Play off hopefuls Reading given masterclass by PNE
Saturday 11th March – 3pm kick off – Deepdale – Sky Bet Championship
Preston gave fifth placed Reading a masterclass in how to play football without a lot of possession. Preston had just 37% possession in their victory over Reading, scoring 3 superb goals, which could have been more.
Jaap Stam’s men enjoy playing with the ball at their feet, this was evident during the
opening 20 minutes or so, where Preston soaked up the pressure and Maxwell’s goal was threatened by Grabban, Obita, McCleary and Kermorgant within the opening spell, Maxwell and Clarke putting their bodies on the line to defend the goal. However, this uncertain 20 minutes was put behind the boys in white who went on top to ultimately, comfortably win the game.
The 10,787 fans inside Deepdale were treated to some tricky football. Firstly, Paul Huntington successfully completed a sweet back heel in the visitors half, which delighted the home fans, a resounding ‘ooh’ could be heard. Aiden McGeady also confirmed he has the quickest feet, by taking it past the Royal’s defender Joey van den Berg, placing him on his backside before the ‘keeper had to parry his shot away.
Barkhuizen’s first goal won Sky Bet’s goal of the weekend which just shows how good it was, definitely one that made people sit up and take note of him. A fine cross by Horgan, Barkhuizen curled it in the top corner from the edge of the area leaving Al Habsi no chance.
Barkhuizen then led a beautiful counter attack, almost running the entire length of the field from a Reading corner. The run which saw him leave behind multiple Reading players, led him to leave the. ball for Horgan who had two attempts, the first saved by the visiting ‘keeper, to convert the counter attack into a goal.
Andy Boyle impressed on his home debut, hardly putting a foot wrong. He also assisted Barkhuizen’s second, and Preston’s third to seal the victory. Preston could’ve had more goals with McGeady, Cunningham and Barkhuizen all having chances to increase the goal difference.
A fantastically uplifting performance from Grayson’s boys in white – a complete contrast from the Fulham performance, meant Preston have won four straight league games at Deepdale, keeping the play off dreams alive.