Preston North End 1 Blackpool 0 match report: Derby delight for PNE with Aston Villa loanee the matchwinner

Who put the ball in the Blackpool net? Super Cameron Archer did!

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 10:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 12:25 am

The young striker, borrowed from Aston Villa, probably didn’t know much about this derby when he first arrived from the Midlands.

But he will do now, Archer the hero as he settled a keenly-contested game in North End’s favour.

Archer struck in first-half stoppage-time latching on to a superb pass from Emil Riis to fire a low shot past former PNE goalkeeper Chris Maxwell.

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That goal, his sixth in Preston colours, sufficed for three points as the Lilywhites held on to their advantage with some organised play and counter-attacking football.

Their defence rarely looked like being breached, the closest Blackpool got being a late free-kick from Keshi Anderson which travelled just over.

North End twice hit the woodwork in the first half before the goal, efforts from Andrew Hughes and Brad Potts hitting the bar.

Victory avenged defeat in the reverse fixture at Bloomfield Road in October, this performance on a different planet to the tame one by the seaside.

Cameron Archer scores Preston North End's winner against Blackpool at Deepdale

Before kick-off a giant surfer flag with an image of Sir Tom Finney on was passed along the Alan Kelly Town End, fans later breaking into a seventh minute applause in honour of the PNE and England legend who would have been 100 today.

In the 10th minute, Archer and Alan Browne exchanged passes, Seasiders goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw diving at the feet of Archer as he chased Browne’s pass into the box.

Archer caught Grimshaw in the face and the keeper needed 10 minutes of treatment on the pitch before being carefully lifted on to a stretcher and being taken to the dressing room.

It broughtMaxwell into the action, Maxwell only himself having returned to the squad recently after a long-term injury.

Preston North End's Cameron Archer celebrates with Alan Browne

After the long delay it took a little while for the tempo to pick up again, before a couple of chances came at both ends.

Ben Whiteman blocked a shot from Josh Bowler in the box, while Archer saw a shot deflected behind after Daniel Johnson had intercepted a stray pass and played him in.

Twice North End struck the woodwork, Hughes seeing his header from Whiteman’s corner hit the bar and bounce over.

Then in the 36th minute, the hosts counter-attacked with Browne feeding a pass out to Potts on the right.

Potts’ cross caught a deflection and looped against the bar, Browne losing his footing as he rushed in to meet the rebound.

In the scramble that followed, Greg Cunningham’s shot hit Browne who was still on the floor and went behind.

Riis sent a low shot straight into Maxwell’s gloves after coming inside off the right channel before North End took the lead in the second minute of the 11 added on by referee David Webb for Grimshaw’s injury.

The goal came from a Blackpool corner, with the Lilywhites defending the box and then breaking up field, Potts’ pass feeding Riis down the right.

Riis carried it forward before sweeping low ball across the pitch to find Archer, the Aston Villa loan man taking a touch to push the ball into the box before drilling a low shot past Maxwell into the far bottom corner.

Three-and-a-half sides of the ground erupted, flares went off, the noise was deafening as Archer celebrated with his team-mates.

The frantic pace of the game continued in the second half, leading to the action become rather scrappy.

In the 68th minute, Whiteman delivered a free-kick from the right-wing into the box. It was cleared back towards him, the midfielder meeting it into the box and hitting a shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Ali McCann was introduced off the bench in the 73rd minute, replacing Cunningham in the left wing-back slot.

North End shouted loudly for a penalty as the game moved into the 85th minute, Whiteman’s shot appearing to strike Marvin Ekpiteta on the arm.

For a moment it looked like Mr Webb was going to give it after looking across at his assistant before he gave a goal kick.

Blackpool went close in the 90th minute when Alan Browne’s foul on Bowler brought the visitors a free-kick just outside the box.

Anderson took the free-kick, it travelling just inches over Daniel Iversen’s bar.

Archer got clear on the break late in stoppage-time but shot wide when team-mates were better placed.

It mattered not when the final whistle went, sparking wild celebrations among the PNE faithful.

PNE: Iversen, Van den Berg, Bauer, Hughes, Whiteman, Potts, Browne, Johnson, Cunningham (McCann 73), Archer, Riis. Subs (not used): Ripley, Earl, Diaby, Sinclair, Murphy, Maguire.

Blackpool: Grimshaw (Maxwell 20), Connolly, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Husband, Dougall (Virtue 82), Robson, Bowler, Hamilton (Lavery 64), Anderson, Madine (Yates 77). Subs (not used): Thorniley, James, Dale.

Referee: David Webb (County Durham)

Attendance18,740 (2,153 away)