John Roper’s Preston North End fans’ panel verdict: Josh Harrop deserving of run in the side
A much needeed victory for Preston who made slightly heavy weather of beating a Charlton side who are still struggling to come to terms with life in the Championship.
After going a goal down early doors to ex-loanee Andre Green we slowly but surely got ourselves back into the game and equalised via a superb strike from man of the match Josh Harrop. If the lad has had a better game for North End then I can’t remember it and the Deepdale faithful gave him a very well deserved standing ovation when he came off near the end of the game.
With Green having scored early for Charlton it was odds on that Patrick Bauer would score for PNE and the big German got the winner early in the second half with an excellent header from a corner on the right hand side.
North End should have really put the game to bed but held on comfortably enough to get the points total moving forward again after a poor run in the last few weeks.
There were three changes from the team that drew at Blackburn last week with Darnell Fisher coming in at right-back replacing Tom Clarke, and Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair coming in to replace the poorly Ben Pearson and the injured Paul Gallagher.
On paper it looked an attacking North End side but it was the visitors who were the first to strike when a low cross from the left found Andre Green in the six-yard box.
The player who had half a season on loan at Deepdale took great delight in opening the scoring against his former team. North End eventually started to get things moving and had a good shout for a penalty when Sinclair was brought down.
Just after the half-hour Harrop played a one-two with Fisher and then struck a superb left foot shot into the far corner to level things up and bring the Deepdale crowd to its feet.
Sinclair had a half chance toward the latter stages but the teams went in level.
The feeling was that PNE should go on to take all three points with Charlton looking a bit weary at the interval.
Maguire and Sinclair linked up well a couple of times early on in the second half but it was an ex-Charlton player who gave North End the lead six minutes into the second half.
Harrop took a corner from the right-hand side and found Bauer virtually unmarked, and the centre-back made no mistake in heading the ball down and into the net.
It wasn’t PNE’s best performance of the season but after this run of results any win will do and I think the players will feel much more confident after the win which will set them up for the trip to Barnsley.
Harrop’s performance was one of the best I have seen from a Preston player this season and the way he carried out his duties both defensively and from an attacking perspective bodes well.
The lad should now have a run in the team and on the evidence of what we saw against Charlton the boy could be a key player in the future.