By Jack Wynne – Sports Editor
PNE extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a 2-1 win against 10-man Charlton Athletic at Deepdale.
Joe Garner headed PNE in front in the 34th minute, directing Paul Gallagher’s corner-kick past Charlton goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
North End’s lead lasted for just two minutes, Johann Berg Gudmundsson rifling a low shot into the bottom-right corner from outside the box.
Substitute Callum Robinson tapped home from close range following Reach’s pass to put North End back in front in the 51st minute.
PNE manager Simon Grayson named the same starting XI for the 3rd successive match.
There were four changes to the Charlton team which lost against Fulham last weekend, Marco Motta and Roger Johnson coming into the team.
Joining them was Jordan Cousins and Ademola Lookman whilst striker Yaya Sanogo, who is on loan from Arsenal, was named on the bench.
Roger Johnson failed to trouble Anders Lindegaard, sending a tame header straight at the PNE goalkeeper from inside the area after Morgan Fox’s free-kick from near the left-hand touchline.
PNE had their first chance to test Charlton goalkeeper Stephen Henderson inside the 4th minute but Paul Gallagher fired the ball straight into the stand from a free-kick after Joe Garner was caught by Jordan Cousins.
Alan Browne couldn’t round off a wonderful passing move for North End, directing a powerful header straight over the bar after Greg Cunningham’s left-hand cross.
Just after a quarter of an hour, Johann Berg Gudmundsson hit a low drive from distance but it was too close to Lindegaard.
32 minutes played, Calum Woods directed a tame header which never really troubled Hendersomn after Tom Clarke’s cross from the right.
Eleven minutes before the interval, Garner broke the deadlock, directing a powerful header past Henderson and into the far corner following Gallagher’s corner.
At the other end, Berg Gudmundsson levelled for the Addicks, his low shot nestling into the bottom-right corner from outside the box.
Into the second half, Garner looked to have doubled his tally, firing in from close range after Reach’s low shot inside the box was saved but the flag was up for offside.
Robinson restored PNE’s lead in the 51st minute, firing into the roof of the net from close range after some good work by Reach down the left.
61 minutes played, Berg Gudmundsson failed to test Lindegaard, curling an effort from outside the box too close to the PNE keeper.
Reach should have extended PNE’s lead but curled the ball past the post from outside the box after Alan Browne fired straight at Henderson.
Into the final quarter of the match, Reach curled an effort too close to Henderson from inside the box.
PNE should have been further in front, Alan Browne shooting straight at Henderson before Reach curled an effort past the left-hand post from inside the box in the 76th minute.
Two minutes before full-time, Browne burst into the box before blasting a shot wide of the target after some good hold-up play by Garner.
There was little to choose between the two sides in the first half but in the second-half the North End players responded to the change in system, according to Grayson.
“Callum came on and looked very lively,” he told PNE PlayerHD. “He looked lively; him and Reachy were breaking quickly.
The North End manager also praised the team’s “game management” which saw them record a 4th successive victory.
PNE: Lindegaard, Cunningham, Clarke, Wright (Robinson, 45), Johnson, Gallagher (Welsh, 82), Garner (Hugill, 92), Woods, Browne, Huntington and Reach. Subs not used: Hudson, Vermijl, Pearson and Doyle.
Charlton Athletic: Henderson, Berg Gudmundsson, Cousins (Ba, 57), Makienok, Solly (Fanni, 63), Fox, Lennon, Johnson, Lookman, Motta (Sanogo, 77) and Teixeira. Subs not used: Pope, Suk-Young, Bergdich and Harriott.
Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)