Tom Barkhuizen on why his first league goal for Preston North End this season was perfectly timed

Preston North End winger Tom Barkhuizen was pleased with a timely return to the scoresheet in league action.

Monday, 23rd November 2020, 8:00 am

His first Championship goal of the season delivered the Lilywhites’ 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday – their first league win at Deepdale since July.

On a personal note, the 48th-minute volley warmed him up nicely for tomorrow night’s derby with Blackburn.

Barkhuizen has a decent scoring record against Rovers, finding the net four times in four meetings.

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Tom Barkhuizen (centre) after scoring the winner against the Owls

His winner in last season’s clash at Deepdale earned him the goal of the season award.

The 27-year-old’s finish on Saturday was a good one.

He was first to react to a punched clearance from Owls keeper Keiran Westwood, volleying home from just inside the box.

For Barkhuizen, it was a rare one with his left foot.

“I think it is the first left-foot shot I haven’t shanked,” said Barkhuizen.

“When the ball was coming towards me I kind of expected someone to be coming in the back of me.

“So as it came down it was a case of swinging my left foot and hitting the target.

“Thankfully I made a good connection.

“We’ve got another good game against Blackburn next – that will be interesting.

“They have been similar to us, they are on similar points, they’ve been up and down with their form.”

Barkhuizen’s goal early in the second half was well timed in the context of the game.

Wednesday had to play with 10 men from the 17th minute after Josh Windass was shown a red card for a high challenge on Joe Rafferty which caught the North End left-back in the chest.

A man down, the visitors sat deep and the remainder of the first half was hardly a spectacle. So scoring so soon after the break took away the need to chase the game.

Said Barkhuizen: “The sending-off killed the game, they went into damage limitation.

“Tony Pulis has just gone in there as manager and didn’t want to get beat three, four or five in his first game.

“When we had the ball they weren’t coming out to press us, so as long as we didn’t make any stupid mistakes we were going to be all right.

“We did give away a couple of silly corners which was frustrating but we kept telling each other to keep the ball, keep with the movement, try to bring them out.

“If they didn’t come out then we’d win the game 1-0.

“When they made a couple of subs I thought they might change but didn’t really .

“Myself and Scotty Sinclair were playing wing-back but we just stayed up the pitch because their wing-backs didn’t come out.”

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