Memory match: Preston North End put five goals past Barnsley

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Preston North End put on a five-star show in their Deepdale clash with Barnsley in October 2019.

They were ruthless in the second half, four of their goals in the 5-1 victory coming after half-time.

Daniel Johnson scored twice, with Tom Barkhuizen, Ben Pearson and Josh Harrop the others are target.

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Pearson’s was a collector’s item, one of only two goals he scored in his five years with PNE.

Ben Pearson gets a hug from Alan Browne after scoringBen Pearson gets a hug from Alan Browne after scoring
Ben Pearson gets a hug from Alan Browne after scoring

The goal Johnson scored to set the ball rolling was a rarity too, only because it was a header.

It remains the only headed goal in the midfielder’s collection to this day.

North End’s five-goal haul made them the Championship’s top scorers at the time.

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They went third in the table too – a month later they went top for 24 hours.

David Nugent was given a first start of his second spell with Preston. He led the attack well, using his experience to pull the Tykes’ defence out of position and create room for team-mates.

Nugent wasn’t to get on the scoresheet, missing a good chance in the second half.

This was a game Alex Neil’s men were on the front foot in from the word go.

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They kept their foot on the gas throughout, the only fly in the ointment being Barnsley’s equaliser just before the interval.

PNE took a 31st-minute lead. Sean Maguire came inside off the left, fed a pass to David Nugent who picked out Barkhuizen with a fine ball.

Barkhuizen’s right-foot shot from just inside the box was parried by Brad Collins.

Johnson reacted first as the ball bounced off the turf, getting enough power in a header to take it back over the keeper into the net.

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Barnsley’s one chance on target all game resulted in a 43rd-minute equaliser.

PNE weren’t switched on to a corner routine, Cameron McGeehan able to turn the ball home from six yards. Neil’s men wrestled the lead back within five minutes of the start of the second half.

Johnson broke down the inside left channel, squaring it to Barkhuizen who took a touch on the run and steered it past the keeper.

North End’s third goal came in the 61st minute.

Paul Gallagher cushioned a pass through the Barnsley back line to free Johnson.

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One-on-one, Johnson chested it down and as he reached the box steered it round Collins.

Three minutes later North End got their fourth, a goal which was both clinical and rare. Barkhuizen won the ball in his own half and burst down the left.

Cutting inside he got into the box and fed it low to the far post where Pearson steamed in to lift a close-range finish into the roof of the net. Pearson hadn’t scored for PNE since October 2016 when finding the net against Aston Villa.

Harrop, on as a substitute, got the fifth goal in the 77th minute, Johnson’s pressing seeing the ball break into the substitute’s path. He lifted a shot over Collins, chasing it with the goalkeeper to make sure it went in.

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PNE boss Neil said: “We arguably could have scored 10 goals.

“We missed four sitters in the first half, there was the chance for David Nugent in the second half.

“At the end Brad Potts flicked one over which would have been goal of the season had it gone in.”

His Barnsley counterpart Daniel Stendel said: “You can see over the 90 minutes that both in the small things and the big situations we played like a youth team.

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“Bad touches, fouls and mistakes. At half-time, I thought it wasn’t our best half but we were 1-1 with one chance for us and that was a good result.

“The second half was the worst I can remember since coming to Barnsley. The players want to fight and never give up but after the games we have lost, we have lost a little bit of confidence and you can see each player.”