FOUR talking points from Preston North End's defeat against Millwall

Preston North End surrendered their lead and the points as they lost 2-1 to Millwall at The Den.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 8:00 am

A goal of the season contender from Ched Evans got the scoring underway, a stunner from 25 yards out on his left on the volley.

Scott Malone then seemingly didn't want to be outdone and let fly from similar distance as he carried the ball forward to find the top corner.

10 minutes from time, North End allowed a ball over the top to bounce, Daniel Iversen hesitated and Mason Bennett stole in to secure the three points for the Lions.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mason Bennett beats Daniel Iversen to the ball to score the winner.

Here are four talking points from the game...

1. See the game out.

It's quite simple, really.

PNE were second best in the second half but were on course for an important away point.

A lapse of concentration and a mistake then meant they left The Den with nothing.

Plenty of times we have seen the Lilywhites grind out results and manage game, whether it was using the dark arts or just by keeping things tight at the back.

However one simple ball over the top and a moment's hesitation from Iversen cost them all three points.

Whether or not you feel that North End should be looking for more than just a point and that is a negative attitude to take, that was their intention.

They had been outfought in the second half and on the balance of things a point would have done on the night, it's four points from two games and you move into the Bournemouth game with a little bit of momentum.

Win at home and draw away and you won't go far wrong over the course of the season.

But as we know with PNE this season, it's all or nothing.

They've drawn the least games in the entirety of the Championship, just four this campaign.

2. Tired legs.

With three games in a row and little changes to the line up, North End did look a bit jaded in the capital.

Rarely outfought, the Lilywhites were generally second best all over the park and lacking in quality.

That can happen and it could be a bad day at the office, but lapses in concentration and a lack of technique could also be signs of fatigue.

The surface at The Den was not helpful either, plenty of grass missing meaning it was going to be scrappy, a physical battle.

That takes a further toll on the legs.

The depth of the squad is also being pushed at this moment in time as injuries crop up which does ties the manager's hands in some regards.

It wouldn't be surprising to see some different personnel on Saturday.

3. Numbers depleting.

Alan Browne missed the clash with Millwall due to a knock, with not much else known about the injury.

He adds to a lengthening list of injuries that are limiting things for Alex Neil.

Huge congratulations must go out to Lewis Leigh for his first appearance on the subs bench for PNE, an first year scholar at the PNE academy.

With Neil having to call upon Leigh and Joe Rodwell-Grant, who has just a couple of games on the bench, it shows that numbers are running low.

The Scot did have a few options from the bench but perhaps not as many as he'd have liked and would normally have available.

4. Moments of magic.

It has to be said that there were two high quality goals in the game.

Ched Evans' strike running from right to left onto the ball, struck on his weaker left foot back across his body dipping into the corner of the net was sublime.

It takes confidence, technique and timing, all of which he has shown.

He's been a real bright spark since being installed into the Preston starting line up and to score such a memorable goal is what he's deserved - it's just a shame ther wasn't a travelling contingent from PR1 in the capital.

On the other side of the coin however, Scott Malone's strike must also be applauded.

He had time to get it out of his feet but to find the top corner in the manner that he did was still impressive.

Iversen is not normally a man beaten easily and the left back pulled an effort from the top drawer.

Other than the two screamers, the game did lack quality and wasn't the most pleasing on the eye but the first two goals of the game will be rewatched for a while yet.

The less said about the second Millwall goal the better.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here.