Preston North End skipper Alan Browne banishes his penalty demons
Alan Browne’s winner for Preston North End against Coventry City marked a return to penalty duties for the skipper.
The midfielder had not stepped up to the spot for six months, with him last on PNE penalty duty three years ago.
Browne found the net on Saturday after Ched Evans had been fouled by Coventry goalkeeper Ben Wilson.
He was the sixth different penalty taker for North End this season and the fourth to score.
For club, Browne last took one against Derby in April 2018 and missed it – his effort hitting the outside of the post. Before that he had been successful twice from the spot that season.
As for country, Browne saw a penalty saved during the shoot-out in the Republic of Ireland’s Euro qualifier play-off against Slovakia last October.
After beating Coventry, Browne admitted to having wanted to take a penalty for quite a while to try and banish the demons from the miss in Slovakia.
Others had been ahead of him in the pecking order though – that was until Saturday at St Andrew’s.
With Scott Sinclair on the bench, Paul Gallagher now on coaching duty and Daniel Johnson sidelined by injury, Browne got the job.
It was the 26-year-old’s fourth goal of the season, all of them delivering wins.
Browne had scored both goals in the 2-1 victory against Huddersfield last October, then the winner at Derby on Boxing Day in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Victory over Coventry at the Skys Blues’ hired St Andrew’s home delivered the points which ensured safety.
The penalty on Saturday was the 10th awarded to North End this season.
Of those, seven have been scored, with Daniel Johnson missing in the 3-0 victory at Reading while Gallagher and Evans both missed at Cardiff.
Johnson has converted three times from the spot, at Derby in the Carabao Cup and then against QPR and Bristol City in league action.
Sinclair tucked away both of his, at Norwich and then in the same QPR away game as Johnson.
Emil Riis found the net from the spot in the 4-1 defeat at Wycombe in the FA Cup.
Browne has moved level with Johnson, Evans and Tom Barkhuizen with four league goals this season.
Brad Potts is second-highest scorer with five, Sinclair leading the way with nine in the Championship.
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