Bristol Rovers played out a barmy 3-3 draw with Accrington Stanley on Saturday afternoon, with Jonson Clarke-Harris again in the goals.
With Rovers 2-1 down at home, Clarke-Harris finished off a neat move with a right-footed finish. That hauled Rovers level, and when Seamus Conneely was sent off, the Pirates looked to be favourites.
Clarke-Harris then produced a quite stunning goal to put his side in front. Accrington couldn’t clear a free kick, and Clarke-Harris flew through the air to pull off an outstanding bicycle kick.
Sadly for Rovers, they couldn’t hang on as Dion Charles – Accrington’s Preston-born attacker – scored a penalty to make it 3-3. Clarke-Harris is making the headlines for his goal though, and you can see his strike below.
👏 We can't stop watching this bicycle-kick from JCH!
— Bristol Rovers (@Official_BRFC) September 8, 2019
Preston interested in January?
This goal will be of interest to North End, as Clarke-Harris was linked with Preston earlier this year. At the end of last season, the Daily Mail claimed Preston were battling Hull City and Reading for his signature.
No summer move materialised, but Clarke-Harris has continued to score. So far this term, the 25-year-old has scored five goals in eight games. Last season, Clarke-Harris scored 11 goals in 17 games following a January move from Coventry City. That sparked interest in his signature, but will Preston return in January?
Clarke-Harris ticks some boxes for North End. He’s 6ft tall, he’s strong, he’s mobile and can lead the line on his own. He would make sense as an Alex Neil centre forward thanks to his athletic profile, and he’s scoring goals in League One – a regular shopping market for Preston.
However, there are concerns. He’s just 25, but he’s failed to really settle with any club. He didn’t impress at Rotherham United, and Coventry were happy to let him go earlier this year. There’s a chance this goalscoring run is a purple patch, and there will be fears about him stepping up to the Championship.
Additionally, Clarke-Harris has been labelled ‘lazy’ throughout his career. That wouldn’t fly under Neil, as the centre forward needs to be able to engage defenders in Preston’s high-pressing, energetic style. If Clarke-Harris can’t do that, then there would be little point signing him.
He may well be worth watching, and his stunning goal showed how he has great quality, but whether he’s the right man for Preston is another matter. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Preston make a move given the striking problems, but there are still question marks about Clarke-Harris as a player that will leave some worried.