Emil Riis hits best Preston North End's best Championship goals tally for 18 years

The dubious goals’ panel gave with one hand but took away with the other with Preston North End striker Emil Riis this week.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 13th May 2022, 12:30 pm

Quite rightly they awarded the Dane his goal against Queens Park Rangers which had previously been credited as an own goal.

However, the panel agreed that PNE’s second goal in the 4-1 win over Middlesbrough last Saturday was a Dael Fry own goal and not Riis.

Getting the QPR goal meant Riis finished on 21 for the season, 17 of them in the Championship and four in the Carabao Cup.

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Preston North End striker Emil Riis celebrates scoring against Queens Park Rangers at Deepdale

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Preston North End player ratings for the 2021/22 season

It’s the first time since Ricardo Fuller in the 2003/04 campaign that a North End player had scored 17 league goals at this level.

Joe Garner netted 25 goals in the 2014/15 season but that was the division below in League One.

The highest Championship tally from a PNE player over the last couple of decades is 19 from Jonathan Macken in 2000/01 – North End’s first season back in the division after winning promotion under David Moyes.

Emil Riis volleys Preston North End's stoppage-time equaliser against Bristol City at Deepdale

Richard Cresswell twice managed 16 league goals, in the 2002/03 season and then again in 2004/05.

In 2006/07, David Nugent netted 15 times in the league, that the campaign he scored on his only England appearance against Andorra.

Since North End returned to the Championship seven years ago, their leading scorer has always topped the charts with a fairly modest number.

Daniel Johnson got eight league goals in 2015/16, with Jordan Hugill scoring 12 the season after.

Sean Maguire was their leading league scorer in 2017/18 with 10, Alan Browne and Callum Robinson netting 12 each in 2018/19.

Johnson was top scorer with 12 in 2019/20, Scott Sinclair’s nine leading the way last season.

Riis has really kicked on this season when you bear in mind he only scored three times in 2020/21, two of those in the league and once in the FA Cup.

He was in and out of the starting XI last season in what proved a difficult campaign behind closed doors.

The 23-year-old scored just eight minutes into this campaign to give North End the lead against Hull City on August 7.

He was subbed at half-time in a tactical reshuffle and came on as a sub in the next game at Mansfield Town in the Carabao Cup, scoring within four minutes.

Two more came at Morecambe in the next round of the cup and Riis found the net in the 3-1 win over Swansea at Deepdale.

He went through a stage of scoring late in games, an equaliser against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane kicking-off that trend.

Riis’ best goal of the lot was in the sixth-minute of stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw with Bristol City.

He met a cross from Brad Potts with a superb volley, the ball slightly behind him and needing an adjustment of position.

It was pipped to the post in the goal of the season vote by Cameron Archer’s winner against Blackpool. You have to think the opponents that night swayed the voting somewhat!

PNE manager Ryan Lowe wants more from Riis next season, 20 goals in the league perhaps a starting target as North End target more of an involvement higher up the Championship.