Preston North End's three best players against West Bromwich Albion as defenders shine v Hugill
Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images

Preston North End's three best players against West Bromwich Albion

Preston North End drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, extending the unbeaten league run to five games.

PNE were in good spirits after salvaging a point at Sheffield United in midweek, and took the lead against the Baggies.

Ben Whiteman opened the scoring, firing a long-range strike that beat Sam Johnstone with the aid of a deflection.

West Brom did hit back though. A long throw from Darnell Furlong – taken way too far forward – resulted in Matt Phillips scoring.

North End had to dig in after the break, but were well worth a point in the end.

A number of players stood out for PNE – here’s our pick of the bunch…

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Patrick Bauer

Bauer has been very good this season, bouncing back from a major Achilles injury in style.

On Saturday, he took an early elbow to the face from ex-PNE striker Jordan Hugill. Bauer was left bloodied, but battled on.

The German was outstanding from that point, dominating Hugill for much of the game.

Bauer even left a bit on Hugill at times, clearly not impressed with the ‘challenge’ he received early on.

PNE looked poor defensively earlier this season, but Bauer has settled things down.

Photo by Stephen White – CameraSport via Getty Images

Jordan Storey

Bauer was aided in the defensive rearguard action by Storey.

Storey operated as the right-sided central defender as Frankie McAvoy continues with the 3-4-1-2 system.

Storey won six headers as well as recording one tackle, two interceptions and three clearances.

There was one particular moment that stands out. West Brom were on the attacking at one point in the second half, threading a ball through the PNE defence.

Storey timed a slide perfectly to intercept the ball, preventing what could have been a clear chance.

Storey can be a mixed bag at times, but as he attempts to win a new contract, Saturday’s performance was impressive. 

Photo by Stephen White – CameraSport via Getty Images

Josh Earl

Few PNE fans would have expected Earl to be such an important player at this point in the season.

Loaned out to Burton Albion earlier this year, Earl came back to PNE this summer with his role unclear.

Now though, the youngster is PNE’s clear first-choice left wing back, ahead of Greg Cunningham.

Earl was superb again on Saturday, impressing with his usage of the ball and ability going forward.

Defensively, earl record 10 clearances, two tackles and one interception, shining once again.

Earl has always had potential, and we’re now seeing him put it all together to become a quality wing back.

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