Preston North End Fans’ Panel: John Smith

Alan Browne put in a man-of-the-match performance
Alan Browne put in a man-of-the-match performance

Not for 40 years have I seen my team record such an emphatic victory over our neighbours.

I couldn’t get enough of this game as it felt like I was greedily gorging on an extra creamy rich trifle without pausing for a sip of water in between throughout the whole 90 minutes. A large banner held up as the two teams shook hands before the game proclaimed North End as the Pride of Lancashire and that will certainly be the case for a while around the local workplaces as bragging rights were restored following this resounding win. The win stretched Preston North End’s unbeaten run to eight games and narrowed the gap between ourselves and Blackburn Rovers to just five points – a deficit which could be pulled back before the Christmas period. A few weeks ago Rovers were being touted as play-off contenders while we were rooted to the bottom of the table. But what happened last month or last season is irrelevant and just shows what a crazy and competitive league the Championship is. The Rovers keeper wore a mask which made him look more like a comic book superhero but it was Alan Browne who was our Caped Crusader and started the show with an early crash and bang in claiming two assists when setting up goals for Callum Robinson and Tom Barkhuizen, before capping off a man-of-the-match performance by smashing the ball into the net for the final ‘kapow’ to complete the walloping five minutes from time. In between, Rovers had a period of pressure just before and after the interval which yielded a goal. But North End’s supersub Louis Moult restored the two-goal advantage and he must surely now be overdue a full start with the games coming thick and fast in the period leading up to the New Year.