Tom Barkhuizen was happy to set up room mate Ben Pearson for his first goal in three years in Preston’s 5-1 hammering of Barnsley at Deepdale.
Barkhuizen had not seen Pearson score before, with the midfielder’s only other North End goal coming back in October 2016 against Aston Villa – that being before Barkhuizen joined the club.
PNE’s No.29 was surprised to see Pearson break into the box to bag the fourth of the day and took the chance to poke some fun in the midfielder’s direction.
“I didn’t know who it was running with me but it’s nice for Ben to get a goal," said Barkhuizen
“I’ve been saying to him every time we room together that he’s not scored since I’ve been here so when I looked up and saw him celebrating, to be honest, I couldn’t really believe it was him.
“I don’t think he’s hit the target with a shot while I’ve been here!
“And I like to remind him all the time ‘you want to be a ball player but you’ve got to score some goals.’
“Thankfully he’s tapped one in and he’s buzzing off it. I’m buzzing for him, we have a little bit of banter.
“The fact that we’ve both scored and that I set him up, it means a lot to us.”
Barkhuizen and Pearson both showed exceptional pace to create and score the goal.
When Barkhuizen showed the Barnsley defence a clean pair of heels down the left, Pearson’s lung-busting run from his own half took him to the far post to meet the cross.
Reflecting on the build-up, Barkhuizen said: “I had a split second where it was ‘can I shoot? Can I not shoot?’
“Once I realised I couldn’t bend it into the far corner,I looked up and saw some strange boots at the far post.
“It just shows that I’m not a selfish player, I’m not going to shoot when I don’t think I can.
“I’ve just rolled it across and he’s tapped it in.
“That made it four and the game’s over then. It was nice to celebrate with him.”
Barkhuizen felt the 5-1 win was an accurate reflection of how the game panned out.
The winger said: “Even in the first half when we let in a goal, we had been moving the ball around nicely.
“I think 5-1 summed it up pretty well, it was a great result and performance.”