Another long journey back after another dismal 90 minutes of football. A Kevin Davies header, which could have been prevented, separated us on the scoreline but despite Pressley’s usual “we were excellent” comments I think Preston were the better side, and although we may have had a good final 10 minutes, a game can’t be won by performing for a fraction of the time.
The first half was as poor as we’d played all season, with Preston looking very comfortable for the entire 45 minutes. We never really turned up to tell the truth, we allowed the home side too much time and space and they were able to pick passes at will. Possession was something we had for portions of the opening half, but despite having the ball we went nowhere with it… It doesn’t take a lot to realise if we don’t get the ball up to the strikers, we won’t score goals! We didn’t have a shot in the first half that was of any danger to the Preston goal… Actually, did we even have any?
Despite us having a stinker of a first half, Preston never really looked too dangerous apart from a few chances but they looked so comfortable it was unreal, I think Sam Johnstone fell asleep in the home goal. The goal they did score was poor also and could of easily been avoided – nobody pressed the lad who swung the cross in and Kevin Davies then beat Burge to the ball in the 6 yard box to nod home… I think Burge had a solid game, but I think he had to win that ball, even if it meant taking a header to the face!
The second half was an improvement, but only a slight one in my opinion. I saw a minute ago that on the website it says we “dominated the second half but just couldn’t find the net”… That’s because we didn’t shoot! Admittedly, we did press a bit higher and stopped Preston playing as much, but the only shots we had were an Adam Barton long range drive which was well saved, and a John Fleck pile driver which cannoned off the angle of the goal late on… Oh and a Nouble miss.
Let’s face it, the first 35 minutes of the second half was only a minor improvement and it was like watching paint dry at times. The final 10 minutes however was a lot better, and we finally started to look as if we were capable of salvaging a point, which begs the question why can’t we do that for the other 80 minutes of the game? Inconsistency… We’ve seen it all season, and that’s why we are 20th in the league. The home side didn’t have their best game in the world, still managed to win and look fairly comfortable… I just think if we were more positive on the ball they would’ve been there for the taking today!
On another day we may have won the game as Fleck was agonisingly close with his effort and Frank Nouble skied an absolute sitter. Football is a results game though and that’s something we aren’t getting, attendances are forever dropping and more and more fans are walking away from it. I dread to think what the attendance will be on Tuesday night for what now becomes a “do or die” game against Scunthorpe… If we take the final 10 minutes of today and transform it in to 90 minutes then why can’t we win? At this point though I wouldn’t care how we got a result, as long as we do!
Roll on Tuesday (I think).
Lee Burge 8 – had a fairly solid game and looked more confident. Could’ve done better with the goal but made a superb save later in the first half.
Matthew Pennington 5 – am an admirer of Pennington, but he had a horror show today… Was like Bambi on ice.
Andy Webster 6 – had a good enough game, didn’t really do much wrong.
Aaron Martin 6 – same as Webster, had a decent game.
Jordan Willis 6 – was strong enough but didn’t seem himself today. Didn’t do much wrong but wasn’t a stand out.
Jim O’Brien 7.5 – worked his arse off again and ran the midfield with Fleck. Chased every ball down and showed real passion and drive. Did give the ball away for the goal though
Adam Barton 7 – despite his critics, the Irish midfielder had a good game. Retained the ball well and looked stronger.
John Fleck 8 – had one of his better games of late. Passing was superb and broke down Preston’s play a lot. Very unlcuky late on.
Luke Williams 6 – new man didn’t really do much, sure there’s better to come from him.
Dominic Samuel 5 – didn’t really do anything all game, looked a shadow of last weeks performance.
Frank Nouble 6 – went on one good run but apart from that he did very little. Man of match last week, not great this.
Marcus Tudgay 6 – held ball up fairly well and created a little.
George Thomas 7 – had a good impact off the bench and made things happen. Is a good prospect.