Preston North End v AFC Bournemouth - Sky Bet Championship
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Preston post-match notebook: Danish excellence provides the win over Bournemouth

Preston North End battled their way to just Ryan Lowe’s second win at Deepdale on Saturday. A late thunderous winner from Emil Riis put a huge dent in Bournemouth’s promotion ambitions. 

It was an all round solid team performance with Cameron Archer adding another goal to his North End tally and Bambo Diaby impressing on his first start in two years.

Bambo makes an instant impression

With Patrick Bauer injured and Liam Lindsay suspended it gave Bambo Diaby a chance to start his first game of football in two years. It also saw a rare appearance in the squad for Paul Huntington.

Diaby unknowingly ingested the banned substance higenamine whilst at Barnsley and has since been on a long road back. He seems a popular character within the squad and he showed he had plenty to offer on the pitch. 

Strong in the air and a presence on the ground too with some tidy footwork it was an impressive full debut for the defender from Senegal. Arguably man of the match, the best moment from Diaby actually came after the game had finished. He climbed into the crowd in the Invincibles Stand and hugged his friends who have helped him get back on the pitch. They’ve provided him somewhere closer to Preston to stay as opposed to his house he still has in Barnsley. It was an emotional moment as he let out a huge roar of celebration at the end as well. A huge moment for Bambo and already on the road to becoming a fan favourite.

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Riis and Archer show their quality finishing

Emil Riis and Cameron Archer showed why they are natural goalscorers on Saturday. Their goals were executed precisely giving Mark Travers no chance for either. Neither are the finished article yet but when they do score it’s usually a fine finish. 

Archer is very good at quickly finding his feet and trying to find the bottom corners. Riis goes for power and when it comes off not many keepers would be able to save them. The Dane will have been frustrated at having to settle for a place on the bench for the last three games but he is a fantastic option when he comes off there bench as well. He has pace and is ideal when the oppositions defence is getting a bit weary. 

Lowe has set Riis a target of five more goals this season which would take him to 22 in total.  It’s not out of the question and it would cap off a transformational season for the striker. As for Archer the lad clearly has talent and I’m sure Lowe will be trying to persuade Steven Gerrard to let us have him a little longer. 

A welcome sighting of Ali McCann

The signing of midfielder McCann was a major coup in the summer when he arrived from St Johnstone. Highly rated in Scotland and for his Norther Irish national team as well it looked to be a replacement for Ben Pearson. McCann has great energy and is handy all over the pitch. 

On Saturday he came on at left-wing back as he replaced Josh Earl. He gave us more strength and more positivity on that left hand side. Not used to playing out wide and a right footed player, it was an unfamiliar role for McCann.

However he combined well with Andrew Hughes and played as an inverted wing-back at times with Hughes being able to overlap him. His boundless energy helped get us over the line and ensured we had momentum going into the last 15 minutes. 

McCann is a great talent but there is so much competition in that squad. So much so that last year’s player of the season Ryan Ledson couldn’t even make the bench for the Bournemouth game. McCann has only started 11 games in the league for us but it’s clear for now Lowe has a preferred midfield trio. 

Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Is Iversen ready for top flight and international recognition?

Daniel Iversen never ceases to amaze us. Just when you think you’ve seen him make the save of the season he goes and supersedes it. He’s an incredible player and has won so many points for Preston this season. With the game finely poised at 1-1 on Saturday Nathanie Phillips guided a header towards goal that looked destined to find the back of the net. Iversen somehow managed to claw the ball away from the goal which left the majority of Deepdale in disbelief. Within the minute his Danish counterpart Emil Riis scores the winner. 

I think he’s ready for the Premier League. He finds Kasper Schmeichel ahead of him for both club and country but it would be a shame to see him settle for a place on the bench next season.  A loan move elsewhere could be more likely. Perhaps at another top flight club in Europe which would then allow him to cement a place in the Denmark squad. It’ll be sad to see him go but in a similar scenario to Jordan Pickford sometimes you just have to accept that some players are destined for far greater things. 

An unhappy return for Ben Pearson

It was nice to see Pearson return to Deepdale for the first time since fans were allowed back in stadiums. His move to Bournemouth last season was disappointing as there was never a chance for a farewell and many felt he should have got a move to the Premier League. However he finds himself in a squad full of quality especially in his position. 

He’s only started eight games for The Cherries in the league this season and has only picked up five yellow cards. He received a warm reception before the game from the North End faithful but it was different when he was on the pitch. Pearson is the player you love to have in your team but hate to play against. Of course we know what his game is all about and so did the Preston players who have played with him. Alan Browne did his best to limit his impact by landing a late challenge on him that saw him go flying. 

It was nice to see Pearson again but it was also good to see his impact kept to a minimum. He may well get his chance in the Premier League though with Bournemouth favourites to seal the second automatic promotion spot behind Fulham.

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