Fans’ Panel: Upward curve gives Preston North End hope for the season says John Roper

It was an Archer who tamed the Tigers at the MKM Stadium as on loan striker Cameron Archer scored the only goal for North End early in the second half.

By John Roper
Sunday, 6th February 2022, 12:30 pm

The young striker took a superb ball from Whiteman and slotted past the Hull keeper to send the large travelling contingent home very happy.

It was a fairly open game with the home side on top early on but PNE got into the game and with chances at both ends the sides could have easily gone in 2-2 at half time.

Brilliant saves and the woodwork kept the scoreboard empty at the interval as Preston kicked towards their fans in the second half.

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Alan Browne had just had a goal disallowed early in the second half before Archer settled the game in the 52nd minute and North End were on their way to a third away win under Lowe and a third clean sheet for the defence in as many games.

North End made three changes to the side that drew at Millwall in midweek with Browne, Archer and Patrick Bauer coming in for Liam Lindsay, Ryan Ledson and Ched Evans.

The Tigers had plenty of possession early on but about halfway through the first half Hughes hit the underside of the crossbar. A little later at the other end, Daniel Iversen made a world-class save from a Tom Eaves header as it looked like the home side would take the lead. No changes for PNE at half-time as Browne had the ball into the net inside five minutes only for the goal to be ruled out for handball.

North End didn’t have to wait much longer to take the lead, though, as Whiteman dinked a delightful ball over the standing Hull defence and Arched collected with aplomb and finished past Ingram in the same style.

The Championship table is a little bit skewed at the moment with some teams having games in hand but North End climbed into the top half with this victory for, I think, the first time this season.

I think the most pleasing thing about this last group of four games have been the three clean sheets, all away from home.

It’s easy to get carried away after a good win, especially away, and it is probably true to say we have drawn a couple that we 
could have won. However slowly but surely the team are starting to climb the table and if North End can continue on the upward trend then we might have something to play for by the time April comes around.

Way too early to be getting excited at the moment but I think Ryan Lowe knows his best eighteen players and of the starting line-up on Saturday, probably only Daniel Johnson for Ali McCann would be in Lowe’s favoured starting XI.

Anyway it’s a squad game and they will all have a job to do before the end of the season. N

ow just whisper it very, very quietly but if we carry on the way we are then the bandwagon might just be coming out of mothballs after a long time in storage.