Preston North End 4-2 Rotherham United
Quote from the Bury Fans Team Manager who watched this game;
"Preston preparation, organisation and sheer desire
to win this match was
plain to everyone who witnessed this match".
This quote from the Bury Manager said it all really and I personally
take great pride in what he said. It's something I have tried
to do all season and Saturday was pay back time for all that
effort and commitment over the course of the season. As for this
game, we new we had to be at our best to have any chance of winning
it, so we prepared ourselves the best way we could.
Our actual preparations started the night before with a light
training session on the "Park" next to Deepdale. Our
preparation continues with the hire of a mini bus even though
it was a short distance to Bury. I felt we had to get the atmosphere
right before the game and by travelling together we could do
this. So when we kick off we were ready as we could be.
Yet with all our preparations in was Rotherham who drew first
blood. It was a poor goal from our point of view as we somehow
let a Rotherham player get to the bye line and then let him get
his cross in without much of a challenge. Just as our goal was
poor Rotherham would not be too happy about our equaliser goal.
A great free kick floated in by Johnny Kershaw was headed across
goal by Player Manager Steve, Chris coming in at the back post
connected well with the cross but unfortunately for Rotherham
the ball having come back of the keeper hit the defender on the
line and somehow crept into the corner of the net and that's
how it stayed till half time.
As the second half got under away you could tell Preston had
been lifted by their equalising goal and even through they were
up against the driving rain and against the narrow slope of the
pitch it was the Preston team who took the game to Rotherham.
Rotherham have some real quality players but they were struggling
against the pace of the Preston attack and it was from the pace
of their attack half way through the second half that Preston
finally get there noses in front.
Sheer pandemonium broke out on the touchline five minutes later
as Preston who were now on the ascendancy scored again.
The Rotherham Keeper did well to keep beat out a shot by a Preston
player but Jimmy Higgins who had just come on as sub gleefully
drove the rebound high into the Rotherham net, 3-1 Preston.
Some of the Preston Fans and subs thought it was all over but
you should never switch off against a team like Rotherham and
a deserved penalty given for a late tackle by the Preston centre
half was duly converted by the Rotherham player.
The final 10 minutes were a tense affair but another pacey attack
from the Preston team so Preston Man of the match Chris Chambers
hammer in the fourth and deciding goal. The ref decided enough
was enough a few minutes later and the Preston team celebrated
their win in fine style.
It was close game but Preston deserved to win this game and
this was acknowledged by the Rotherham lads after the game. This
win took Preston into their first ever Cup Final. This Semi Final
was a game which will live long in the memory of everybody who
watched this game.
A big thanks goes to the referee who had a difficult job on
his hands but he Refereed in fair and just way. There was a few
things said after the game by both sides but let’s hope
with the passage of time these will be forgotten and when we
meet up again we can just concentrate on the football and between
us put on another great show.
Thanks to all players on both sides for their efforts but most
of all thanks to all my players who did everything i asked of
them and more besides. To beat a team Like Rotherham in this
our first season is a remarkable achievement so well done lads
you deserved it!