Grimsby Town 0-3 PNE

Match images here

It was IFA cup time for the Preston players. A first round fixture against Grimsby Town was on the cards. The team set off at 7:00am in a voyage of cars ready for the big match.

After a few service station stops (some of the lads had flashbacks when they stopped at the services station outside Leeds, the one where the service station monster almost ate us alive) the team finally arrived at the location.

Preston sported their new sky blue shirt for the first time. Even some comments came from the watching public such as “They look professional”. The lads were in great team spirit as they all ran out together onto the pitch. Both teams had a pre-match photo and huddle.

Grimsby Town kicked off the first half and straight away put pressure on the blues. Town got the ball down the wing, for the winger to cross the ball in. Alex playing at right back got rid of the danger with a good defensive header. Steve and Jimmy started to get hold of the ball in the middle, they midfield pair created some chances for Allan and Andy who put their efforts wide of the goal.

North End started to get the better of the play where they managed to grab the opening goal. The goal came from some good defensive play from the back, which resulted in Andy being set free down the left flank. Andy used his pace to get right down to the by-line to get a cross into the box. As the ball was played into the box, Lewis dummied the ball for Allan who placed his shot into the bottom right corner to give North End the lead.

The goal came after 12 minutes, Grimsby Town watched on shocked as the Preston players celebrated Allan’s goal. The home side started to get more possession as North End were being pegged back in their own half. Preston managed to string another attack together, this time Lewis went close with a glancing header.

The sky blues were playing well at the back. Dave and John playing together again after Dave’s back injury, were winning everything that was thrown at them. Mike and Johnny were working well as a unit down the left. Grimsby started the pile the pressure on towards the end of the first half as they looked to level the score. The home side had two successive corners but they failed to test Chris in the Preston goal.

Preston went in at the break 1-0 to the good. Steve gave some instructions out at half time warning that Grimsby would give it their all. The second half kicked off with Town taking the early pressure to Preston. The hosts started to get past the North End midfield only for the defenders restricting them to long range shots, which all went wide.

North End started to work as a team again, the passing game started to flow. It was Andy Dodwell who got his 19th goal of the season to give Preston a two-goal lead. The goal came from a throw in down the left side, Alex threw the ball to Steve’s feet. The player/manager a Grimsby player then sent a through ball in Andy’s path. The nippy forward latched onto the ball and chipped it into the net over the advancing keeper.

Grimsby Town’s heads didn’t drop, they came straight back at North End. Preston soaked up the pressure from the home side. Chris in goal did have to make one smart save midway through the second half. It was Andy again who almost scored Preston’s third goal of the afternoon when Jimmy sent Andy through on goal only for the keeper to make a good save with his feet.

Andy soon after found the net, but the goal didn’t stand as the referee blew his whistle for a foul before the ball crossed the line. Johnny stepped up to take the resulting free kick but he blasted the ball over the bar. Steve made some changes to the team. Alex, Johnny and Allan made way for Dan, Potter and Pete.

Atky and Stewart came on for the last 15 minutes as Mike and Lewis were given a well-earned rest. North End won a corner kick after some determined play from Potter down the left flank. Pete took the resulting corner kick. Pete sent an in-swinging cross, which almost went directly into the net.

Potter went on a mazy run down the left flank, taking on three of the Grimsby Town defenders. The quick winger released his shot when only a cross looked possible. The powerful strike was well saved by the Town keeper. Grimsby kept battling away as they look for a goal. The home side had a few attempts, only for the Preston rearguard to clear the ball of any danger.

The match was wrapped up with five minutes left. Andy managed to get his brace for the afternoon. Preston finally finished The Mariners off late on when Dan put through Andy down the left. Andy rounded the keeper on the 18-yard box and smartly slotted home at a very tight angle.

Andy made way for Des who came on for the final moments of the match. The final whistle blew to cue wild celebrations from the Preston team. It was an excellent performance from the whole team. The victory was a memorable moment, which will be etched in the memories for years to come.

Preston North End will now entertain York City in the second round of the IFA Cup.

Back: Atky, Des, Allan, Alex, Chris, Pete, Jimmy, Jimmy H, Dave, Dan

Front: Steve, Andy, Lewis, John, Mike, Johnny, Stewart





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