We are top of the league, say we are top of the league! As a North End fan, it’s been a long time since I have been able to say that and though it may only be until tomorrow night, I am absolutely buzzing that we are top of the Championship for the first time since 2006.

Today’s game was nail-biting and in the first half, it looked at times as though we were never going to find the breakthrough. Losing DJ was a blow and Pearson will be missing for the Huddersfield game after picking up his 5th booking of the season but if we go into the game on the top of the table, you would like to think it will give the boys lots of encouragement. Long may this continue!

Declan Rudd

Aside from a couple of things in the first half he wasn’t really tested in the second. He parried Purrington’s shot away well in the first half but other than that, he was never really tested. He almost managed to somehow cost us a goal in the final minutes of the game but the Charlton player who had the effort only managed to hit the side netting, fortunately.

Rating – 6

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Darnell Fisher

The star man was brilliant today. Solid at the back and an outlet going forward, very nearly had a hand in what could have been the opening goal but for a great save from Charlton ‘keeper, Dillon Phillips.

Rating – 8 (FTF Man of the Match)

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Patrick Bauer

A rock at the back again. Wasn’t phased at all returning to his former club and put in another top drawer performance at the back for us. If we do go on to have any success this season, I have no doubt that he will have a big hand to play in it.

Rating – 7

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Ben Davies

On his return to the side, he was another rock at the back alongside Bauer. He got a flailing arm in the face and ended the game bandaged up but he was his usual, assured self. I’m running out of things to say about him now.

Rating – 7

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Joe Rafferty

Another solid enough performance from Raff at left-back. He’s done incredibly well filling in at left-back in the absence of Hughes and he’s now keeping the Welshman out of the side. Hats off, Joe.

Rating – 7

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Ben Pearson

Ben was doing his usual thing of keeping things ticking over and he had a good game overall I thought, despite reverting to the Ben Pearson of yesteryear and talking himself into the book. He’d argue he could have had a second goal of the season too had Barky squared to him later on in the game. He’ll be missing for the visit of Huddersfield on Saturday which is a blow but it’s time for someone else in the squad to step up.

Rating – 7

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Daniel Johnson

Unfortunately, DJ had to go off after a nasty challenge from Naby Sarr but up to that point, he had done well. He was pulling the strings for us from a deeper than usual position and I would imagine he’d be gutted to have gone off given we got a penalty in the second half. Hopefully, his injury is nothing too serious and we can see him back on Saturday against Huddersfield.

Rating – 6

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Tom Barkhuizen

I thought Barky played well today. Yes, he should have squared for Pearo in the second half but his running was key today. He had the best of our two chances in the first half and would have put us 1 up had the ‘keeper not made a quality save.

Rating – 7

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Alan Browne

An odd one today for Alan. I didn’t think he did too badly but he wasn’t great either to be honest, just a steady game and got about the pitch well.

Rating – 6

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Sean Maguire

Not the best first half he’s ever going to have for us but got into the game more in the second. Still, not his best game overall for us but he looked a threat and some better decision making and shooting may have seen him with a goal to his name but alas, it wasn’t to be today for Seani.

Rating – 6

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Jayden Stockley

Another good performance today from the big man. I think it suited him quite well, to be honest, and he said as much himself in the press after the game. In the first half, he wasn’t at his best but he was having a good battle through the game with Charlton centre back Tom Lockyer. He showed what he’s all about in the second half and also won us the penalty. Long may it continue.

Rating – 7

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Substitutes

Paul Gallagher

Gally was the only sub of the game today and he was the one that scored what proved to be the winning goal. His unusual penalty routine worked as he slammed the ball into the bottom left corner to put us 1-0 up. Other than that, he played pretty well. Did the usual stuff you expect to see from him and used his experience well to help us see out the game in the end.

Rating – 7

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I’ll finish this off with a word from our opposition view fan who you would have read in the match preview. He emailed me after the game to say well done and that we deserved all three points. It’s nice to see there are some decent away fans out there and not everyone gets in on #teamslikepreston post-match.