John Roper’s Fans’ Panel verdict: Preston North End threw away two points

Heartbreak for North End at the CBS Arena as the hosts salvaged a point in the eighth minute of added time in a game that might be remembered as much for what the fans did rather than what the players did.

By John Roper
Sunday, 27th February 2022, 12:30 pm

Six minutes added time for several pitch invasions prior to our penalty turned into eight minutes and provided just enough time for the Sky Blues to level the game.

Two goals, a penalty, two sent off and a plethora of stewards chasing fans encroaching on to the field ensured there was no lack of entertainment for the 19,743 attendees. Preston will be kicking themselves for not holding on for all three points with both sides down to 10 men as we had defended well all afternoon.

A good solid away performance from Ryan Lowe’s boys but the icing on the cake was just snatched away from us by Coventry in the most cruel of endings to the game. Lowe made just one change to the side that drew with Forest on Tuesday with Josh Earl coming in to replace the injured Patrick Bauer. Coventry are a good footballing side and started the game on the front foot.

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Daniel Iversen (right) looks on as Coventry City’s Fabio Tavares (not pictured) scores Coventry’s equaliser

They had a couple half-chances early on but in all honesty in took North End a good quarter of an hour to get into the game. 
Ched Evans had the best chance of the game just before the half hour mark but the goalkeeper made an excellent save.

North End started the better in the second half and Evans, once again, was the first on the PNE side to make the goalkeeper work with a header saved. Johnson then had a shot before Sepp van den Berg made a superb last-ditched tackle to deny Waghorn a great chance.

Lindsay was shown a red with six minutes to go for a second yellow but it was North End who looked like taking all three points when Riis was brought down and Dabo sent off. DJ coolly put the penalty away after a few pitch incursions but with more than 97 minutes played, PNE conceded a free-kick which eventually led to Tavares curling a beautiful shot past Iversen.

Given the circumstances there is no doubt in my mind that this is two points lost and North End must learn quickly to put these types of games to bed once we are in the ascendancy.

Ryan Lowe himself was fuming at the end and although I try not to make a habit of criticising referees I am afraid Mr Stroud must be one of the poorest officials presiding over games in the Championship. Three needless bookings in the first half and the official had made a rod for his own back.

The second drawn game in five days 
that should have been a win and although the manager will vent his anger at the 
referee, he must be thinking that we are throwing 
points away by our own limitations.

A fantastic turnout of 2,594 made plenty of 
noise and the manager and all the players came over at the end to show their appreciation for the wonderful support given by the 
faithful.