Preston North End were 2-1 winners over Barnsley in Ryan Lowe’s first match in charge of the Lilywhites.
Captain Alan Browne opened the scoring and Daniel Johnson then fired PNE back ahead 12 minutes from time, after Cauley Woodrow had equalised for the Tykes.
Here are our ups and downs from the victory.
READ MORE: Ryan Lowe salutes Alan Browne and ‘unbelievable’ trait PNE showed in Barnsley win
A new style on show
Ryan Lowe promised a new, exciting brand of football and North End fans saw it in its infancy on Saturday.
The passing was quick, and not always accurate, but the tempo to PNE’s play and positive intent was refreshing and had you hooked throughout the game.
It is not going to be boring under the new boss and the Lilywhites got into dangerous attacking positions, put some lovely moves together and improved as the game wore on.
For them to have taken so much on board in such a short space of time will give the manager a great deal of satisfaction.
Big players step up
Daniel Johnson and Alan Browne signed new contracts in January and it was viewed as huge business for the club.
Ever since then, the form of the pair has been inconsistent but their importance to North End has never been doubted.
And on Saturday, both players were as good as anyone on the pitch. DJ chipped in with a goal and magnificent assist while Browne’s goal was a trademark one.
It was also the Irishman’s first of the season, which will give him a massive boost of confidence.
We have mentioned two already but to leave Ben Whiteman out of the conversation would be criminal.
from the game were outrageously good and the number four looked a class act – sitting deep, covering every blade of grass and spraying passes left, right and centre.
When Ryan Ledson came on he impressed and provided an assist, while Ali McCann carried out a job for the team at wing-back.
McCann, albeit he gave playing right wing-back his all, was beaten in the build-up to the Barnsley goal and Sean Maguire faded out of the game a bit.
It was good to see Lowe spot that and make changes in order to go and get the second goal and win.
Scott Sinclair added fresh legs up top while Ryan Ledson’s introduction gave the midfield the same and allowed Alan Browne to move out wide.
Proactive from Lowe and probably the two substitutions most fans would’ve wanted to see.
The perfect start
There was so much excitement heading into this fixture and for North End to step up and embrace that was brilliant to see.
Rising to big occasions had been an issue but PNE put in a real team performance and fought hard for those three points.
Lowe’s celebrations on the touchline, hugs with the players on the pitch and fist pumps to the crowd post-match were fantastic.
He has made a fine impression on the Preston North End faithful.
It feels wrong to include a down given the result and how many encouraging signs there were on Saturday.
But the goal was a sloppy one and having taken the lead, you were urging PNE to go on and kill the game.
In the end, they got away with letting Barnsley back into it thanks to an exquisite free-kick routine.
Moving forward though, Lowe will want to clean up some of the loose passing and ensure his team going one-nil up sees them give the opposition no route back.