PRESTON PLAYERS PACK A PUNCH!
LIVID boss Simon Grayson blasted strikers Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle after the pair were sent off for fighting with each other in the dying moments of Preston’s defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Wednesday, who had had Fernando Forestieri sent off on 65 minutes, led 2-0 until sub Doyle pulled one back.
“There’s a disagreement about a pass and then absolute childish behaviour from the pair of them that has cost the chance of a point from the game,” fumed Grayson.
“They’ve let a lot of people down. They will be reprimanded without a shadow of a doubt. What happened was a disgrace and an embarrassment to both players.”
PRESTON boss Simon Grayson labelled strikers Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle a “disgrace and embarrassment” after the pair were sent off for fighting with each other.
The incident, in the dying minutes, capped off a match that sparked into life in the 65th minute when Sheffield Wednesday scorer Fernando Forestieri became the first player to see red.
The Italian striker was given his marching orders for pushing Preston midfielder Ben Pearson in the face in an off-the-ball incident.
Despite his dismissal, Wednesday extended their lead through a Steven Fletcher penalty before Preston sub Doyle pulled one back to give them hope of a point that went up in smoke with the double sending off.
Grayson said: “In 30 years of being a player and a manager I’ve never seen an incident like that between two team-mates. It has been an embarrassment. There’s a disagreement about a pass and then absolute childish behaviour from the pair of them that has cost the chance of a point from the game.
“They’ve let a lot of people down. They will be reprimanded without a shadow of a doubt. What happened was a disgrace and an embarrassment to both players.
“Our decision making from start to finish was poor, we started the game sloppily and the second goal was down to bad decisions. It has cost us.”
Preston were certainly second best in the early stages as Forestieri forced keeper Chris Maxwell into a save in just the second minute.
Two minutes later right-back Adam Reach bombed forward and his cross just evaded striker Lucas Joao and ended up safely in Maxwell’s arms.
But, the Preston keeper was helpless to stop Forestieri from opening the scoring in the ninth minute. When the visitors could only half clear a dangerous Wednesday attack the Italian was on hand to divert Reach’s wayward shot in with his head.
Preston almost hit back three minutes later when striker Callum Robinson rattled the woodwork with a powerful shot from 30 yards.
However, Wednesday’s injury problems were mounting as they lost Ross Wallace and skipper Glenn Loovens with head coach Carlos Carvalhal forced into two first-half substitutions.
And sub Will Buckley had to play on injured after Maxwell had brought him down to concede the penalty Fletcher converted.
Grayson used his last substitution to bring on Doyle and the Irish striker pulled a goal back with his first touch to give the visitors hope before the farcical finale.
Carvalhal said he didn’t see Forestieri’s red card but had no complaints about the decision.
He said: “They’re a very tough team to play against, very organised. We prepared well and we started well and got the early goal. Then we lost Ross, we lost Loovens but the players we brought on did well.
“We played with ten players and our team showed that they wanted to win, they showed the quality of the group. We got the second goal but were then down to nine men because Buckley was off the pitch and that’s when Preston scored.
“The game finished with the two red cards but it was a difficult victory against tough opponents.”
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Eoin Doyle, right, and Jermaine Beckford square up before, below, being sent off
OFF: Fernando Forestieri
SPOT OF BOTHER: Steven Fletcher scores a penalty, and, inset, Eoin Doyle and Jermaine Beckford come to blows