Extra bit of quality is lacking says Preston North End Fans’ Panel’s Tim Mercer

Mixed feelings for this fan leaving the ground as North End conceded a late equaliser in a match they should have won.

By Tim Mercer
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 12:30 pm

Having led from around the half-hour mark, it was frustrating to see an abundance of forward play in the first half just lacking that extra bit of quality needed to convert opportunities into goals. Sometimes the weight of a pass or unnecessary loss of possession were the culprits.

At other times it was decision making, as Birmingham made a real fist of it in a second half that forced Preston to rely more on counterattacks. An example was a breakaway when Ched Evans had a glorious opportunity to put Daniel Johnson in clear on goal, but instead chose to try a shot himself.

Don’t get me wrong, Evans was one of our best players on the day, putting in a real shift with no protection from a poor referee.

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Referee Andy Davies

Such a pity his strike partner, Emil Riis, was off-colour, especially with his touch in collecting forward balls and keeping possession.

However, he is young and in my view will continue to develop, being a real prospect at this level and maybe beyond. In the second period the visitors showed that in the Championship, just because you are in the lower reaches of the table, does not mean you are a bad team.

They upped their game and went for the equaliser with a triple substitution that paid dividends in those last four minutes of normal time.

Even then there was a touch of fortune, in that the normally reliable Patrick Bauer appeared to lose his man as a cross came in for their headed goal.

In truth, Bauer felt a niggle that forced him to pull up slightly whilst tracking the cross, allowing the Blues’ striker to get beyond him for a free header that gave Daniel Iversen no chance.

Food for thought then for the new manager as we look forward to welcoming Sheffield United to Deepdale on Tuesday evening for the rearranged Boxing Day clash.