Becks’ ‘goal’ is taken back

Jermaine Beckford celebrates the goal which has now been taken away from him
Jermaine Beckford celebrates the goal which has now been taken away from him
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Preston striker Jermaine Beckford has had his goal against Newcastle United taken from him.

The Football League’s Dubious Goals Committee have ruled that it was an own goal by Magpies skipper Jamaal Lascelles.

Beckford was awarded the 90th-minute goal in the media at the time.

Both he and Lascelles made a move at the near post towards a cross by Greg Cunningham.

Footage from cameras in the Invincible Pavilion showed Lascelles slice the ball past his own keeper Karl Darlow, with Beckford in the vicinity.

Last week, the PNE front man was adamant that it was his goal.

Beckford said: “Until someone tells me otherwise, I’m claiming it!

“Over my career, I’ve had goals taken away from me for the wrong reasons and I have had goals given to me for the wrong reasons.

“The way I look at it is if I hadn’t gone to the near post, the ball wouldn’t have ended up in the back of the net.”

However, a statement on the Dubious Goals Committee section of the Football League’s website said: “Committee decision: the goal scored by Preston North End should be recorded as an own goal by Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles.”

It means Beckford is back down to one goal for the season, which came in the 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers in August.

The 32-year-old has recently returned to action after two months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

His first appearance was the Newcastle game, when he joined the action as a 72nd-minute substitute.

At Rotherham on Saturday, he replaced Aiden McGeady in the closing minutes, with PNE boss Simon Grayson wanting to ease him back.

Beckford is one of 12 North End players to have found the net this season.

Eleven have scored in the Championship, with Eoin Doyle hitting the target twice in the League Cup.

The ‘goals for’ column has seen a big improvement this term, with 22 scored in 16 league games.

At this stage last season, PNE had only scored 11 in the Championship.

This term’s tally is better than five the clubs above them in the table – Huddersfield, Reading, Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday.

In fact, they are the eighth highest scorers in the division.

Jordan Hugill tops the Deepdale scoring charts with six goals – five of them coming in the Championship.

Simon Makienok has four goals to his name, the Dane having netted a hat-trick at Bournemouth in the cup.

Callum Robinson and Alex Baptiste have three each, with skipper Tom Clarke on two.

Beckford, McGeady, Paul Gallagher, Daniel Johnson, Ben Pearson and Marnick Vermijl have all scored one.

Grayson had targeted more goals – and a better spread of them – this season.

Key to that, he felt, was better creativity and others getting their fair share of goals from other positions, rather than just a reliance on the strikers scoring.

Baptiste and Clarke getting five between them represents a big change from last season when a central defender failed to find the net.