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Opening goal proved Preston North End's downfall against Brighton says PNE coach Frankie McAvoy.

Preston North End first-team coach Frankie McAvoy felt the first goal had been crucial in the Carabo Cup defeat to Brighton at Deepdale.
PNE first-team coach Frankie McAvoy (second left)PNE first-team coach Frankie McAvoy (second left)
PNE first-team coach Frankie McAvoy (second left)

The Lilywhites had been competitive in the first half, playing their way into the game and having two good chances towards half-time.

Jayden Stockley had a shot well saved and Patrick Bauer headed against the bat from the corner which followed Stockley's chance.

Brighton controlled the game from the moment they took the lead through Alireza Jahanbakhsh's fine finish in the 57th minute.

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Preston midfielder Tom Bayliss tussles with Brighton's BernardoPreston midfielder Tom Bayliss tussles with Brighton's Bernardo
Preston midfielder Tom Bayliss tussles with Brighton's Bernardo

It was a lead they doubled when Aleixis MacAllister got on the end of Pascal Gross' cut-back with 75 minutes on the clock.

North End didn't have a worth while effort in the second half as the visitors played the game on their terms.

McAvoy, on media duty instead of Alex Neil, said: "We had a couple of couple of good chances at the end of the first half.

"Their goalkeeper made a good save from Jayden Stockley and then Pat Bauer put a header against the bar.

"Over the piece in the first half we did well and could have been in front.

"In the second half, Brighton scored and that first goal changed the game. We huffed and puffed after that if I'm being honest.

"The manager tried to change it and bring on fresh legs to get us higher up the pitch.

"But then the second goal killed us."

McAvoy applauded the finish from Jahanbakhsh but rued the fact North End had been on the attack just before.

"It was a great goal from Brighton's point of view but actually came from our free-kick which their goalkeeper caught and they hit us on the counter," said McAvoy.

"From our point of view it is one we will look back on and see where we could have stopped it.

"To be fair, their lad came in from wide right and sticks it away.

"Once the first goal went in it became a bit tougher for us, Brighton got their tails up.

"Being that Premier League team they put on a bit more pressure on us and defended well when they had to."

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