PNE break their Deepdale duck to record their first home win of the season in the Championship. Plus four other things that were demonstrated against Nottingham Forest in the 1-0 victory last night.
PNE have a resilient and reliable defence
Despite the absence of club Captain Tom Clarke, the Lilywhites were able to hold out for a draw against a tough Forest side that boasts a threatening presence up front. Clarke was hoping to be back for Saturday’s local derby against Bolton, but even after late fitness tests before Tuesday’s game he didn’t make the squad. His absence wasn’t noticed as Grayson went for a 3-5-2 formation. The trio Woods, Wright and Cunningham did a fantastic job securing PNE’s fifth clean sheet in a row.
The side are still struggling to find goals
Last night the club decided to lead the front-line with Joe Garner and on-loan Cardiff City forward Eoin Doyle; leaving the likes of Will Keane, Stevie May and fan favourite Jordan Hugill on the bench as unused substitutes during the tie. Garner has failed to get off the mark this season and the club have only scored 11 goals in the league this season. If they want to push higher up the table the club has got to find more because last night was a close shave against a counter-attacking Forest.
Eoin Doyle received an all important confidence boost
The decisive moment of the match came in just the second minute when Eoin Doyle scored his first goal for the club. His neat finish between De Vries’ legs and into the net was enough to secure the points for the home side. Doyle’s first goal in eight games will hopefully be a major confidence booster for the striker. He told pnefc.com: “I have got the strikers off the mark and hopefully that will take a bit of pressure off all of us and the goals are going to come.”
Adam Reach proves once again to be an excellent signing
On his seventh game for the club, Reach didn’t disappoint once again as he caused plentiful problems down the left hand side for Nottingham Forest. The wing-back did brilliantly to track when need be and also nearly made an assist to make it 2-0. His cross into the box for Garner was brilliant before the former Forest striker flicked it over the bar. The on-loan Middlesbrough winger has impressed fans and proves Grayson’s brilliant ability to recruit young, talented players.
Lilywhites finally break seal at Deepdale
The club’s only win in Preston this season came against Watford in late August. The Capital Once Cup encounter was a brilliant result but this will be seen as the most important result of the season. The club have played excellently at home but have failed to turn performances into points. The continuation of the run of clean sheets, first goal for Eoin Doyle and a home win puts the club a good position going into Saturday’s game.
Preston North End travel to Loftus Road on Saturday to face Queens Park Rangers. Victory in the 3pm kick-off would mean that the club would move level with the ex-Premier League side.