Performance against Peterborough was much improved, says Preston supporter John Roper
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Darren Ferguson returned to Deepdale with his newly promoted team but save for a last kick of the game scare, North End were comfortable enough and if our finishing had have been anything like, we would have won this game by a much bigger margin.
This certainly was not vintage North End but it was undoubtedly a few levels higher that what we have been dealt so far this season.
North End passed the ball quicker and showed much more energy against Posh, dominating the battle in midfield where Ben Whiteman stood out taking control and picking the ball up on many occasions from the back three.
I also thought we just looked calmer and more assured with Patrick Bauer back in the side and while the big German may not be the quickest his experience is absolutely vital.
Frankie McAvoy made four changes to the side that suffered a horrible defeat at Huddersfield on Tuesday with Bauer, Ryan Ledson, Scott Sinclair and Sean Maguire coming into the side. North End started the game well without making too many chances and when they did make a clear cut chance it was to win us all three points.
A Ledson free kick out on the left found Bauer unmarked in the box and his header hit the back of the net in spite of the flailing effort of Pym in the visitors’ goal. North End were controlling the game with the spine of Bauer, Ledson and Daniel Johnson dictating the play in the areas that mattered.
North End had a few chances as the game moved past the half hour mark with Johnson and Whiteman having good efforts,however the best chance fell to Sinclair who could not find a way past Pym with a one-on-one which would surely have settled the game had it gone in.
No changes for North End after the break with the manager quite happy to continue with the XI on duty in the first half. Peterborough didn’t really have a goal threat in the first half but with recent results you always felt a little nervous that the visitors might be able to create something out of nothing and steal a point that they didn’t really deserve.
Sure enough it was left to Sepp van den Berg to make a fantastic block almost on the goal line when Siriki Dembele had the visitors best chance of the game.
I really like the look of the Liverpool loanee and I think he will have a big part to play for North End this season.
Sinclair and Whiteman then had further chances for North End before a well worked corner found Bauer at the back post and his header was met by Andrew Hughes who flashed a header just wide of the post.
With the five additional minutes played a long ball found Clarke-Harris who looked certain to make it 1-1 but it was Daniel Iversen to the rescue with a great save bang on full time to give North End the win and all three points.
So North End finally get their first points on the board with what was a more accomplished and energetic display than we have seen in recent weeks. While a win is a win I wouldn’t quite be singing the “going up” song just yet and although we have climbed out of the bottom three there is still much work to do at Deepdale both on and off the field.
This was a solid win but with all due respect to Peterborough there will be tougher tests ahead for McAvoy and the boys and I am sure the manager is aware of that.
This looked a better balanced side to me and the impact Bauer coming back had cannot be over estimated.
Plenty of contenders for man of the match this week with Whiteman, Johnson and Bauer being the pick of a generally decent performance all round. My vote just goes to the goalscorer who impact was crucial to this victory at both ends of the park.
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