A clumsy error from Sean St. Ledger in the 89th minute handed Barnsley all three points in a scrappy game at Deepdale tonight.Advertisement
Preston dominated for large periods of the game but failed to make their pressure pay, as the visitors snatched victory just minutes from the final whistle.
The home side took the lead through a headed goal from defender Craig Morgan after just four minutes, after Keith Treacy launched a long free-kick into the box. The ball somehow managed to evade Tykes’ keeper Luke Steele, before dropping under the bar to give Preston a 1-0 lead.
PNE had seen most of the ball in the first half, but other than a few pot-shot chances on goal, had failed to make their possession count.
Lilywhites’ shot-stopper Andy Lonergan was forced into making a number of point-blank saves, but was finally beaten in the 44th minute.
Barnsley star Adam Hammill cut inside from the left-hand flank, before dispatching a 20-yard drive beyond the hand of Lonergan, to make it 1-1.
North End were the better team in the first half, and came out in the second half the stronger side too.
Keith Treacy almost scored an audacious lob 10 minutes after half time, taking a free-kick quickly 50 yards from goal, but Tykes’ keeper Steele reacted just in time, to bring the ball down comfortably.
The second half was end to end, with neither side looking like they were able to break one another down. Long balls were frequent, but players on the end of them were a rarity.
Lonergan was called into action a number of times in the second half, pulling off a fantastic fingertip save to deny Adam Hammill his second of the night.
But Lonergan went from hero to villain in the blink of an eye in his involvement in the blunder that cost PNE the game. As a mix-up between him and Sean St. Ledger led to a short pass being intercepted by substitute Garry O’Connor who calmly slid the ball into Lonergan’s gaping net.
North End fans flocked out the stadium in their masses, and the team were booed from the pitch as referee Langford blew for full-time.
A disappointing end to a game that Preston fans, players and management alike will have seen as very winnable.
PNE: Lonergan, Jones, St. Ledger, Morgan, Davidson, Coutts, James, Russell, Treacy, Parry, Parkin.
Subs: W.Brown, Nicholson, Gray, Mayor, Barton, Arestidou, McLaughlin.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Shackell, Doyle, Foster, O’Brien, Gray, Hammill, Trippier, Colace, Lovre.
Subs: Preece, Neumann, Butterfield, Arismendi, Noble-Lazarus, O’Connor, Wood.