First half performance was worst I have seen in a long time, Preston fan Tim Mercer has his say on game against Derby County

A large crowd and sea of flat caps reminded me of my early days as a child watching my beloved Preston North End as the club paid a fine tribute to the sudden death of our owner and oft-times saviour, Mr Trevor Hemmings.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 4:00 pm

Such a pity the game did not match the occasion, as a very poor Preston came away with an undeserved point against a Derby side with some real quality in their ranks.

To be frank, the first half must be one of worst performances at this level for a long time, and that includes the opening debacle against Hull City. On the few occasions when the Lilywhites did get the ball, they were devoid of any ideas or creativity whenever they tried to move in a forward direction.

Daniel Iversen was again man of the match by a country mile, pulling off a series of fine saves in both halves that kept us in the game, and it came as no surprise to this fan to hear some booing as the players trudged down the tunnel at the end of the first period.

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Ben Whiteman and Daniel Johnson in the thick of the action

There was a distinct improvement in the second half, with the substitutions adding to the better play and the game feeling more even.

The continued heroics of Iversen meant that it was North End who should have really stolen the points in the closing stages when Emil Riis was put through on goal by Daniel Johnson. I have to say he doesn’t look confident in one-on-ones and his scuffed effort was easily saved by the visiting keeper.

Worryingly for me is the lack of any cutting edge that is now pointing to a long hard season ahead. Yes we are hard to beat, as the number of draws shows, but a point a game is relegation form and needs addressing soon to give the club a boost and maintain our Championship status against a backdrop of a more uncertain future.

Saturday was not the time for speculation and the Hemmings family will need time to grieve before the next chapter in our ownership and direction unfolds in the near future.

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