John Smith’s Preston North End fans’ panel: ‘Worthy’ winners thanks to old head Paul Gallagher

Paul Gallagher's trademark penalty was crucial
Paul Gallagher's trademark penalty was crucial

Huddersfield had not won at Deepdale for half a century since November 1969 when two goals from Frank Worthington helped them to a 3-1 victory.

Worthington – once dubbed the working man’s George Best – joined North End 18 years later during the 1986/87 promotion season run-in and his years of experience were important in settling the nerves of some of the younger players in a dressing room Worthington himself described as one of the happiest he had ever been a part of.

On Saturday Paul Gallagher, who has been doing a similar job to that of Worthington for the last couple of seasons, walked off with the man of the match award despite only being on the pitch for just over an hour, such was his influence.

It took just four minutes for him to make his mark on the game when his free-kick hit the post and rebounded out for Jayden Stockley to head in the game’s opening goal.

With Ben Pearson and Daniel Johnson missing, Gally took control of the midfield dictating the play in a first half which we totally dominated, and should of gone into the break more than two goals up against a side who were in the Premier League last season and who had not lost for seven games.

After the early goal the ground was buzzing like in the old days and it seems that after all these years of disappointment this time there appears to be a firm belief that we can achieve something special this season.

When Gally made it 3-0 with a trademark penalty just after the break we took our foot off the gas and allowed The Terriers more possession.

However their bark lacked little bite and they only managed to pull one goal back, which meant it was our fans who were “wagging their tails” at the end of the game as the three points meant that we would be spending a second successive weekend in the automatic promotion places.

When Paul Gallagher pens his footballing memoirs they might not be as colourful as Frank Worthington’s “ One Hump or Two” but maybe this week will feature in them as the one in which players and fans started to believe a top-two place was possible.