Following on from last week, this week has been much better in terms of everything that last week wasn’t so good in.
For starters, after being held to a 1-1 draw at big spenders Bournemouth, it seems that the team were buoyed by their Championship scalp from the first round of the Capital One Cup. They faced yet another Championship side in the form of Crystal Palace.
North End swept the Londoners aside, comprehensively beating them 4-1 on the night, yet another fantastic win in front of the home crowd. The game got off to a great start for the club as Nicky Wroe bagged his second goal of the campaign inside the first minute.
That was followed by Akpo Sodje scoring his second goal for the club in as many games when he bundled the ball over the line following a North End corner. The next North End goal came from Jeffrey Monakana.
Monakana, a summer signing from Arsenal has excited the North End faithful so far this season and his first goal in League football is one that will last in the memory. He picked the ball up in the left hand side of the pitch and cut back in on to his favoured right foot and unleashed a 25 yard screamer which flew past the Eagle’s keeper and into the top right hand corner.
Wroe rounded off the night for North End after Palace pulled one back earlier in the game. Picking up the ball on the edge of the area he saw his shot go in off the post for his second of the night and the third of the season.
Understandably on a high after that, the North End fans were eagerly anticipating transfer deadline day with many hoping to see a striker brought in before the deadline. The day started with Iain Hume joining fellow League 1 side Doncaster on loan until January and Craig Morgan having his contract cancelled by mutual consent.
Still there was no news as the 11pm deadline got closer but then news started to come through that long time target, Stuart Beavon had agreed a two-year deal with the Lilywhites. Sure enough, just after the deadline had passed it was confirmed, Stuart Beavon had signed on the dotted line for PNE. Find out more here.
Due to the opening of the Preston Guild, North End faced Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon side on the Sunday instead of the Saturday. The new summer recruit, Stuart Beavon, who was handed the no. 29 shirt was also handed his first start for North End and within 5 minutes he’d created the first goal.
He chased down a back pass to the Swindon goalkeeper and he got a block in on his clearance which landed at Akpo Sodje’s feet who calmly volleyed the ball home to give North End the lead over Paolo Di Canio’s side.
The Lilywhite’s fans wouldn’t have to wait long for the second goal either. Beavon again had a hand to play in the goal. He got the ball on the edge of the area and played Scott Laird in down the left hand side and it was Laird’s cross that found Nicky Wroe in the box and the captain slotted the ball into the back of the net to put North End 2-0 up.
Di Canio had seen enough and he sent his reserve keeper on in place of Wes Foderingham who wasn’t happy at being taken off inside the first 20 minutes. The change made little difference, however, as Beavon this time would be the one to get on the scoresheet.
Scott Laird fired in a corner which Bailey Wright headed into the box from the back post and Beavon was the one who finished the move off by tapping the ball home past sub keeper, Lee Bedwell.
After half-time, Swindon started the stronger of the two sides and their pressure paid off for them as they managed to pull one back but the match was well and truly killed off by a John Welsh strike from yet another Scott Laird corner.
The ball came over and was cleared by Swindon but only as far as John Welsh who wellied the ball home from 25-yards into the bottom corner of the net and North End finished the game 4-1 winners for the second time in a week.
Less than two days later the Lilywhites travelled up to Carlisle to face United at their home ground, Brunton Park in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round.
North End fell victim to eventual winners Chesterfield last season but they started the game brightly against Carlisle with Chris Beardsley getting his first goal for the club inside the opening three minutes.
Preston had a number of other chances in the first half and also had the ball in the net for a second time only for it to be chalked off for offside. Carlisle managed to get a goal back in the second half through Jon-Paul McGovern but they later were reduced to ten men when Lee Noble was given a straight red card for a very poor challenge on sub Nicky Wroe.
The game then went to penalties. Both sides scored their first penalties while former PNE striker Jake Jervis saw his penalty fly high and wide. Up stepped skipper for the evening, Bailey Wright for North End but he saw his penalty saved.
Carlisle had the opportunity to go ahead but they missed their next two penalties with both Akpo Sodje and David Buchanan firing home their penalties to safely see Preston North End through to the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
After this week, all North End fans will want the wins and the good performances to keep coming and hopefully the Lilywhites can secure another three points on the road at Bury on Saturday.
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