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Preston 3-2 Town
Tuesday, 14th Jan 2014 21:50

Sub Joe Garner scored a 20-minute second-half hat-trick as League One Preston came from behind to beat the Blues 3-2 at Deepdale and end Town’s FA Cup interest at the third round replay stage. After a goalless first half, Frank Nouble put the Blues in front but Garner hit back twice in a minute before sub David McGoldrick equalised, however, the Lilywhites striker’s third in the 87th minute sealed the victory.

Mick McCarthy named the expected much-changed side with Scott Loach in goal, Carlos Edwards at right-back, Tyrone Mings at left-back and Tommy Smith and Christophe Berra at the centre of the defence.

Luke Hyam, Jay Tabb and Ryan Tunnicliffe made up a three-man midfield behind a frontline of Frank Nouble in the middle, Paul Anderson on the right and Stephen Hunt on the left.

Academy scholars Byron Lawrence, Kyle Hammond and Matt Clarke were on the bench, alongside veteran frontman Alan Lee. Preston made seven changes to the team which lost to Wolves at the weekend.

Hunt won an early corner with a strong burst through the middle as the Blues started brightly as heavy rain fell. Soon afterwards, Frank Nouble headed to Preston keeper Declan Rudd from Anderson’s right-wing cross.

Town weren’t too far away in the 17th minute when on-loan Norwich man Rudd failed to get much distance on his punch from Hunt’s left-sided corner but Tunnicliffe’s cushioned volley was just too high.

The game developed into an underwhelming, mistake-ridden affair with neither side able to create an opening until Hunt fed Nouble on the edge of the box in the 37th minute, but Paul Huntington blocked his shot.

Moments before the half-time whistle, Chris Humphrey sent over a cross from the Preston right but Kevin Davies was unable to get anything on it and it went out of play on the opposite flank.

Town had just about had the better of a dull half played in a muted almost reserves-like atmosphere.

The Blues had created a couple of at best half-chances but had failed to overly test Rudd, while Town keeper Loach’s most significant involvement was clutching a couple of crosses.

Skipper Edwards made an important challenge on his Lilywhites opposite number Keith Keane soon after the restart, the left-back exchanging passes with Davies and bearing down on goal until the Trinidadian’s intervention.

Will Hayhurst picked up the game’s first yellow card for a late challenge on Mings on the edge of the Blues box six minutes into the second period, the 20-year-old requiring lengthy treatment before continuing.

Berra blocked a Hayhurst shot then as the clock ticked past the 54-minute mark, the home crowd burst into a minute of applause in tribute to a well-known Preston fan Mick Murphy, who died last week.

Four minutes later, the Blues went in front in circumstances that on-loan Norwich keeper Rudd will want to forget.

After Nouble had seen a shot from a Tunnicliffe freekick blocked, Hunt crossed. Preston defender Tom Clarke chested the ball back towards Rudd, who in trying to prevent it from going out for a corner gifted it to Nouble, who widened his angle before lashing home his third goal of the season.

Four minutes after the introduction of sub Garner, Rudd went some way towards atoning for his error on 66 when Anderson was sent away down the left by Tunnicliffe, the keeper coming off his line to block.

The scoreline was completely turned on its head by Garner’s first two goals which both came in the 68th minute. First, his header from a corner on the left somehow crept past Loach and his defenders, appearing to take at least one deflection on the way.

Then, before the home crowd had settled down, Garner latched on to Davies’s knockdown before smashing a shot to Loach’s right.

Blues boss McCarthy immediately swapped Anderson and Tabb for Paul Taylor and David McGoldrick and – after Berra had been booked for a foul on Paul Gallagher - the switch quickly paid dividends.

Edwards cross from the right and with his first touch after coming on, McGoldrick nodded in his 13th goal of the season.

There was a scare for the Blues in the 82nd minute when Holmes picked Edwards’s pocket on the byline on the left. The former sub cut the ball across to Garner, but Hunt did well to block.

The Irishman had a great chance to put Town back in front within a minute but missed Nouble’s cross after the striker had been sent away down the right by Taylor.

Following Hyam’s booking for a foul, Neil Kilkenny sent through a low shot which Loach claimed.

But in the 87th minute the home side grabbed the winner. Garner outmuscled Tunnicliffe inside the area following a freekick and hit a left-footed shot on the turn past Loach and into the corner of the net to complete his hat-trick.

Veteran striker Alan Lee came on for the six minutes of injury time, replacing Hunt, but there was no way back for the Blues with McGoldrick receiving a late yellow card for what referee Keith Stroud felt was a dive and Mings joining him late on for a foul.

After a dull first half, the Blues were gifted the lead but as on Saturday against QPR, they gave away bad goals and only have themselves to blame for losing to opposition - albeit impressive opposition - from a lower division.

Town: Loach, Edwards, Berra, Smith, Mings, Anderson (Taylor 74), Hunt (Lee 90), Tabb (McGoldrick 74), Hyam, Tunnicliffe, Nouble. Unused: Gerken, Hammond, M Clarke, Lawrence, Lee.

Preston: Rudd, Keane, Laird, Huntington, Clarke, Humphrey (Wright 90), Kilkenny, Hayhurst (Garner 62), Gallagher, Davies, Brownhill (Holmes 79). Unused: Stuckmann, Wright, Beavon, Byrom, Hume. Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire). Att: 6,088.

Photo: Action Images



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Sindre94 added 21:52 - Jan 14
Well, you can say it’s «only the cup» and that it’s a so called distraction. Not for me, I love the FA cup and I am gutted that we are out of it.
Hope this is a blessing in disguise though and turns out to do us a favour in the long term when we fight for the 6. play off spot.

For me, Evans needs to back Mick in this transfer window if we want to challenge for promotion. We are desperate for some new faces and a spark in midfield. Honestly don’t understand how Jewell and Keane got so much so spend but Mick’s barely got a penny to splash.

If Cresswell leaves I can’t see us using much of that money on other players, as with the Wickham money, a very little amount of that was used on new players. We bought Chopra and JET but....

Hope to see us get a right back, a creative midfielder and a pacey winger with some trickery and decent crossing ability.

Anderson and Hunt for me are not quite good enough, we need someone who aren’t afraid to take on people.


COYB
17

NoCanariesAllowed added 21:52 - Jan 14
We lose to Preston and Alan Lee was playing for us.

Blimey. Is it 2007?
15

dawoolah added 21:54 - Jan 14
Meh
2

blueboy1981 added 21:54 - Jan 14
.... nothing to say - score says it all. Preston obviously became a good side again tonight !! .... or were we something much less than that ??
6

MonterreyBlue added 21:54 - Jan 14
Not the end of the world but feel sorry for the fans that made the trip, hell of a long way on a cold night.... great effort to you guys, fantastic support.
21

oscarwhiting added 21:55 - Jan 14
dissapointing, seems as though micks got no interest in the cup. ow well, now for a tough test against milwall. COYB
-5

Cloddyseedbed added 21:56 - Jan 14
What does it say about our squad if Preston in a division lower can make 7 changes to their team and still beat us. I feel sorry for our supporters who traveled up to see Town play - credit to them!
17

BillBlue added 21:56 - Jan 14
"WALOR"
0

Sindre94 added 21:56 - Jan 14
Yes, amazing effort by the travelling fans. Fair play!!
Look forward to saturday now for a long journey from Norway to Millwall :) see you guys there, hope for a decent atmosphere!
9

joshITFCporter added 21:57 - Jan 14
absolutely rubbish. hate when people say to "concentrate on the league"
11

ChayITFC added 21:57 - Jan 14
Very disappointed I hoped loachy would keep a clean sheet to get himself back into the side Alan Lee on the bench maybe changed my views on how much MM is getting for the transfer market. I think we need to try and get away from playing nouble as an only striker with 2 wingers playing with him as nouble doesn't provide that physical centre forward like murphs does.
1

pazelle added 21:57 - Jan 14
Hopefully we'll see Taylor given a run in the first team now.

Not arsed about the FA Cup - everyone plays their reserve teams these days anyway!
0

Bezzer added 21:58 - Jan 14
Can't disagree with a word you say Sindre94 - sick and tired with the lack of financial backing!
1

IamSpartacus added 21:59 - Jan 14
Sorry Sindre94, but I do tire of people saying the Wickham money wasn't spent. If you add up the wages wasted on Bowyer, Bullard, Collins etc... plus the huge signing on fees for these *ahem* free agents, then a huge proportion was actually wasted by Jewell.

Regardless, always gutted when we go out of the FA Cup... but I agree that concentrating on the top 6 might be more focussed now.
4

Kentish_Tractor added 21:59 - Jan 14
Disappointing to lose, especially from several positions where we could have won the game. However I am not too worried about the result, as I would much rather on the league.

What I AM worried about is what we can take away from this. Confirmation that none of our reserves and subs are anywhere near good enough for even League 1. A couple of injuries to our key players (McGoldrick and Skuse being the key ones) and we will be really really struggling. I know SEB isn't fit yet, but there's no guarantee yet he will perform. And we NEED a right-back desperately. We all know Chambo struggles there, and sounds on the radio that Edwards had a poor game there tonight against a League 1 side. Been confirmed this week there's no transfer money to spend (only loan fees) - I'm starting to feel much much less confident about where our season is going and where it will end. Cannot see top 6 as it stands.
9

Sindre94 added 22:00 - Jan 14
I meant the 4. play off spot. Obviously there arent 6 play off spots. :)

Anyone reckon we should look for a new goalie? Gerken and Loach are two OK keepers for me, but can we find better? Or should we strenghten other areas first?
-2

runaround added 22:01 - Jan 14
A very disappointing but unsurprising result. ITFC do not take cup games seriously enough for me & usually go out early on. Some may say its important to rest players for league games but to lose to lower league opposition in cup ties is a downer and I fear we will now have a poor run falling away from top 6. Cup runs boost a club but we seem really flat at the moment & fully expect us to lose Saturday if we conceded,
Had the first match been taken more seriously tonight would not have happened, they only have themselves to blame
7

BluePG added 22:03 - Jan 14
"Lack of financial backing".

I'd very much like some folk to explain exactly where we would be now if Evans hadn't bought us. Another Portsmouth, at best, sadly.
-1

runaround added 22:04 - Jan 14
That should read if we concede!
0

TimmyH added 22:07 - Jan 14
Had a feeling we would go out tonight (probably not the only one)...but thought we might squeeze through to extra time. One things for sure Mick is no better than the previous managers in the FA Cup and to a degree the League Cup, I believe that's five in a row we've gone out at the first hurdle.
As mentioned before only the manager and owner really knows just how much they want to do well in these Cup competitions and press this onto the players.
Interesting to note too (not sure how accurate this is) but up until the 60th minute Preston had only 2 attempts on goal both off target, what the hell happened after that?
1

Lightningboy added 22:08 - Jan 14
We need to get things back on track this saturday..think that's 5 without a win now.

Hope this isn't a sign that the season's going to fizzle out early.

Shame we can't get Wickham back here to partner McGoldrick.
4

jas0999 added 22:09 - Jan 14
Not surprised by this. We have too small a squad to cope with injuries etc. other clubs will strengthen but we won't. Not asking for millions, but surely we can afford to bring in a couple of players?
6

cmajm added 22:11 - Jan 14
Runaround, Wigan won the FA Cup last season and got relegated so there is no guarantee that a cup run will tie in with improved league performance. I'm disappointed we lost but I can't say I'm gutted about missing out on Forest away.
1

TimmyH added 22:11 - Jan 14
@runaround - spot on!
1

bluefeast added 22:12 - Jan 14
one win in eight is not good form ,our squad is thin ,stretched and lacks quality
7


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