Swansea 1, Preston North End 0: fan John Roper has his say on the defeat in Wales

Defeat for North End against newly relegated Swansea but I thought there were quite a few positives to take from the game.

Sunday, 12th August 2018, 12:16 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 11:40 am
Preston North End's Andrew Hughes, Ben Davies, Lukas Nmecha and Tom Clarke await a corner

Defeat for North End against newly relegated Swansea but I thought there were quite a few positives to take from the game.

That is four defeats from four trips to the Liberty Stadium but this was the nearest North End have come to taking anything from the Swans and in all honesty I thought we just about deserved a point on the day.

A great save from a penalty early on by Declan Rudd set the tone but uncharacteristically bad defending allowed Swansea to take the lead just after the half hour.

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It would have been easy for North End to crumble as we were under the cosh but we battled it out and produced a much improved second half display that only really lacked a goal.

I thought Lukas Nmecha was very good on his debut and will just need time to get used to his team mates before he begins to deliver.

The game kicked off in pouring rain with North End defending the end with their 800 very noisy fans behind them. I thought we looked tentative in the early stages of the game and gave the hosts far too much respect instead of expressing ourselves as we have done in the past.

The home side had a great chance to take the lead when Alan Browne ,conceded a penalty after 10 minutes but Declan Rudd saved superbly diving to his left to keep out McBurnie’s effort and to galvanise North End into action.

We had a couple of half chances at the other end but on 33 minutes Swansea took the lead with a Fulton header after North End failed to clear the ball from a free kick. It was a goal that Ben Davies will not want to remember after his poor header allowed the ball to played out wide and crossed in for the goal.

North End upped their game a little but few would argue that the home side deserved their half time lead.

The second half was a completely different story as North End came out with real purpose and took the game to Swansea right from the kick off. A Tom Barkhuizen effort was disallowed for a fairly clear handball on the right hand side but North End were making chances and plenty of them.

A Nmecha header went just wide as North End piled on the pressure and efforts from Barkhuizen and Josh Harrop had the home defence in a real spin. Nmecha then had another effort tipped over the bar and at this point it looked like when and not if North End would equalise.

As the game went on the hosts dropped deeper and deeper and seemed happy just to keep North End out.

A couple of late efforts couldn’t find the way past the substitute keeper and North End will reflect on what might have been if only the finishing had have been a little better.

Another disappointing trip to this part of South Wales but North End won’t be too downhearted particularly with their second half performance. Swansea are a good side and even though they have lost a few players since their relegation they will make it very difficult for a lot of teams in the Championship.

I thought we started a bit too tentatively but I was very encouraged by the debut on Nmecha and by the excellent performance in midfield by the North End talisman Ben Pearson.

The lad did the work of two men in the first half and there cannot be too many sides in the Championship who wouldn’t have Pearson in their starting XI.

Anyway that game has gone and after Morecambe on Tuesday we move on to another huge game on Saturday when we entertain Stoke in the late kick off live on Sky. It should be a cracking game and North End will be bursting to put things right after the reverse at the Liberty.