Fans’ Panel’s John Roper on a frustrating night for Preston North End

A fourth home draw on the trot saw North End and Huddersfield share the points in a goal-less stalemate at Deepdale.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 8:00 am

Preston probably won the contest on points but in all truth a draw was probably a fair result although North End had a big claim for a penalty shout in the second half.

We started brightly enough in the first half but the Terriers came back into the game and posed one or two threats that I thought we dealt with quite well on the evening.

Our best chance was just before the break through Ched Evans but the visitors were always a threat on the counter-attack.

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Brad Potts crosses under pressure from Huddersfield Town's Duane Holmes

After the break I thought North End were undoubtedly the better side but just couldn’t find that through ball and that penetration that would have made all the difference in this encounter.

Alas, it wasn’t to be and both sides went home with a point that I felt suited Huddersfield much more than it suited North End.

Ryan Lowe made two changes from the starting line up at Hull on Saturday with Evans coming in for Emil Riis and Daniel Johnson coming back in for the unlucky Ali McCann.

In all honesty there were very few clear-cut chances in a first half that favoured North End early on but saw Huddersfield come more into the game as the half went on.

Both sides seemed content to sit a little deeper and wait for the opposition to come to them before snuffing out the threat in what became a real game of chess in the middle of the park.

That is not to say that there wasn’t some decent football played, there was, but that final incisive pass was not forthcoming from either side as the game became squeezed and tight in midfield.

Our best chance came three minutes from the break when a good move involving Archer and Johnson ended up with Evans shot being saved and the teams went in level at the break.

No changes for North End at half-time as we kicked towards the Town End and looked to find that moment of magic that would give us all three points.

North End certainly started the better and with about 10 minutes gone Archer had a shot saved that just didn’t quite have enough power on it.

North End had a lucky escape when Alan Browne cleared a cross from the right that would have been a tap in had the Irishman not have got a foot to it.

Archer then shot over as Riis was introduced in place of Evans and the Danish striker certainly did his utmost to try and win the game for North End.

With just over five minutes left PNE had a huge shout for what looked like a stonewall penalty as Riis was tripped in the box but referee Jones, incredibly, waived play on and North End were left to rue what might have been on a cool February evening under the light at Deepdale.

So it wasn’t to be for North End on an evening when we didn’t get the rub of the green with the one huge decision that didn’t go our way.

A disappointing crowd of just 11,120 inside Deepdale probably due to the fact that the game was live on Sky.

Nevertheless the fact that less than 10,000 home supporters were inside the stadium must be very frustrating for the club who are doing their best in my opinion to get the club going again and get the city behind them.

Ten league games gone for Ryan Lowe and 17 points collected with four wins, five draws and just one defeat at Swansea.

That is very close to being play-off form since the new man came in and although its a tough ask this time, around the medium term prospects look good for North End with Lowe at the helm.

The bandwagon moves on to Peterborough on Saturday as North End look to continue their impressive away form under the new manager.