Preston are confounding expectations: North End fan Tim Mercer is enjoying the ride

David Nugent
David Nugent

For the second home game in a row the fans were treated to a six-goal thriller, as North End went nap this time around, taking all three points instead of a share of the spoils.

The half-time score of 1-1 hid a dominance by the hosts as they failed to take clear cut chances and fell asleep for a Barnsley corner just before the break.

Indeed, the only real negative of the past few games is Preston’s sudden inability to deal properly with set pieces.

A puzzle for us the fans that is no doubt frustrating the hell out of Alex Neil and his coaching staff.

However, whilst you have Daniel Johnson in such fine form and a flow of goals from all over the team no-one is getting grumpy as we all enjoy watching a squad that is confounding all the high spenders around them.

Never mind the ‘Preston Model’ currently being used as an exemplar in political circles for the crafty use of public sector resources within our beloved home town, this club is defying the current mad, and arguably unsustainable, spending by all but a handful of teams in the scramble for the promised land.

So, what happened in that first half? In my view we were finding it all a bit too easy, despite only being one-nil up instead of three when the Tykes equalised.

The visitors had a League One look about them as it is increasingly more difficult for teams that step-up from the level below.

The kick up the backside did the trick as Preston ruthlessly pressed home their superiority in the second period with another goal from Johnson and one apiece from Tom Barkhuizen, Ben Pearson (yes, it really was Ben for his second goal in three years!) and Josh Harrop.

Running Johnson a close second for man of the match was a blistering performance with pace from Barkhuizen which included assists as well as his coolly-taken strike.

Let us also note that a certain David Nugent started for the first time in a league match since his return.

His running and taking away of defenders was a crucial part of the pattern and we will forgive him for shanking a glorious chance towards the corner flag when he really should have scored.

Don’t worry David, in this team your time will come!