If there’s one thing you could say about the last home game of the season, it’s that the Lilywhites certainly went out with a bang at Deepdale. The tie against Sheffield Wednesday, a six-goal thriller, brought the curtain down on our home campaign for the 2018/19 season and what a game it was, finishing up 3-3.
The game was certainly entertaining to say the least, manager Alex Neil saying as much in his post-match comments and I think it was clear to see from the get go that we were going for it and we found ourselves 2-0 up inside 37 minutes with Jayden Stockley scoring his first goal of the season at Deepdale since he joined in January.
The goal for Stockley came about inside the opening 10 minutes after Paul Gallagher found Callum Robinson in space out on the left side and he whipped a ball into the Sheffield Wednesday box and Alan Browne flicked the ball on for his 5th assist of the season and Jayden Stockley duly finished off the move with an instinctive header.
Darnell Fisher played a freekick into Jayden Stockley who looked to be fouled but the ball fell to Joe Rafferty on the right side and his attempted cross into the box took a series of fortunate (for us) deflections and ended up looping over Owls ‘keeper Cameron Dawson and into the back of his net off the unfortunate Tom Lees. With that, the two teams headed into the dressing room for half time.
The Owls then pulled a goal back in the second half through a wonderful Barry Bannan strike that came within just 4 minutes of the restart and that certainly opened the game up. The next 3 goals in the game came inside the next 20 minutes with Alan Browne starting off the mini spell of goals.
The Irish man finished off a move that started with the debutant goalkeeper Connor Ripley. He played the ball upfield and Jayden Stockley won the ball ahead of Wednesday fullback Liam Palmer who nodded the ball onto Sean Maguire who got to the ball ahead of Chelsea loanee Michael Hector and it fell through to Alan Browne who made a run from deep and found himself in yards of space in the box and finished with a great effort on his left foot.
His 12th goal of the season, the joint highest with Jordan Hugill, that one player has scored for us since we returned to this level after winning in the play-off final in the 2014/15 season. That also makes him joint top of the goalscoring charts this season with Callum Robinson with 1 game to play.
Robinson’s goals to minutes ratio this season is exceptional, currently the second best of midfielders in the league this season (I think) with a goal every 165.3 minutes, behind only Mario Vrancic. That also puts him ahead of Jarrod Bowen who has a goal every 175.5 minutes, Harry Wilson who has a goal every 214.7 minutes and Gavin Massey who has a goal every 234.6 minutes.
Atdhe Nuhiu was introduced by Steve Bruce in the 67th minute and within 9 minutes he floated a ball over and found Fernando Forestieri who had floated between Jordan Storey and Ben Davies and nodded home past Connor Ripley. 2 minutes later Nuhiu would find himself on the scoresheet after beating Ben Davies to the ball in from Barry Bannan and again, nodded the ball past Connor Ripley to draw the scores level and that’s how things would end.
As we mentioned at the start of the piece, it was certainly an entertaining affair. Definitely one of the most entertaining games of football I’ve seen at Deepdale in a long time and the result, in the end, was probably a fair one in my opinion.
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