Hull City 1-1 Preston North End
Match pictures - here
The first half against Hull City is best forgotten from out point
of view. We were prepared right, we had got there early but when
kick off time arrived it just didn't happen for us. Hull's five
minute group hug before the game had given us a clue to what
this game meant to them and it showed. They were quicker to the
ball, their two centre backs were strong, their full backs pushed
on but it was their two midfield players who were doing the most
damage. They were picking the ball up deep from their center
backs and hitting long diagonal ball between our centre half’s
and our full backs causing us all sorts of problems.
It meant we were constantly on the back foot and when we did
get it the ball we were usually too deep to support our front
lads. In games like this you have to hope your back four stay
strong and try to stop your opponents getting into areas that
can really hurt you. I thought the lads at the back did that
and kept Hulls real chances down to a minimum. Saying that
I thought their goal when it did arrive was a poor one from
point of view (but as Manager I would say that lol). I thought
we could have been stronger in stopping the guys run and from
his angle it should not have meant us conceding but it's a
lead Hull did deserve and took us in to half time 1-0 down
the same time thankful it wasn't more.
Half-time we had a chat and we all new we would have to improve.
Every player was asked to look at his own performance and to
be honest with himself. As manger I also felt we had to try and
make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. I also
felt our midfield had to wrestle the initiative of Hull by being
more aggressive and letting them know that they were in a game.
Second half started much the same with Hull still having time
on the ball and as a consequence they were still hurting us but
as the game wore on, we at last, began to make our presence felt.
Johnny PNE and Andy Dodwell were begging to get at them down
the flanks, Chris Chambers our centre forward was coming off
their back two and picking the ball up deep and going at them
drawing them out of position giving more room for our wide men
to step inside their full backs and our midfield lads were at
last getting hold of the ball.
Hulls number 11 who had run the show in the first half was
now being closed down a lot more meaning he had to go deeper
his own half to try and find the space he was getting in the
first half and this meant he was not causing us as many problems.
Preston continue to ask more and more questions of the Hull
team and the introduction of the Preston sub Peter Heaps
the support he was looking for as it added more weight to the
Preston attack (LOL) as Preston continued to ask more and more
questions of the Hull team.
When the equalizer did come I don't
think anybody can argue that it was not deserved. The all team
had worked their socks off
in the second half and just when we thought it wouldn’t
come we finally got a break! Great work by Peter Heaps and
Chris Chambers found us inside Hull's penalty area and as the
ball broke to a Preston player and he didn't hesitate has he
smashed the ball into the back of the Hull net.
It was no more than Preston deserved and it was Preston now
who had their tails up as they went in search of the winner.
Atky coming on to replace Stuart Bolton nearly gave Preston a
famous victory. Superb work by Andy Dodwell on the left flank
saw him cut the ball back to the onrushing Atky but his snap
shot was beaten out by the desperate Hull City defence. They
game continued to ebb and flow but Hull were not out of it and
only a match saving tackle by Preston left Back Howard Chats
stop Hull City’s number 11 bursting through in the final
The final whistle finally went and there was strong handshakes
and mutual respect from both sets of players as they left the
pitch. Both sides now get ready to lock horns once again in
next weeks 3rd round cup tie. I would like to thank all MY
the efforts on and off the pitch yesterday none more so than
Matty Higgins who really geed us up for that second half. We
had to work hard for that draw but it was great effort by everybody
and that includes the lads on the sidelines
Alex H - Martin - Howard
Jonny - John - Steve - Andy
Chambers - Stu
Pesch, Atky, Pete, Des