Report and free match highlights from the Championship clash between Preston and Middlesbrough at Deepdale as Michael Carrick’s side lost a lead as they were beaten in his first game in charge.
Michael Carrick got an immediate insight into the cold realities of full-time football management when Jordan Storey’s stoppage-time goal earned Preston a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over his Middlesbrough side.
Former Manchester United caretaker boss Carrick, who was appointed head coach on Teesside on Monday, enjoyed a promising start to his tenure when Chuba Akpom nodded Boro in front after eight minutes.
But Emil Riis thrashed home his fifth goal of the campaign to equalise 10 minutes before the break.
And Storey stole in to head home in the first of three added minutes, securing only a second home success for Preston this term – doubling the goal tally for Ryan Lowe’s team in nine games at Deepdale.
Middlesbrough remain outside the relegation places ahead of Coventry only on goals scored.
Preston, meanwhile, climb three places to 11th and are three points outside the top six in a congested Championship table.
Carrick’s team could not have enjoyed a much brighter opening to the game.
Akpom was denied by Storey’s brave block but from the resulting corner the striker stooped to score his fifth goal of the campaign.
Ryan Giles swung in the set-piece which, save for a touch from Darragh Lenihan, was allowed to travel across the face of goal without interference.
Akpom arrived at the back post for the decisive touch to add to the feelgood factor evident among the gleeful away supporters.
The hosts’ initial attempts to summon a response felt rather unconvincing and Ben Woodburn could only manage a scruffy connection from eight yards, allowing Dael Fry to intervene.
That effort was sandwiched between a tremendous Giles cross that flew marginally out of reach of the stretching Rodrigo Muniz and a theatrical tumble in the box from Boro midfielder Isaiah Jones that did not interest referee Gavin Ward.
There was a definite momentum swing on 35 minutes, however. The ball sat up invitingly for Riis following Liam Lindsay’s hook forward from the edge of the box.
Riis duly unfurled a jackhammer of a first-time strike into the roof of the net from 10 yards out. It was the Dane’s fifth goal in five meetings with Middlesbrough.
Akpom steered wide from Giles’ left-wing delivery three minutes before the break.
But it was Preston with their blood up and Woodburn soon sent a shot screaming fractionally beyond the far post after neat approach play down the left.
Muniz came close with a deflected shot and a header over the top after the restart.
Akpom thrashed off target after Preston cheaply coughed up possession.
But Boro steadily retreated and after Alan Browne had a goal ruled out for offside against Riis and Woodburn flashed a 12-yard shot too high, Preston struck late to ruin Carrick’s managerial debut with Boro.
Ryan Ledson, on as a substitute, directed a free-kick he had won to the back post.
Lindsay rose highest to supply his second assist of the afternoon – a header to the back post for Storey to bundle in and spark wild home celebrations.
What the managers said…
Preston’s Ryan Lowe: “When you lose derbies, or any game, it is hard, but having a week until the next one was better for us, because of the freshness in the group. I thought the lads took on board everything we asked from them and what was required to beat a team with good players.
“We wanted to capitalise on Middlesbrough having a new manager and new ideas and I thought we possibly did that. (Riis’ goal was) a good volley, he smashed it right in. The lads will know Emil can hit them down the M6 or in the top bin When he hits them in the top bin it feels nice.”
Middlesbrough’s Michael Carrick: “To lose the game like that stings a bit. But it is one game and I said it would never be a fairy tale from the start, I understand that. It was never going to be perfect, we are trying little things, it is small steps and we will keep trying to improve. There are big moments in games and we have to flip them our way. It is the mentality, just believing, and we will get there.
“I fancied us to go on and win, or at least score again, the way we were building (after half-time). The way we play football is not going to change overnight, that is impossible but we need to keep getting better. It is alright having positives in performances but results matter and we want to create more chances and have more attempts on goal. But we can’t have the complete performance from back to front after a few days. As disappointed as I am, and it hurts to lose the game, we have to be balanced and go into Tuesday with a new attitude and new mentality and attack the game like we were hoping to today.”