of Keane. The ex-United striker rounded O’Leary and slotted home.

Liam Manning responded by bringing on Ross McCrorie for his debut, as well as Nahki Wells and Matty James.

But the changes had an adverse effect, and City were two down moments later.

Emil Riis Jakobsen sent in a cross from the right flank, and Keane snuck in behind Zak Vyner to pounce at the near post.

City tried to make inroads on the Preston lead but didn’t threaten the home goal in truth.

Here's how the Robins fared...

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