Skipper paid price for instinct

Paul Gallagher is shown the red card by referee Andy Madley at Newcastle (photo: Frank Reid)
Paul Gallagher is shown the red card by referee Andy Madley at Newcastle (photo: Frank Reid)
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Should he or shouldn’t he? North End skipper Paul Gallagher doing his best impression of Chris Maxwell in pulling-off a two-handed save on the line at Newcastle caused plenty of debate.

In the heat of the moment, instinct kicked in and the midfielder used both hands to stop a goalbound shot from Isaac Hayden going in.

Gallagher was criticised in the Wild West of social media, some questioning why he did not just leave it and ensure that PNE finished the game with a full team.

The majority of players would have done exactly what Gallagher did, their first thought to stop the opposition scoring.

Would it have been viewed differently had Maxwell saved the resulting penalty and the scoreline remained at 2-1?

Gallagher apologised on on Tuesday, tweeting: “Just want to apologise to everyone connected with PNE. I let everyone down.”

Had he stood and watched the ball go in, would that have prompted an apology too?

The boot was on the other foot a year ago when Preston got a penalty in the 2-1 win at Blackburn.

Rovers defender Shane Duffy handled a shot from Jordan Hugill on the line at Ewood Park and went for an early bath.

What put Gallagher’s red card into sharper focus was how PNE folded from there, Matt Ritchie scoring the penalty and Ayoze Perez netting the fourth soon after.

Gallagher will serve a one-match ban, missing Saturday’s home clash with Rotherham.

He was the sixth North End player to be sent off this season.

Alan Browne saw red in the EFL Cup defeat to the Magpies in October.

There was the fall-out between Eoin Doyle and Jermaine Beckford at Sheffield Wednesday which saw both sent off.

Beckford went again on Boxing Day against Leeds, which came within three minutes of his return from the first suspension.

In the reverse fixture with Leeds earlier this month, Alex Baptiste saw red for kicking out at Pablo Hernandez.

PNE are the third biggest sinners in the Championship, Nottingham Forest the bad boys of the division and then Reading. Forest have had nine red cards and 94 bookings, with Reading on five reds and 96 yellows.

In their 49 competitive games this term, North End have collected 91 cautions in addition to the six reds.