North End fly away with vi­tal U’s vic­tory

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jon Wal­dron To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

PRE­STON North End’s pro­mo­tion-chas­ing play­ers flew down to Es­sex for their game at Colch­ester United.

And af­ter reg­is­ter­ing an im­pres­sive away vic­tory, Si­mon Grayson’s side gave fur­ther ev­i­dence that they are a team well and truly on the up in League One.

The Li­ly­whites’ jour­ney took just 45 min­utes by air and re­turned to Lan­cashire with a vi­tal vic­tory, cour­tesy of Brian Wil­son’s own goal in the clos­ing stages.

Grayson said:“It was a long trip for our fans but they can go home very happy.

“It was a lively pitch and Colch­ester have got some threats who can be a hand­ful on the day.

“But I thought that we went about the game in a pro­fes­sional man­ner.

“You have to win matches in dif­fer­ent ways and I thought we showed a lot of char­ac­ter.

“We had to stand up and be counted when we needed to be and I thought that we did that.”

Colch­ester man­ager Joe Dunne felt that Pre­ston’s win­ner should not have stood, af­ter Joe Garner ap­peared to be in an off­side po­si­tion when he found Chris Humphrey, whose cross hit Sam Walker and then Wil­son be­fore go­ing in.

“The ball through was three yards off­side,” said Dunne.

“The lines­man’s got to make a de­ci­sion and he’s made a poor one.

“I think it was a cruel re­sult and our per­for­mance was good.

“I thought that we were ex­cel­lent and we matched them and prob­a­bly cre­ated as many chances as they did.

“I thought that we were good go­ing for­ward and we were brave enough to try and win the match.

“We did well to get back into the game and don’t for­get that we missed a penalty, too.

“I think we did re­ally well and I was proud of our per­for­mance.”

Garner’s header clat­tered the cross­bar for Pre­ston early on be­fore they went ahead just be­fore the half hour through de­fender Tom Clarke, who headed home Paul Gal­lagher’s cor­ner.

Colch­ester were awarded a penalty min­utes later when Pre­ston goal­keeper De­clan Rudd fouled Mar­cus Bean in the area.

Rudd saved Jabo Ibehre’s weak spot-kick but the Colch­ester striker redeemed him­self nine min­utes af­ter half-time when he curled in a su­perb equaliser, af­ter his long run from the half­way line had re­sulted in his ini­tial shot be­ing blocked.

Walker then de­nied Garner from close range as both sides went for a win­ner.

But Pre­ston net­ted their con­tro­ver­sial win­ner with eight min­utes left, to seal vic­tory.

STAR MAN CHRIS HUMPH

REY Pre­ston

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