Kieffer Moore scored his first goals for Ipswich Town on his second debut for the club, but they ended up falling out of the Championship automatic promotion places with a 3-2 defeat to Preston North End.

The Blues were looking to move on from last week's shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Maidstone United, but they found themselves 3-0 down at half-time thanks to a brace from Will Keane and an own-goal from George Edmundson. Moore reduced the deficit late on, scoring twice from close range, but they couldn't claw back a result.

Preston had the first real chance of the game inside the opening two minutes as Liam Millar picked up a lobbed ball into the box. He had plenty of space to take aim but ended up shanking his shot wide of the target, although it proved to be an early warning sign for Ipswich.

Ipswich Star: Town fell behind to two quick goals inside the opening 10 minutesTown fell behind to two quick goals inside the opening 10 minutes (Image: Pagepix Ltd)

Town found themselves behind shortly after as Keane struck against his former club. The forward took aim from outside the box with a tame effort, but it took a big deflection off George Edmundson and wrong-footed Vaclav Hladky, allowing it to roll into the net to make it 1-0 in the fifth minute.

It got worse three minutes later as Preston doubled their lead. Ipswich were caught on the ball, allowing Keane to push forward and play Riis into acres of space. His shot took a touch off Edmundson before bouncing into the net, putting Ryan Lowe’s side in control.

Town managed to weather the storm, but chances were at a premium for them. They were second to every ball and the Lilywhites always looked the more likely to bag the next goal. It eventually came six minutes before the half-time break as Hladky and Sam Morsy were caught playing out from the back, allowing Keane to rush in and slot the ball into the net to make it 3-0.

Ipswich Star: Kayden Jackson was brought off at half time for Kieffer MooreKayden Jackson was brought off at half time for Kieffer Moore (Image: Ross Halls)

Ipswich were quite lucky that the scoreline wasn’t worse at the break. Preston had two golden opportunities to grab their fourth of the afternoon just a few seconds later, although they couldn’t capitalise. Harry Clarke had the chance to get one back from a slick move in first-half stoppage time, but he fired wide of the target from the right side of the box.

The Blues showed an immediate improvement after the break, with Moore brought on for his second Town debut. He was much more of a presence in the final third, and his new teammates looked better playing off him than they did off Kayden Jackson, who was left totally isolated in the fist half.

They came close to cutting the deficit three minutes after the restart as Morsy won a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Leif Davis stepped up to take it, clipping the post with an impressive effort.

Ipswich Star: Leif Davis bagged his 11th assist of the season for Moore's first goalLeif Davis bagged his 11th assist of the season for Moore's first goal (Image: Ross Halls)

Ipswich did get one back with 15 minutes to play, having brought on Nathan Broadhead and Omari Hutchinson a few minutes earlier. The former slipped Davis into the box through the left, allowing him to dink a cross onto the head of Moore, who bagged his first goal for the club with a fine header.

The Welsh striker wasn't done there. With three minutes plus stoppage time remaining, substitute Ali Al-Hamadi forced two saves from Freddie Woodman inside the box before Moore fired the rebound into the net from point-blank range, making it 3-2.

Town pushed hard for an equaliser as the home crowd grew anxious. They flooded the penalty area in the dying embers, but there was no space for them to work a concrete chance. They ended up falling just short, falling to their fourth league defeat of the season.

Preston XI: 3-5-2: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts, Browne, Whiteman, Frokjaer (McCann 70'), Millar (Brady 78'); Riis (Osmajic 70'), Keane (Woodburn 90+4')

Town XI: 4-2-3-1: Hladky; Clarke, Woolfenden, Edmundson, Davis; Morsy, Luongo (Harness 80'); Burns (Al-Hamadi 80'), Chaplin (Hutchinson 67'), Sarmiento (Broadhead 67'); Jackson (Moore 46')