Dave Seddon's match verdict: Preston North End 2 Newcastle United 1

The penalty spot was central to Preston North End’s welcome victory over Newcastle United – their first over the Magpies for nearly 40 years.

By Dave Seddon
Sunday, 28th July 2019, 12:56 am
Updated Sunday, 28th July 2019, 1:56 am
Paul Gallagher fires home his and Preston's second penalty against Newcastle United at Deepdale
Paul Gallagher fires home his and Preston's second penalty against Newcastle United at Deepdale

Paul Gallagher found the net twice from the circle of whitewash in front of the Alan Kelly Town End.

Redemption had earlier come the way of Declan Rudd at the Bill Shankly Kop end of Deepdale when he saved a penalty from Migi Almiron.

Having been beaten by Jonjo Shelvey’s long range free-kick when he shouldn’t have been, Rudd denying Almiron altered the destiny of this pre-season friendly.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Preston midfielder Alan Browne goes to ground under a challenge from Matt Ritchie

Had Almiron scored, the Magpies would surely have gone on to win and sent home their travelling fans in a damn sight happier mood than they in fact left Lancashire.

Instead, Gallagher’s two penalties in the space of 11 minutes swung the contest in North End’s favour and saw them conclude pre-season with a win.

Although friendly results count for nothing in the long run, victory was both welcome and much-needed for PNE.

They hadn’t exactly shone in the previous three games, defeats to Southampton and Fleetwood sandwiching a draw with Accrington.

Jonjoy Shelvey gives Newcastle the lead against Preston with a free-kick

The mood among a section of the fans was also a touch flat due to the current impasse in the transfer market.

So a win in Saturday’s rain was not to be sniffed at, even if it will soon be forgotten as thoughts turn to the season’s opener at Millwall.

Events for Rudd showed how fortunes for a keeper can ebb and flow in the space of a few minutes.

Rudd would have felt good about himself after making a fine reaction save with his left foot from a Shelvey shot which had taken a big deflection.

PNE striker Sean Maguire splashes through a challenge with Newcastle's Paul Dummett

When a few minutes later Shelvey’s 30-yard free-kick was to deceive him and loop into the net off his hand, the No.1's mood would have dipped.

Back up it shot a minute into the seccond half when Rudd got to Almiron’s spot kick to parry away.

Step forward Gallagher to show his Toon counterpart how to do it better.

Will it be Rudd or Connor Ripley who starts at Millwall? Until recently, I would have wagered on it being Ripley.

Paul Gallagher is congratulated by Alan Browne after scoring Preston's second goal against Newcastle

But it looks like Rudd has edged back in front if we are to take Friday and Saturday’s team selection as a guide.

The side which lined-up against Newcastle won’t be far off the one which starts at the Den next weekend. Friday night’s team for the defeat at Fleetwood didn’t quite have the same strength.

Another scenario would be a new goalkeeper coming in but assuming things stay as they are this week, the clever money would be on Rudd.

The Magpies have proved unlucky for Preston down the years, the last time PNE beat the Geordies being in the old Second Division in August 1979.

It’s been eight for sorrow and one draw since then in competitive meetings, so some satisfaction had to be taken from this win even with its friendly status.

Arranged at little more than a week’s notice, the game served a useful purpose for both sides.

Preston boss Alex Neil was able to split his squad between this game and the Fleetwood trip, pushing 20 players through 90 minute run-outs.

Neil had craved a work-out against a Premier League side, with him of the view that the original friendly schedule had looked a little under-done.

He’ll have been impressed with the performances of Tom Clarke, Andrew Hughes, Alan Browne and Patrick Bauer in particular, while realising that there’s attacking work to do.

For Newcastle, this was a first game back on English soil after a trip to China.

Steve Bruce had a look at 20 of the players he’s inherited in taking the Toon job. Their £40m record buy Joelinton won’t forget his Newcastle debut in a hurry.

The Brazilian striker won a penalty, gave one away and got soaked by the Preston rain in his 45 minutes on the pitch.

Shelvey broke the deadlock in the 39th minute, Browne’s trip on Fabian Schar - who had galloped forward from deep in his own half - giving away a free-kick.

From distance Shelvey drove it right-footed, Rudd getting a glove to it but seeing the ball spin back behind him into the net.

Bauer’s trip on Joelinton brought Newcastle a 46th minute penalty, Rudd diving to his right to parry Almiron’s effort from 12 yards.

PNE were back in it at the hour mark, Clarke’s cross from side of the box striking Jamie Sterry on the arm.

Sterry did appear to move his arm away from his body to block and referee Michael Salisbury pointed to the spot.

Gallagher went low to the keeper’s right to score and got to step up again soon after.

Joelinton clipped Bauer as they moved to meet Clarke’s knockdown. Gallagher this time went for the other side and was just as successful.

Rudd preserved the lead by saving from Jack Colback in a one-on-one, while Brad Potts put a chance for North End over the bar with the last kick of the game.