Preston kept hold of sixth place in the Championship on Tuesday night, beating Stoke City 2-0 at the bet365 Stadium.
Seventh-placed Bristol City beat Derby County last night, but North End kept them out of the top six with a professional performance away at a resurgent Stoke side.
Preston only had three shots on target all night, but made them count as two of them found the net. Stoke failed to clear a Daniel Johnson corner for the first goal, with Alan Browne smashing the ball home from close range.
Paul Gallagher’s cross also wasn’t dealt with, allowing Tom Barkhuizen to fire home the second, sending North End back to Lancashire with three points and a clean sheet.
North End weren’t exactly vintage on Wednesday night, but produced a battling display at a tough ground, and now sit just three points off automatic promotion.
Tom Barkhuizen was a danger throughout and David Nugent made a big impact off the bench, but Ben Davies stole the show with a colossal display in the heart of the Preston defence.
Davies headed and cleared everything that came his way, timed his tackles to perfection, was composed on the ball and even popped up with two assists in an outstanding performance.
Fans took to Twitter to rave about Davies, branding the centre back ‘sublime’, ‘phenomenal’ and ‘immense’, naming him man of the match after such a dominant display.
Others are just looking forward to seeing Davies in a Preston shirt whilst he’s still here, as he will be a man in demand come the end of the season.
Ben Davies was sublime tonight.
— KBP (@Bleo1984) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies tonight was absolutely phenomenal #pnefc
— Craig Eland (@craigeland) February 12, 2020
I'll go as far as saying that was the best game of Ben Davies's career. Simply outstanding
— Jimmy (@baysidepne) February 12, 2020
I like watching Ben Davies defend. He's extremely good at it.
— fchaken (@fchaken) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies outstanding tonight, what a win 👏 #pnefc
— Ben HD (@PNEBenHD) February 12, 2020
#pnefc How immense has Ben Davies been tonight?! Top performance!
— Dan (@Hawkarama) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies made a tackle in the box about 3 minutes ago that was outrageous. It was 1 on 1 and it went for a corner. He then headed away the resulting corner. He’s been absolutely outstanding. Enjoy these remaining games of him, because he will have offers this summer. #pnefc
— Thomas Harrison (@TomHarrisonLaw) February 12, 2020
— Janine Clitheroe (@Janinepne) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies has been superb tonight!! #STOPNE
— Barrie Watson (@barrie_watson) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies has been absolutely unreal tonight. Hell of a player. #pnefc
— Andy Davies (@andysauvin) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies has been absolutely superb 👏🏻
— kendaaaaall (@james_kendall_6) February 12, 2020
Ben davies has been CLASSSSS tonight. What a player 😍
— Emma Simpson (@emma_simo8) February 12, 2020
Have to say, Ben Davies is a stone wall MOTM for me tonight!! #pnefc
— Adam Worswick (@adam_worswick) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies is absolutely immense #pnefc
— Dave Holt (@dougie_fresh) February 12, 2020
Ben Davies is just class
— Jack Wilson (@JackWilson1605) February 12, 2020