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The Media Reaction To Daryl Horgan's Championship Debut

The Media Reaction To Daryl Horgan's Championship Debut
By PJ Browne

A week after making his Preston debut in the FA Cup against Arsenal, coming off the bench for a 10 minute cameo, Daryl Horgan started his first game for the club against Championship title conteners Brighton.

Going into yesterday's 3pm kick-off, Brighton were leading the league from Newcastle. Two hours later, that was not the case. Horgan played a major part in the halting of an 18-game unbeaten run for Brighton.

After Paul Huntington gave Preston an early lead, their advantage was doubled eight minutes into the second half when Callum Robinson latched onto a fine ball over the top from Horgan and struck beyond the reach of keeper David Stockdale.

The former Dundalk man would leave the pitch to a standing ovation after being replaced late in the game.

The 24-year-old's performance certainly caught the eye of Preston fans and also the media.

Writing in the Lancashire Evening Post, Adam Lord praised Horgan for staying on his feet, despite being fouled by Brighton captain Bruno, in the build up to Robinson's goal.

He also said that Horgan 'will quickly become a firm favourite'.

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The pass for Robinson’s goal was the highlight of a very promising debut for Horgan. Confident on the ball and with the ability to beat a man the only thing lacking in the first half was consistent delivery. But the diminutive new signing from Dundalk grew into the game and came to the fore in the second half as PNE secured victory, the through ball for Robinson putting a golden chance on a plate.

The 24-year-old could have capped his league debut in perfect fashion had a curling shot after a neat piece of skill not gone just the wrong side of the post.

Preston manager Simon Grayson told the North End website that Horgan said that he was impressed with the winger.

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When you see the pass from Daryl [for the second goal], it was a left footed pass and a great ball into Callum’s stride.

Callum did well to get the wrong side of the defender and full credit to him; a lot of other players might well have gone down under the pressure, got the free kick and maybe got the player sent off, but he stayed up and it was great to see the ball hit the back of the net, because it is nice to get that comfort – if you can call it that – of a two goal lead.

I was very impressed with Daryl. I had no hesitation putting him into the team today given how he has trained and how he played last week for us.

Stats website WhoScored.com rated Horgan as the fifth best player in the game.

Horgan had 42 touches against Brighton, making two key passes and having an overall passing accuracy of 74.1%.

Horgan told the club's website website about his first start for the club.

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To play the full 90 minutes is brilliant, but to also beat top of the table, comprehensively as well is great.

Callum didn't brilliantly for his goal; Bruno is a very experienced player but he tucked it away to put us in a very strong position and thankfully we held off for the rest of the game. Maybe we could have had one or two more but we did well.

At the start of the game, we had lots of chances and managed to open them up a few times, but sometimes you just need a set piece and for a centre half to knock it in and thankfully we got that.

During the second half, the Galway man nearly scored him when he evaded two Brighton defenders to create space on the edge of the box for a shot which flew narrowly past the post.

That would have been brilliant to score.

But ultimately it's a great win for us and a clean sheet, it propels us further up the table and puts us in a stronger position to push for a Play-Off place.

It was never going to be easy against them with them being top of the table but thankfully we got the result and we can look ahead to Villa now."

Simon (Grayson) tries to instil hard work in the team and to be positive, everybody worked their socks off and we defended really well.

You can watch highlights of the game below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLP-fo4dSBE

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