Championship
Charlton0Preston1

Charlton 0-1 Preston: Paul Gallagher penalty sends Alex Neil's North End top

Two of Paul Gallagher's three goals this season have come from his unique routine on the penalty spot
Two of Paul Gallagher's three goals this season have come from his unique routine on the penalty spot

Preston North End boss Alex Neil reaffirmed his commitment to the high-flying Championship club after seeing his side go top with substitute Paul Gallagher's second-half penalty winner at Charlton.

Playing for the first time since North End responded forcibly to reports of Neil being a target for fellow Championship side Stoke City, the Lancashire side also did their talking on the pitch. And Neil was quick to back up the club's firm stance the previous evening.

"I can't control rumours and speculation," he said. "But I can put a statement out to put it to bed. There is nothing to talk about.

"I am Preston North End manager. I love being here, I love working with my team and we crack on.

"I can tell you that I love working with this group of players. They are a special bunch and we want to try to keep doing what we are doing.

"I've been a manager for seven years. And when you're hot, you're hot, when you're not, you're not.

"In a couple of weeks people will be saying how hopeless I am. We're really pleased with our start but nothing's won after 15 games."

The only goal of the game at The Valley came from the spot by skipper Gallagher, who bounced back from being substituted last week after only 29 minutes in the 3-2 comeback derby win over Blackburn Rovers.

It took a disputed penalty to earn the three points when home defender Jason Pearce's grapples with Jayden Stockley proved sufficient to make the North End striker stumble to the floor.

But Gallagher - only on as a first-half sub for the injured Daniel Johnson - converted his trademark spot kick, facing the wrong way back down the pitch as he lined up over the ball, before then walking back to his mark and turning smartly to run in and slam home a right-foot power drive into home keeper Dillon Phillips' bottom right corner.

Especially in the second half, Preston always looked the more likely side to score against a Charlton side who have had fewer shots this season than any other in the Championship.

Neil's men could have won by more, but Phillips made a string of fine saves, notably two late on to deny Stockley and Tom Barkhuizen.

Yet, in the fifth of the nine minutes of time added on, Charlton almost snatched an equaliser when Preston keeper Declan Rudd missed Josh Cullen's corner but Ben Purrington was unable to force the ball home.

North End started the day fourth, only three points ahead of 10th-placed Charlton. Their second away win of the season has taken them top of the second tier for the first time in 13 years as a result of having a one-goal better goal difference than Leeds United. But, going into the weekend, West Bromwich Albion led and the Baggies will be back on top on Monday night if they win at Neil's reported suitors Stoke.

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer:

"A draw would probably have been a fair result but we will learn. It was a penalty. One of our most experienced players has made the wrong decision.

"They're an experienced side who have been in that situation a lot. So it can be frustrating. But maybe we've got to learn to start doing that ourselves.

"On clear-cut chances I would have said it was quite even. But we were sloppy in possession, probably the worst we've been. We gave the ball away a lot. A frustrating day."

Preston boss Alex Neil:

"The fact that I took Paul Gallagher off last week only means that I got the team selection wrong. This time he comes on and gets the winner.

"That's why we are a team, not a group of individuals. We were good value for the win.

"We were the better side, created the better chances. That was a tough game and we did well to win it."

Line-ups

Charlton

  • 1Phillips
  • 20Solly
  • 5Lockyer
  • 6Pearce
  • 23SarrBooked at 25minsSubstituted forLekoat 45'minutes
  • 15PratleySubstituted forAnekeat 74'minutes
  • 24Cullen
  • 21KayalBooked at 65minsSubstituted forOztumerat 89'minutes
  • 11Gallagher
  • 3Purrington
  • 17BonneBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 4Oshilaja
  • 10Aneke
  • 14Leko
  • 29Oztumer
  • 30Maynard-Brewer
  • 32Lapslie
  • 44Davison

Preston

  • 1RuddBooked at 90mins
  • 2FisherBooked at 74mins
  • 21Bauer
  • 6Davies
  • 15Rafferty
  • 4PearsonBooked at 66mins
  • 8Browne
  • 24Maguire
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forGallagherat 31'minutes
  • 29BarkhuizenBooked at 81mins
  • 20StockleyBooked at 80mins

Substitutes

  • 7Bayliss
  • 12Gallagher
  • 14Storey
  • 16Hughes
  • 18Ledson
  • 25Ripley
  • 39Bodin
Referee:
David Webb
Attendance:
16,027

Match Stats

Home TeamCharltonAway TeamPreston
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home8
Away17
Shots on Target
Home1
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away9
Fouls
Home16
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Charlton Athletic 0, Preston North End 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Charlton Athletic 0, Preston North End 1.

Booking

Macauley Bonne (Charlton Athletic) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Chuks Aneke (Charlton Athletic).

Patrick Bauer (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Ben Purrington (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Attempt missed. Tom Lockyer (Charlton Athletic) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Josh Cullen with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by Darnell Fisher.

Booking

Declan Rudd (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

Attempt blocked. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Pearson.

Attempt saved. Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sean Maguire.

Foul by Jayden Stockley (Preston North End).

Tom Lockyer (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Chris Solly.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Tom Lockyer.

Substitution

Substitution, Charlton Athletic. Erhun Oztumer replaces Beram Kayal.

Attempt blocked. Sean Maguire (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Chris Solly.

Jayden Stockley (Preston North End) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Paul Gallagher with a cross following a set piece situation.

Hand ball by Ben Purrington (Charlton Athletic).

Attempt missed. Chuks Aneke (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Josh Cullen with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tom Barkhuizen (Preston North End).

Booking

Jayden Stockley (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jayden Stockley (Preston North End).

Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Charlton Athletic. Chuks Aneke replaces Darren Pratley.

Booking

Darnell Fisher (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Darnell Fisher (Preston North End).

Jonathan Leko (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Beram Kayal (Charlton Athletic).

Joseph Rafferty (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Offside, Preston North End. Jayden Stockley tries a through ball, but Tom Barkhuizen is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Sean Maguire (Preston North End) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Paul Gallagher with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Beram Kayal.

Booking

Ben Pearson (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Beram Kayal (Charlton Athletic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Preston1584328161228
2Leeds158431981128
3Swansea158432014628
4West Brom147612617927
5Nottm Forest147431913625
6Bristol City156722421325
7Sheff Wed157351912724
8Fulham156542317623
9QPR157262428-423
10Charlton156452117422
11Hull156452320322
12Birmingham157171620-422
13Brentford156361813521
14Cardiff155642322121
15Derby155641820-221
16Blackburn155371922-318
17Millwall154651721-418
18Huddersfield154471721-416
19Reading144371620-415
20Wigan154381321-815
21Luton154292227-514
22Middlesbrough152671119-812
23Barnsley151681429-159
24Stoke1422101325-128
View full Championship table

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