Deepdale delight as winger’s fast start thrills fans

Tom Barkhuizen is congratulated on opening the scoring on his full home debut
Tom Barkhuizen is congratulated on opening the scoring on his full home debut
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Tom Barkhuizen admits his flying start to his Preston North End career is beyond even his wildest dreams.

The former Morecambe man has scored four goals in his first three starts for the club, including two in the 3-0 win over Reading on Saturday on his full home debut.

Barkhuizen also laid on North End’s second goal for Daryl Horgan as they closed the gap to the play-off places to six points.

“If someone told me I was going to score four in three I probably would have laughed at them,” said the 23-year-old, who was deployed up front alongside Jordan Hugill.

“It’s a really good feeling. I do tend to score in blocks but I just want to keep it going for as long as I can.

“I know it’s not going to be like this forever.

“Confidence is high, I’ve just got to ride the wave at the moment and see what 
happens next week.”

Barkhuizen’s opener was a stunner, curling home Horgan’s pullback from the edge of the area to get PNE up and running just after the half-hour.

“A few of the lads when we were celebrating said they didn’t know where it had come from,” he said.

“Daz has done brilliantly and I just thought, ‘Why not?’ and thankfully it’s curled into the top corner.

“It set us on our way for the rest of the afternoon.”

North End’s second, nine minutes later, came from a stunning Barkhuizen run which took him from one end of the field to the other.

There was then nearly a mix-up with Horgan but the Irishman scored at the second attempt.

“I know that’s one of my big assets, to exploit the space and that’s what I did,” he said

“I then didn’t want to end up kicking Daryl.

“You do all that hard work and you want to see a goal at the end of it. Thankfully he managed to bundle it over the line in the end.”

The former Blackpool man’s second shortly after the interval all but sealed a fine win, Barkhuizen then withdrawn midway through the second half with cramp.

“There’s no problem, he said.

“I hadn’t played for four months before last week.

“From back to front it was just perfect and 3-0 flattered them.”