There’s been mixed emotions at Deepdale this week, but the overwhelming feeling is one of optimism and belief; North End may well have been knocked out of the League Cup by Championship toppers Southampton, but another win at the weekend against Tranmere Rovers means Preston are still going strong in League One.
Phil Brown told the LEP that he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ with the Southampton result, claiming that, although the Saints were enjoying a fantastic run of form as of late, his side should still have given them a decent game. Poor ball retention and a lack of attacking nous saw PNE crash out of the cup, but in the league, it’s a different story altogether.
A bumper crowd of over 17,000 watched North End beat Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, and the win marked a sixth successive league victory for the Lilywhites who now sit 5th in League One. A win over Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday would see them climb to 2nd place, leapfrogging Sheffield United in the process, and still retaining a game in hand over the Yorkshire club.
Wednesday, 21st September
Southampton 2-1 Preston North End
St. Mary’s Stadium
Full Match Report | Highlights
Southampton beat Preston North End 2-1 at St. Mary’s to progress to the 4th round of the League Cup, marking a record 14th consecutive home win for the club. Adam Barton levelled the score in the 52nd minute after a simple header from Jos Hooiveld gave the hosts the advantage in the first half. However, Southampton dominated the game – Barton’s equaliser was against the run of play – and inspired substitute Adam Lallana fired in the winning goal with only his second touch of the game, giving the Saints a deserved victory.
Both teams are in fine form in the league, and, likewise, both teams have aspirations of promotion this season. Key players from both squads were rested, with Nigel Adkins making 10 changes to the side that were elevated to the top of the Championship after a 4-1 win over Birmingham the previous weekend. Phil Brown fielded 11 individuals that had barely played as a team, and it showed; whilst their defending wasn’t exactly a horror show, North End’s ball retention was woeful and arguably cost them the game.
Saturday, 24th September
Preston North End 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
Full Match Report | Highlights
North End bounced back from mid-week defeat with a PNE Day victory over a physical Tranmere Rovers side. A crowd of 17,281 saw a brief Danny Mayor cameo appearance earn him his second goal of the season and a sixth successive league victory for the Lilywhites.
Graham Alexander put the Lilywhites ahead from the spot in the 37th minute after Ian Goodison bundled Neil Mellor to the ground, giving North End a half-time lead. Everton loanee José Baxter was making his Tranmere debut and he marked it with a goal, earning Tranmere parity on the hour. However, substitute Danny Mayor gave North End the three points just 10 minutes later with a cool finish after a well-worked counter. Paul Parry was sent off with 15 minutes to play, but Preston held on for the win with a battling display.
Preston North End get their highest attendance of the season
Specially reduced ticket prices saw the highest attendance of the season so far, with precisely 17,281 bums on seats on PNE Day. With tickets starting from just £2, the Lilywhites managed to smash Blackpool’s Premier League record attendance of 16,166, despite being a full two divisions below. Pro-active North End fans have been pinning up PNE Day posters all around the City, and the club made a visit to Preston College’s Freshers’ Fayre in order to promote the event. The hard work seems to have paid off, as the League One side managed to fill an extra 5,520 seats – last year’s average attendance in the Championship was 11,767.
17,000 people saw the Lilywhites win, so attendances will hopefully be given a boost with many of the new recruits sticking around. Well done to everyone involved!
PNE in search of tractor tyres
In truly old-school style, North End are asking supporters to donate tractor tyres to the club to help with fitness and strength conditioning.
Strength and conditioning is an important part of a players schedule in modern day football, and it will help the squad get through the season.
Any fans willing to donate tractor tyres can get in contact with the club via the following channels: