Jordan joins exclusive PNE ‘club’

It is now six successive shut-outs for Pickford
It is now six successive shut-outs for Pickford
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Jordan Pickford joined an elite club of Preston North End goalkeepers when he came off the pitch at Loftus Road.

The goalless draw against Queens Park Rangers was a sixth successive clean sheet in the league for PNE.

That has only been done three times before at the club and previous to Pickford, only two keepers could boast six shut-outs in a row.

Early in the 1901/02 season, Peter McBride was between the posts for six straight clean sheets.

The Lilywhites won them all in that sequence, beating Woolwich Arsenal, Barnsley, Leicester Fosse, Burton Albion, Burnley and Burslem Port Vale.

Scotsman McBride had the nickname ‘St Peter at the gate’ and served PNE for 15 years, making 475 appearances.

Six clean sheets in a row was a feat not achieved again until early in the 1972/73 campaign. Two keepers featured in that run, Alan Kelly Snr and John Brown. Kelly featured in the first three but was injured in the third, having to come off.

Brown took over from Kelly for the next three games, keeping it clean against Carisle, Orient and Oxford.

Kelly was back in goal for the 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale which ended the run. It was towards the end of the 1999/2000 Second Division title-winning season that the six clean sheets record was matched.

Teuvo Moilanen was the man with the gloves at the time as David Moyes’ men closed in on promotion. The clean sheets came against Wrexham (1-0), Blackpool (0-0), Wigan (1-0), Cardiff (0-0), Bristol Rovers (2-0) and Scunthorpe (1-0).

Ironically, the run ended with a 2-0 defeat at Cambridge, the game which saw PNE promoted because of results elsewhere.

That season, North End kept 24 clean sheets in the league and 31 in all.

Moilanen was between the sticks for 23 of the league shut-outs – a club record at the time.

The Finnish keeper’s achievement was bettered by Carlo Nash in 2005/06, Nash keeping 24 clean sheets in the league.

Of course, clean sheets are down to the team as a whole and not just keepers.

In terms of shot-stopping, Pickford had one of his quietest games in a Preston shirt at QPR.

The one effort on target which the home side had was an Alejandro Faurlin free-kick which went straight at him.

Pickford joined up with the England Under-21s squad at St George’s Park on Sunday night ahead of two Euro 2017 qualifiers.

Gareth Southgate’s side play Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on Thursday night, then tackle Switzerland at Brighton next Monday.

One of Pickford’s clean sheets came against Brighton at the Amex Stadium a fortnight ago.