Preston North End Fans’ Panel’s John Roper hails positivity in late victory at Swansea
A fantastic performance and a first win at Swansea for 60 years for Frankie McAvoy’s Preston North End.
A goal in added time, once again, was enough to see this workaholic North End side take all three points and make it a very happy Easter for PNE fans after months of misery under the previous regime.
The interim manager sent out a team to try and get at Swansea and win the game and how refreshing was that after continually trying to negate the opposition instead of playing to our strengths.
Preston were dominant in the first half, closing down quickly when not in possession and making Swansea wonder just what was going on.
The home side upped the tempo early on in the second half but North End’s three centre-backs defended solidly, ably assisted by Van den Berg and Barkhuizen playing in the wide positions.
Evans and Riis really battled up front and Whiteman and Ledson just about kicked everything that moved in the middle of the Park.
McAvoy made two changes to the side that grabbed a point on Good Friday against Norwich City with Ben Whiteman and Brad Potts coming in to replace Daniel Johnson and Scott Sinclair.
North End lined up playing a 3-4-2-1 formation and were on the front foot right from the start.
Our first chance came in the seventh minute when a Whiteman shot was blocked and North End continued to be solid in the first quarter.
Storey then had a header saved and four minutes later Potts shot over the bar.
After 25 minutes Riis seemed to be fouled by the keeper when challenging but Mr Bankes waived play on.
Potts then had another shot saved at the neat post after North End’s best move.
Swansea’s first chance came 10 minutes from the break but the shot was blocked by Lindsay.
Right on half-time Evans turned the final defender and was pulled back only to see the Swansea man get a yellow card when it looked like a red card offence.
Potts unfortunately put the free-kick wide but North End had been the dominant side in a good first half performance.
No changes for either side at half time as the Swans were in serious need of lifting their game after being dominated by North End in the first half.
Swansea immediately tried to take the game to PNE in the early stages of the second half but we had two breakaways to warn the home side that we hadn’t just come for a point..
There was a shout for a penalty from a Potts shot as the game started to open up and become a little more end to end.
Lowe was booked for simulation and a shot from the home side was well saved as the game evened out.
Potts again shot over and immediately at the other end a Swansea effort went high, wide and handsome.
Sinclair for Riis and Molumby for Potts were the North End subs later on but with the game heading for a draw things took a dramatic twist.
In the 91st minute Scott Sinclair’s close-range shot was saved, only for Swansea skipper Grimes to help the ball into his own net and give Frankie McAvoy’s men all three points at Swansea in a fantastic winning performance.
So Frankie goes to Hollywood with a film-star performance that was music to the ears of North End fans, who have patiently sat at home and waited during this tough season for the club in the Championship.
Whilst we are not yet safe you have to feel that one more win from the last six games will comfortably ensure that Championship football is once again on offer at Deepdale next season.
McAvoy said he had the people in the right seats and that the last eight games of the season were about letting the players go out and express themselves.
Well they did just that in the Principality on this sunny Easter Monday afternoon and I bet they could hear the cheers 250 miles away at the end of the game. I know that one Swallow doesn’t make a summer but we have seen in the last four days how the squad can adapt when it has to and that the players clearly believe in what they are being told. Long may it continue.