Did we deserve to win against Black Cats? It’s a big YES from me! Preston fan impressed with battling qualities.
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Not much had happened on the transfer front, especially with regard to forwards, and to put it bluntly, we couldn’t score for toffee.
Cue this first home match of the new season and two new signings bagged a goal apiece against a very
good Sunderland side with some real quality in their squad.
A good omen for the rest of the campaign? Let’s hope so, along with daring to dream an end to our now six
decades-plus in the wilderness.
The first half started pretty evenly, but it was soon clear that our visitors had two excellent wingers who were going to be a threat all afternoon.
Up against this threat down our left flank and playing only his third senior start in a week, gave 17-
year-old Kian Best the biggest test of his fledgling career to date.
Indeed, some of that inexperience led to the Black Cats’ equalising from the penalty he conceded with
a shirt pull on one of those wingers. It followed the opener from Will Keane, who deflected Mads Frokjaer shot from outside the box past the wrong-footed Sunderland keeper.
I’m not sure Keane knew much about it, but as this was his second goal in two league matches since returning to the club nobody really cared.
The second half saw the visitors upping the ante and required some dogged defending on North End’s part.
However, we still looked a threat on the counterattack and with one of these providing the winner scored by home debutant Frokjaer.
It was a case of role reversal for the new boys, as he latched onto an assist from Keane to slot the ball home.
Strangely, it again seemed unintentional from Keane as he appeared to miscontrol an Alan Browne pass that ran loose through to Frokjaer.
Sunderland pressed hard for an equaliser, with Best showing the reasons why manager Ryan Lowe has been confident enough to include him at such a tender age.
A couple of calm and top-class interventions prevented clear breakaways that are even more impressive when you consider he had to mentally deal with conceding that first half penalty.
Time will tell, but this lad could be a real player and one already taking responsibility for quality set-piece deliveries as and when required.
Did we deserve the three points? In terms of possession and overall play, probably no, but in terms of digging in and taking two goals from only two shots on target it must be a big YES.