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CREWE 6 PRESTON 6
These two teams met for the first time on the back of respective
defeats, Crewe losing to Watford and Preston to Millwall. So both
teams will take some comfort for a share of the spoils in a hugely
Preston were - as usual, without some key players. Inspirational
centre-back Andy Cooper was still sidelined, Don Herd was busy
busking on the Flag Market, whilst regular keeper Terry the Cat
was moonlighting as a children's entertainer at a party.
Manager Pete "The Pieman" Knowles made the shock decision
to start himself between the sticks, whilst Mike Gostelow was
welcomed back from his latest drunken injury.
Crewe bamboozled the visitors by keeping the ball on the ground
- a tactic rarely used by the Whites. They were rewarded after
barely a minute, when a pinpoint ball into the box was gleefully
rammed home by their centre forward.
The Alex were unlucky not to add to their tally, with Knowles
making an excellent tip over the bar and some wild finishing in
front of goal.
Preston hadn't troubled the home team when Chris Brennan sent
Mark Cassidy sprinting away thirty yards out. CASSIDY held
off the centre-half's challenge before hammering the ball into
the roof of the net from just inside the area.
The visitor's confidence grew in a dazzling ten-minute spell when
Craig Worthington's teasing corner somehow eluded everybody on
the goal line, and it was from another Worthington corner that
CASSIDY rose like a young salmon and headed North End in
Neil Higham was having his best game in a white shirt whilst Chris
Reed was throwing his bulky frame into every tackle.
Minutes later Steve Brennan was upended in the box after a fine
move, and that ginger-haired maestro WORTHINGTON side-footed
the ball into the corner to give the Whites an unbelievable lead.
Crewe came back strongly and dominated the rest of the half, with
some poor marking contributing to two conceded goals, the latter
coming right on the stroke of half-time. By their own admission
the home team were playing as well as they had done this season,
and minutes into the second half a long ball sailed over John
Hunt's head and a cheeky lob by the forward gave Alex the lead
With Gostelow pushing further forward and Chris Brennan making
some probing runs the match was beginning to get very stretched.
Andy Watt and Player-Assistant Manager (and domestic goddess)
Stewart Black made the entrance just as Big Gay Allan McCormick
was going on one of his famous "Headless Chicken" runs.
With half an hour to go Stevie BRENNAN darted past a defender
before cutting inside anad curling the ball into the far corner.
Almost immediately Preston pushed on, scenting a win, and Worthington's
cross was met by Gostelow whose precision header nestled in the
back of the net despite the efforts of the goalkeeper.
Crewe pressed again, and the capacity crowd gasped as they levelled
the match moments later, a cut back from the right being slotted
in at the far post.
With five minutes to go and the drama seemingly at an end, WORTHINGTON
cut through a static home defence that appeared to be waiting
for a pass, he drew the keeper and coolly stroked it in for a
6-5 advantage. However the cheers turned to tears when, in stoppage
time, a corner wasn't cleared and a neat chip ended up beating
the two men on the line to level the match for the final time.
It was a breathtaking finish to an enjoyable game, and although
Crewe had the greater amount of possession Preston looked devastating
on the break. A return fixture will be eagerly anticipated.
Man of the match: Craig Worthington