Debutant Bambo Diaby has the making of being a real crowd favourite for Preston, says Tim Mercer

The first win at home since last year was finally achieved against a quality side that is probably premier-league-bound come the end of the season.
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Hard to believe you have to go back to December’s 2-1 defeat of Barnsley for the last victory on home soil, with most of those fixtures in-between resulting in draws.

Oh what might have been come the final tally in May, but it does now feel like we are already preparing for next season.

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The first 10 minutes or so were Bournemouth’s, including a mistake by home debutant Bambo Diaby that felt like a let-off.

Preston North End's Bambo Diaby celebrates in front of the fans at the final whistlePreston North End's Bambo Diaby celebrates in front of the fans at the final whistle
Preston North End's Bambo Diaby celebrates in front of the fans at the final whistle

By the end, Diaby was fast becoming a crowd favourite, growing into the game and looking more assured with each tackle, block and pass!

Whilst the half ended goalless and quite even, I felt Preston created the better opportunities.

After the break, North End continued to grow into the game and so it was frustrating to see a mistake by the otherwise excellent Andrew Hughes gift the Cherries the opening goal.

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Despite this, the Lilywhites did not let their heads drop and equalised within four minutes following a fine run and cross by Daniel Johnson through to Cameron Archer inside the box.

With work still to do, the young starlet took a touch to the side of an oncoming defender and struck a lovely left-footed strike in-off the Keeper’s left-hand post.

The winning goal in the closing minutes of normal time came via another excellent strike from substitute Emil Riis for his 17th goal of the season … may we finally have a striker get to a tally of 20 come May?

The fact that Riis’ goal was the winner and not an equaliser can be put down to another incredible save by Iversen just two minutes earlier

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Let’s hope PNE manger Ryan Lowe is supported in the Summer transfer window to bring in the ‘tweaks’ he needs to make this solid squad into realistic play-off candidates.

And yes, I still hold onto the fans’ dream of a late run that secures 6th place on the final day of the season … someone once said, ‘it’s the hope that kills you’.