North End did not do enough to win, says Preston supporter John Roper
A narrow defeat for North End at a wet and windy Loftus Road to end our nine match unbeaten run and to, once again, force eyes to glance at the league table where North End appear in the lower reaches.
I wouldn’t agree with Sean Maguire who said we did enough to win but I did think we probably did enough to get the draw.
A topsy turvy game that swung one way and then the other as North had the lead at one stage only to blow it in spectacular fashion conceding two goals in two minutes.
There was a spell after North End took the lead when we looked like we were on top and going to win the game. But a slip followed by some poor clearance accompanied by some shock marking saw Rangers take the three points and leave PNE looking anxiously over their shoulder once again as they were after the three defeats in the league at the start of the season.
Just one change to the side at Shepherds Bush with Ali McCann coming in for the unlucky Ben Whiteman in the centre of midfield. North End started well enough but the home side took the lead with the first shot on goal, in the 16th minute, when Greg Cunningham failed to clear and Dykes followed up to score from close range.
The home side looked dangerous on the attack but North End held firm even with the experienced Andrew Hughes. McCann limped off after twice having his ankle clattered and was replaced by Alan Browne.
Two minutes later North End were level when Emil Riis scored No.8 of the season. The Dane was put through in the inside left position with a great ball from Maguire and he calmly slotted home past the Rangers keeper.
North End finished the half the better and went off at the interval full of energy and looking the team most likely in the second half. Unfortunately Patrick Bauer took a knock in the first half and was replaced by Liam Lindsay at half-time.
No doubt in my mind that not having Bauer and Andrew Hughes in the side in the second half, was the major contributing faction to this defeat in spite of individual errors. However North End were in the lead within a minute of the restart as Josh Earl fired home a Maguire cross from close range.
For 10 minutes it looked like North End would run away with this game but the chance passed and Dunne knocked the ball home from close range when North End failed to clear.
Before you could blink the home side were in the lead with three defensive errors helping Chair to have a clear shot on goal and to score, what turned out to be, the winner.
North End tried hard in the last fifteen minutes but never really looked liked scoring and Ranges claimed their second home win in four days as North End slumped to a fourth league defeat.
This was a decent game and although North End were never outplayed you always felt nervous when QPR were attacking and hopeful when North End were attacking.
I don’t think we did ourselves justice in London on Saturday if I am be brutally honest for as much as QPR looked lively in attack they could certainly be got at round the back as North End proved on several occasions.
I thought Earl and Sepp van den Berg, once again, gave North End some width and that the front two worked their socks off. However, man of the match for me was Ryan Ledson who played the ball wide with aplomb and was always ready to collect the ball and recycle it wherever needed.
So 11 points from the first 11 games for North End and it doesn’t need a genius to work out that is relegation form in anybody’s book. Much work to do for boss Frankie McAvoy over this two week international break as the points need to start coming in threes not ones.
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