Preston North End in numbers: Penalty kings at last!

Tuesday’s triumph over Hull on penalties was the first time in six attempts North End have won a penalty shootout in the League Cup competition, since the first attempt at Grimsby in 1998.

Friday, 30th August 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 30th August 2019, 2:00 pm
Alex Bruce scores from the penalty spot against Colchester in 1978

Daniel Johnson’s penalty double against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend made him the 12th PNE player to achieve this feat, and the first since Ian Bryson in December 1994 in a 4-2 home win over Hereford United.

Only one player has twice scored two in a game from the spot for North End, Alex Bruce doing so in home games in February 1978.

On February 4, he scored both goals from the spot in a 2-1 win over Carlisle and, less than four weeks later, a penalty double was amongst his four-goal haul as North End overcame Colchester United 4-0.

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Alex Bruce scored four goals  two from the penalty spot (pictured celebrating above)  against Colchester United in February 1978

Bruce could have been joined by Callum Davidson but the Scottish full-back was superstitious about taking more than one penalty in a game.

After scoring against Burnley at Deepdale, he handed over responsibility to Neil Mellor when a second was awarded later in the match. He did the same at Stockport in the League Cup the following season, Paul Hayes scoring the second penalty on that occasion.

Johnson’s three penalties already this season have taken him to joint eighth in North End’s all-time penalty scoring list, alongside Bruce and Steve Elliott on 10 each.

He will have Alex Dawson (12), Gary Brazil (13) and Davidson (15) in his sights but no one is ever likely to challenge Graham Alexander’s 52 penalties for the club.

In fact, Alexander’s record of 78 career goals from the penalty spot is almost certainly going to stand for a very long time.

Even more remarkable is that he only failed to score eight times from 86 attempts - a success rate of almost 91%.

He had six saved, hit the crossbar once and only missed the target completely on one occasion.

Strangely, all five penalties that he failed to score from at Deepdale were taken in front of the Bill Shankly Kop but their rarity is what makes them equally noticeable from 
Mr Reliable.