John Smith’s Preston North End fans’ panel verdict: Time to give young striker a chance

On the day the pubs reopened there were no celebrations for me after this dour no-score draw left me feeling about as flat as a leftover pint in a plastic glass.

By John Smith
Sunday, 5th July 2020, 12:30 pm

We had never won at the aptly named John Smith’s Stadium in our four previous visits, going back to 1994, and a draw always looked like being the game’s likely outcome during our fifth one.

In the first half we were in control, restricting Huddersfield to just one hopeful long-range effort but as has been the case in recent games we lacked a cutting edge and were unable to produce an end-product inside our opponents’ penalty area despite some good approach play outside of it.

The second half was a dreary affair with my misery being magnified when the news came through from Bristol City that Cardiff had delivered a huge body blow to our flickering play-off hopes by scoring what proved to be a late winner.

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I tried to lift my deflated spirits by keeping the faith as we pressed in the game’s final moments but they then sank even lower when substitutes Sinclair and Maguire spurned decent chances.

In my opinion the result was even more disappointing because The Terriers, despite their position close to the drop zone, surprisingly seemed content to settle for a point.

In the first half Alan Browne excelled in his role as captain and together with the industrious Josh Harrop had looked like with a bit more luck they could have possibly carved out an opening.

Although in the second half their contributions faded a little I felt that when the two midfielders were replaced by two attackers, Stockley and Maguire, it disrupted our shape and actually weakened our attacking threat.

With our play-off dream now almost dead in the water and with all our regular forwards seemingly firing blanks I’d like to see young Ethan Walker playing some part in the remaining fixtures.