Preston North End won their final home game of the season on Saturday afternoon, beating Birmingham City 2-0 at Deepdale.
Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Brentford meant Preston’s playoff hopes were all but over, but ending the season on a high would still be a priority for Alex Neil and co.
It wasn’t a classic, but Preston did take the lead in the first half. Paul Gallagher’s corner was turned home by Patrick Bauer, bagging his third goal of the season.
Declan Rudd was called upon a couple of times in the second half, as Craig Gardner’s volley was arrowing into the top corner before Rudd somehow tipped it over the bar. North End’s first-choice stopper then made a great save to deny Harlee Dean from close range.
Preston eventually bagged the second late on, as Brad Potts broke into the box and finished brilliantly with a left-footed strike, wrapping up all three points.
Cardiff City’s win at Middlesbrough sadly means that Preston are mathematically out of the playoff race, and the focus will now quickly turn to next season.
There were some promising displays in today’s win, and midfielder Potts again showed his quality. He had been criticised heavily in the first half of the season, but has been excellent since the restart.
Potts operated on the right flank today, but showed his ability as a goalscoring midfielder when moved centrally following Tom Barkhuizen’s introduction.
Fans took to Twitter to praise Potts, branding him ‘quality’ whilst tipping him for a big campaign next season, having looked a different player since football returned.
After months of criticism, it’s great to see Potts receiving this kind of praise – and let’s hope he can take this form into next season too…
We are finally seeing the same Brad Potts that we signed. Our best player since the restart for me. #pnefc
— Liam Fell (@liamfell2010) July 18, 2020
This is what Potts can do when he’s fit 👀 #pnefc
— Karl Seager-Harris (@kseagerharris) July 18, 2020
POTTS IS A BOYYO! Showing his form from last season 😍😍😍 What a man he is #pnefc
— Kaetz (@Kaetz95) July 18, 2020
— PNE Fans Forum (@PNEFansForum) July 18, 2020
The break didnt do the team any good results wise at first but Brad Potts, Ryan Ledson & Jordan Storey have shown they are worthy starters for next season. All 3 have been fantastic recently. #pnefc
— Steve Ward (@WardyPne) July 18, 2020
When Potts is infeont of goal and scores, he finishes like an actual striker. Wish he could do it more! #pnefc
— Emily Crook (@emilykat93) July 18, 2020
Delighted for Brad Potts. Our best player since lockdown, excellent finish.
Not a classic by any stretch, excellent save by Dec got us that elusive clean sheet finally. Stockley miss & should have had a pen first 15 mins too.
— Jimmy (@baysidepne) July 18, 2020
Delighted for Brad Potts. Quality player who’s been given so much unnecessary hate on here 🔥🔥
— James (@_JamesVickers) July 18, 2020
Brad Potts big player next season👍🏼
— Owen Davies (@__owendavies) July 18, 2020