|Preston North End 4 v 2 Colchester United|
Saturday, 4th October 2014 Kick-off 15:00
Preston 4 U's 2 - Durham's View
Monday, 6th Oct 2014 19:11 by Durham Exile
Tony Humes took his charges to Deepdale and were perhaps a trifle unlucky to return pointless. The reason they did was unfortunately down to individual defensive mistakes at key times.
The day was better than the weather forecast had predicted, early rain gave way to some brilliant and warm sunshine. The M6 Motorway south was clear and I arrived at Preston in good time. Now PNE is unique insofar as it has a car park on the Moor Park immediately opposite the ground and which is free for supporters. Admittedly there are some potholes, but nothing on the scale of Boundary Park.
Inside the stadium the first thing to note was the pitch, which was absolutely immaculate. The surface was ideal for a passing game which both sides certainly tried to play.
TH lined up his side thus:
Clohessy Kent Eastman Gordon
Gilbey Moncur Massey Watt
Subs: Lewington David Wright Drey Wright Eastmond Lawrence Bonne Lapslie
Magnus and Jabo are still missing from the team along with Tosin Olufemi who sadly face weeks more on the sidelines.
Now in fairness to Simon Grayson he was gracious enough to comment after the game that “Jamie Jones (PNE goalkeeper) had too much to do for us to be safe and comfortable”
I noted that their MOTM was Tom Clarke (central defender) which also spoke volumes about the ebb and flow of the game.
Indeed the stats show that although PNE edged the efforts 16 to 13 we had 7 on target to their 5. We also had 10 corners to 6. They may have hit the woodwork three times, but we had more clear cut chances to gain a share of the spoils.
I was especially pleased that going forward we were comfortable on the ball and looked a threat. Clohessy, Moncur, Gilbey, Massey, Watt and Sears especially caught the eye and the link up play was crisp and precise.
PNE were first to show with an effort at goal but Colchester deservedly took the lead after 17 minutes through Rhys Healey who reacted smartly to score past Jones and high into the roof of the net.
I shouted “sign him up” and “we can’t afford him” came the riposte!
Sadly after a promising start we allowed Preston not only back into the game but also to take the lead with two gifted goals. First Wiseman was afforded the freedom of Deepdale to run at the defence and then to score with a hard and low shot. Then Gordon was dispossessed on the edge of the penalty area and Browne tucked the ball beyond Walker.
At 2-1 down the Colchester crowd of 133 faithful were not too downbeat. The suggestion was that we could get back into the game and so it proved. Alex Gilbey fired a delightful long range shot past Jones and into the far side of the net.
A deserved equaliser and once again Deepdale was library like as an atmosphere. Jones saved from Watt and right on half time Freddie Sears fired a shot just over the bar.
The half time pie and coffee were consumed and an expectant crowd settled down to see whether the second half could match the first. We didn’t have long to wait.
Colchester afforded Gallagher too much space 25 yards out and he tried a speculative shot on 47 minutes, which I think Walker should have dealt with much better.
Radio Lancashire reckoned later that the shot had a vicious swerve on it, I don’t think so. Anyway it was the turning point in the game.
The Lilywhites had the lead again and the crowd, who had been quiet, were rejuvenated.
George Moncur went on a mazy run from the half way line which went well until his final shot which was tamely defended by Jones.
Chris Humphrey the PNE number 7 was the danger man and he received the ball on the right in the 57th minute bearing down on goal, Walker got a touch but only presented it to the onrushing Humphrey who tapped in from 2 yards out.
Now I still think that Humphrey was offside when he originally received the ball and one viewing on TV has not changed my mind. But it was 4-2 and effectively game over.
Still Massey shot well and Jones saved on 60 minutes and Wright slid in for the home team to take the ball away from Watt and later the same player cleared over the bar preventing a U’s tap in.
Young Rhys Healey was substituted on 65 mins by Drey Wright. The Welsh youngster had once again scored a goal and looked lively throughout. By contrast Drey Wright struggled to get into the match.
One look at the Col U bench confirmed that there was not a great deal of additional strength. It would have been good to have seen Jabo for the last 20 minutes. Indeed he will be the provider for Healey and Sears in a couple of weeks’ time.
PNE hit the bar twice – one a shot the other a looping header, but a 5th goal would have been total injustice for the U’s.
On 83 minutes Sears shot and Watt turned the ball in only to be ruled offside.
Only an extra 3 minutes were found by the referee. Surprisingly considering Jones' extravagant time wasting and that was it. Another defeat when perhaps a point should have been the outcome.
The bottom 4 all lost again, but it still very tight up to Coventry who are 15th.
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