John Smith’s Preston North End fans’ panel verdict: A vital three points

Prior to Saturday’s game Charlton had won only once here in their last 19 visits.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 4:00 pm
Bauer after heading the winner

However they looked liked they could change the course of probability when they took an early lead through Andre Green. It was the first league goal that our summer replacement for Callum Robinson had scored at Deepdale this season – ironic and a pity that it had to come in the red colours of Charlton.

As well as being haunted by a ghost from the not-too-distant past, the paranormal theme in my mind continued as I also got a feeling of deja vu watching the first half because – similar to last weekend’s game at Blackburn – we conceded a poor early goal before equalizing with a stunning strike from Josh Harrop before the interval.

New signing Scott Sinclair showed glimpses of his undoubted pedigree but apart from the goal, in the main we created very little going forward before the break.

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The second half began in similar fashion to the two recent league defeats at Deepdale, with Charlton sitting back behind the ball and North End acting like the Big Bad Wolf, huffing and puffing but being unable to blow the house down.

However, this time the game turned after just seven minutes of the half which was the key to the end result which saw us picking up a vital three points.

The important breakthrough was made by Patrick Bauer. After the German had risen high to head in a corner perfectly flighted by man of the match Harrop, the partly subdued home crowd livened up with the Town End letting the previously buoyant away fans know that it was North End who now employed their former favourite as they burst into song with a loud chorus of ‘We’ve got Bauer’.

With the roles now reversed it was Charlton who now had to force the issue but we comfortably held out without any heart-stopping moments and if anything looked likely to add another goal.