PNE ‘keeper Chris Maxwell is top of the stops after QPR clean sheet

Preston North End's Chris Maxwell
Preston North End's Chris Maxwell

Chris Maxwell was back to keeping it clean in Preston’s victory against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend and went top of a statistics table as a result.

The North End keeper’s clean sheet was his sixth at Deepdale this season.

That is the most shut-outs by a goalkeeper in home matches in the Championship together with Derby County’s Scott Carson.

Maxwell kept it clean in four of PNE’s first five home games of the campaign against Sheffield Wednesday, Reading, Cardiff and Millwall.

The fifth came in the 0-0 draw with Bolton last month, then he was not beaten by the QPR attack.

Playmakerstats have put together the list of clean sheets in the division.

Cardiff’s Neil Etheridge and Middlesbrough’s Darren Randolph are behind Maxwell and Carson with five home blanks.

Nine keepers have kept four clean sheets in front of their home faithful.

In total, Maxwell can boast eight clean sheets this term.

The Welshman has kept two on the road, both of them coming in August at Leeds and Middlesbrough. Maxwell has established himself as PNE’s first-choice keeper over the last 15 months.

He has played 59 league games on the bounce, the first of those having come against Wigan in September last year.

Last season, Maxwell kept 10 clean sheets in the league and one in the League Cup.

Against QPR, he needed to make a good save from Jack Robinson in stoppage time to preserve North End’s lead.

Robinson had pushed up from the back, hitting a swerving shot from outside the box which Maxwell dived to his right to save.

After the game, PNE boss Alex Neil said: “Maybe I’m doing Chris a disservice here but if he hadn’t made that save I wouldn’t have been happy.

“But any save you make to keep the ball out of the net is a good one in my book and it was great to get the clean sheet and the victory.”

Pushing Maxwell for the gloves is Declan Rudd, now that the former Norwich City man has recovered from a thigh injury.

Rudd pulled up with the problem in the first friendly game of the summer against Bamber Bridge – he suffered a similar injury while on loan at Charlton last season.

While he managed to make the bench for the first game of the season, the next time Rudd was in a matchday squad was against Bolton.