A thrilling penalty shoot-out victory which ended with goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann striking the winner has earned Preston North End a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy award.The Lilywhites beat Oldham Athletic 10-9 on penalties at Boundary Park after the Area Quarter-Final tie had finished 2-2.
Supporters of both sides were on the edge of their seats during one of the longest shoot-outs in the history of the competition, which concluded with Stuckmann smashing his 12-yard effort into the middle of the goal after his counterpart Neil Etheridge had blazed over.
And the success has earned Simon Grayson’s Preston the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Team of the Round prize.
As well as winning a trophy, Preston will also receive a prize of Johnstone’s Paint product to use on a club project.
Grayson said: “The run that we have been on is very good and we have been taking this competition very seriously from the start.
“With a Wembley appearance just two games away now, we are delighted to have got to where we have.”
Territory Manager Joanne Pitts from Johnstone’s Paint handed over the Team of the Round award to the North End manager, in the presence of the trophy the winning captain will get his hands on at Wembley Stadium.
And the manager was impressed by the visual presence of the silverware.
“The trophy is bigger than some of the players,” joked Grayson.
“Any competition where there is a place at Wembley and trophies available is one we will take very seriously, but we have two tough games against Walsall and we will be doing our upmost to try and get to the final.”
Ben Wilde, brand and sponsorship manager for Johnstone’s Paint, said: “There were some excellent performances in the Area Quarter-Finals, including Tranmere winning at Bury and Walsall beating Sheffield United, so it was a really tough decision.
“But the drama of the penalty shoot-out tipped the balance in favour of Preston. It’s not often that you see a goalkeeper wheeling away to celebrate a goal.”
Johnstone’s Paint is now in its ninth season of bringing colour to the beautiful game through its sponsorship of the Football League Trophy.