North End have finally picked up their second win and clean sheet of the 2018/19 Championship season after a comfortable 4-0 win over a lacklustre Wigan team. The win will have given Alex Neil’s side a much needed boost ahead of the international break.
After Wigan started the brighter of the two teams in the opening five to ten minutes, Tom Barkhuizen’s strike after 17 minutes sparked what turned out to be a comfortable win.
It was the forwards first league goal this season, whilst his celebration aimed at a minority of Preston fans was explained by the former Morecambe man on Twitter as ‘a bit of frustration coming out, the win is all that matters’.
In the second half it was more good work by Barkhuizen down the right hand side who found Daniel Johnson, who had another impressive performance after his goal against Aston Villa. The midfielder then found Callum Robinson who made it two.
Before the hour mark Wigan were down to ten men, Darren Gibson’s lazy and rash challenge on Ben Pearson earned him a straight red card.
In fact, Pearson’s booking earlier in the game was his fifth of the season, earning him a customary ban meaning he will be out of action until the 24th October.
The Lilywhites then got their third from the penalty spot. Lukas Nmecha, who brilliantly proved to be too much to handle for the Wigan defence all game won the penalty, with Paul Gallagher coming off the bench to score for the second game in a row.
It was then time for Sean Maguire to make his first appearance of the season. The striker was welcomed back to Deepdale after injury and assisted PNE’s last goal of the game, finding Robinson whose shot took a touch of a Wigan defender before making it 4-0.
Maguire will be going on international duty with the Republic Of Ireland, whilst Alex Neil ensured the management there will be closely monitoring the striker after his recent injury.
My Preston player ratings
Maxwell – 7
Fisher – 7
Clarke – 7
Storey – 8
Hughes – 7
Pearson – 8
Johnson – 8
Barkhuizen – 8
Browne – 7
Robinson – 8
Nmecha – 9
This win will give the Lilywhites a much needed boost going into the international break. Upon returning to action, North End will face bottom club Hull before a difficult trip down south when they will be up against Brentford.
Picture Credit: Preston North End/ Dave Kendall