Grayson pleased to see PNE fight back

Joe Garner
Joe Garner
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Simon Grayson assessed Preston North End’s victory over Peterborough as being a performance of two halves.

The Lilywhites ran out 3-1 winners at Deepdale last night, but only after recovering from conceding a goal early on.

It was the first time this season that North End had won a league game in which they had fallen behind.

Neil Kilkenny netted the equaliser on the stroke of half-time, the midfielder making up for an error which had led to Danny Swanson firing Posh ahead in the 18th minute.

Grayson’s men left it late to claim the three points, Joe Garner putting them 2-1 in front with 10 minutes left after a Paul Gallagher shot had hit the post.

Then Garner swept home his 22nd goal of the campaign in stoppage-time to seal a much-needed win.

“I was pleased at the final whistle but not so pleased after 43 minutes or so,” said Grayson.

“We were second best in the first half, we didn’t get on the front foot and didn’t pass it well enough. We looked very average.

“I wasn’t happy at half-time, although it was a massive time for us to equalise just before we came in. That goal gave everyone a bit of the lift.

“We have always said when we play with a tempo and urgency off the ball, closing people down and winning second balls, we play better as a team with the ball too.

“The first half was too pedestrian but we got there in the end. It was a good victory.

“It was a poor goal which we gave away and Neil didn’t need anyone to remind him, although we did remind him.

“Neil’s was a poor decision and that epitomised our performance in the first half. We went too long when Peterborough had two big centre-halves playing in a back three.

“We needed to work it better. To be fair to the players, they reacted to the criticism at half-time and came out and had a right good go.

“We still had to ride our luck a little bit in the second half because there were one or two things in our 18-yard box.”

Front pair Garner and Stuart Beavon earned plenty of praise from Grayson, who chose them to work together for the first time since the 6-0 FA Cup demolition of Barnet.

Garner got the goals but it was Beavon who really caught the eye with an energetic show.

Grayson said: “No disrespect to Paul Gallagher getting man of the match, but Stuart Beavon was outstanding and the majority of the supporters recognised his effort.

“His contribution to the game was outstanding.

“Those two can play together, not a problem.

“They have the basic ingredients of being hard working, their movement is good, and their hold-up play is decent as well.

“They close people down, chase lost causes and they have a goal in them.

“I was also pleased with Alan Browne came on and did really well for someone of a young age.”

North End lost Scott Wiseman in the first half after the right-back jarred his knee.

Tom Clarke (tight hamstring) and Josh Brownhill (groin) missed the game after being injured against Swindon.