Town 0-3 PNE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
North End will now entertain York City in the second round
of the IFA Cup.
Atky, Des, Allan, Alex, Chris, Pete, Jimmy, Jimmy H, Dave,
Steve, Andy, Lewis, John, Mike, Johnny, Stewart