Preston North End played a behind closed doors friendly at Deepdale over the weekend and ran out 5-0 winners.
The game was scheduled at short notice following the cancellation of the Manchester United fixture and allowed the first team squad to get the minutes they required ahead of the start of the new season.
North End put out a strong side with the majority of the team getting 90 minutes under their belts, with the starting Xl as follows: Declan Rudd, Jordan Storey, Liam Lindsay, Andrew Hughes, Tom Barkhuizen, Ben Whiteman, Ryan Ledson, Brad Potts, Greg Cunningham, Ched Evans and Emil Riis.
Potts opened the scoring for North End on 18 minutes as he slotted home into an open net after Riis unselfishly squared it in the box.
There was some good football from the Lilywhites as they put pressure on the opposition throughout and had a chance for a second through Riis just four minutes after the opener. It was a superb ball into the box from Barkhuizen, but Riis was unable to make a real connection with his header.
Just two minutes later, Barkhuizen was again involved in the action, this time making a brilliant run to latch on to the ball over the top. He took a touch to take it beyond the ‘keeper before being brought down and the referee pointed to the spot. Whiteman stepped up to take the spot kick and fired into the bottom right corner to double North End’s lead and score his third goal of pre-season.
Frankie McAvoy’s side got a third before the break, with Ryan Ledson making a terrific block tackle high up the pitch to win back possession and he played it to Riis, who weaved his way into the box and slotted it past the ‘keeper.
North End were unchanged for the second half and it took just five minutes to get the fourth goal of the game. Barkhuizen chased down his man and won the ball before curling a shot in to the bottom corner from just inside the box.
As the game went on, PNE continued to create chances, and there was almost a fifth when Evans played the ball to Potts in the box, he brought it down brilliantly and pulled it back in to the middle for Riis, but it was cut out by the defender.
Daniel Johnson then made his return to action for the Lilywhites on 70 minutes after his time away on international duty with Jamaica, and he almost made an immediate impact, hitting the inside of the post with a shot from inside the box.
DJ had another chance with just seven minutes to play when Barkhuizen pulled it back for him and he forced a brilliant save from the ‘keeper who got a hand to it to keep it out.
A couple of minutes later North End did get their fifth of the game, as Ledson whipped a cross towards the far post and Storey was first to it to head home and complete the scoring.
There were cameos late on for young forwards Ethan Walker and Joe Rodwell-Grant, while the majority of the side completed the 90 minutes in the final pre-season friendly of the summer.
Please note the opposition requested not to be named, with this being the reason there was no live coverage and there are unfortunately no highlights available for this fixture. Following further discussions between both clubs, it was agreed that Preston North End could share details of the result and the scorers, without naming the opposition.