Preston North End finally got off the mark in the Championship at the fourth time of asking as they defeated Peterborough United 1-0 at Deepdale, with a returning Patrick Bauer deciding the outcome in the first half.
North End looked to press their opponents high up the pitch in the early parts of the game with Ferguson liking his side to play out from the back, but it was from a set piece where the opening goal of the game came from on 14 minutes.
Ryan Ledson whipped in a perfect free-kick to the far post and Patrick Bauer – starting his first league game for PNE since rupturing his achilles back in December 2020 – rose highest to get the better of Christy Pym in-between the Posh sticks with a powerful header.
The hosts continued to have the better of the game with Scott Sinclair in particular impressing on the ball and Daniel Johnson was also getting more and more involved, blazing a shot over the bar just after the half hour mark after Posh failed to clear their lines.
The chances just kept on coming for North End as Ben Whiteman struck the crossbar from the edge of the box just minutes later, and then Scott Sinclair was slipped through on goal with just Pym to beat, but the former Exeter man for a leg to Sinclair’s effort.
Peterborough’s only real chance of the half fell to centre-back Frankie Kent towards the end of the first 45 minutes but he blazed over from outside the area, but aside from that North End had the measure of them in the final third of the pitch.
Despite being quiet for most of the first half, Siriki Dembele could have got Peterborough level just five minutes into the second half as he went on a mazy run into the box, taking it past Daniel Iversen before striking an effort from close range but Sepp van den Berg made a heroic block on the line.
A Harrison Burrows effort from the rebound was also blocked by North End’s defence as they kept the scoreline at 1-0, but then it was PNE’s turn to do the attacking.
Daniel Johnson’s curling effort was well held by Pym before Sinclair had a chance to make it 2-0 after taking advantage of a quick free-kick, but Pym again made a stop, this time with his legs, and not long after Whiteman’s 25-yard effort whistled past the near post.
Quiz: Have Preston North End won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?
Peterborough brought Jack Marriott and Sammie Szmodics onto the pitch to try and force an equaliser but it was North End who continued to have the better chances, with former Posh defender Andrew Hughes coming close twice with his head from corners.
PNE substitute Emil Riis then had a glorious chance to make the game somewhat safe on 77 minutes after skinning two opposition defenders, including putting it between the legs of one, but he then fired his effort from close range straight at the legs of Pym.
Despite being the team that needed the goal, Peterborough weren’t the ones creating the chances late on, with both Daniel Johnson and Brad Potts having opportunities to really kill the game off for the Lilywhites, but they were yet again wasted ones.
North End held on though against the Posh charge in stoppage time to secure a first win of the league season and catapulted themselves off the bottom of the table – not before Clarke-Harris had an effort tipped wide by Iversen with the last kick of the game after getting himself on the end of a long ball.
FULL-TIME: Preston North End 1-0 Peterborough United