Preston North End's main source of goals is still from midfield as strikers continue to struggle

The fact Daniel Johnson was Preston North End’s scorer in the Deepdale defeat to Cardiff again emphasised both the area they look to for goals and where there is a shortage.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 29th June 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 29th June 2020, 12:44 pm

Johnson’s goal, which briefly brought PNE level, was his 12th of the season – all in the Championship.

He is North End’s top scorer, one ahead of Tom Barkhuizen who has struck nine times in the league and twice in League Cup action.

It is PNE’s midfield which has supplied the bulk of league goals this season.

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David Nugent misses a great chance in Preston's defeat to Cardiff at Deepdale

In addition to Johnson’s dozen, there have been six from Paul Gallagher, Josh Harrop has five, Alan Browne four and Ben Pearson has netted once.

Along the frontline, there have been goals from wide areas but they have been in short supply down the middle.

Barkhuizen, to be fair, has scored some of his goals when playing centrally.

Jayden Stockley had two to his name although Saturday’s game was only his seventh league start.

Daniel Johnson celebrates his goal against Cardiff with PNE team-mate Sean Maguire

David Nugent’s only goal was in December against Fulham, while Louis Moult struck in the 3-0 win over Wigan before his season was ended by injury. Sean Maguire has four goals to his name, with those scored both playing down the middle and from the left wing.

Scott Sinclair’s pair of goals have come from either wing, cutting in from the right against Swansea in February and from the left at Luton.

Billy Bodin has two league goals to his name and another in the FA Cup.

The goal he scored against Nottingham Forest in August came in an emergency stint playing as a striker.

PNE midfielder Josh Harrop scoops a shot over the bar in the dying moments of the defeat against Cardiff at Deepdale

It has to be said that Bodin played the role well that day, almost as a ‘false nine’ rather than an out-and-out striker.

Three league goals have been supplied by defenders, Patrick Bauer with two headers from corners against Bristol City and Charlton.

The other was Joe Rafferty’s 20-yard shot at Swansea.

Chances went begging in the Cardiff box, notably the 90th-minute shot from Nugent which curled wide when it should have been nestling in the back of the net.

That would have made it 2-2 and surely have earned PNE a point.

Harrop scooped a sitter over the bar in stoppage time although it was 3-1 by then and the final whistle came not too long afterwards.