| Welcome to the PNESFC website
PRESTON 10 GRIMSBY 1
Grimsby travelled to Lancashire in search of revenge following
November's 2-3 home defeat to the Whites. With a 5-1 victory
over Leicester sandwiched in between the two fixtures they must
have fancied their chances of at least a draw, but little did
they realise what lay ahead.
Preston were at full-strength, with Paul Godkin and Chris Farrelly
returning to leave manager Stuart Black with a midfield selection-headache.
The highly rated rookie boss eventually plumped for an adventurous
4-3-3 formation with Steve Brennan behind a front two of Worthington
and Cassidy. Farrelly, Godkin and Chris Brennan made up a strong
midfield whilst Andy Cooper started alongside Don Herd with
Whaley and Black continuing at full-back. In goal the Mighty
As in the away fixture the match started with both teams looking
strong, and it was again Preston who stole the early advantage
when Steve Brennan got past two defenders before centring a
ball for WORTHINGTON who finished magnificently.
The home side's joy was short-lived though, as with less than
10 minutes on the clock disaster struck for Preston when the
returning Mark Cassidy had to be pulled off, following what
looked like in innocous challenge on the visiting keeper.
A reshuffle in the attacking positions saw Steve Brennan moving
up front and the side returning to a 4-4-2 formation. Within
minutes Preston were two-up thanks to the impressive FARRELLY
who finished well following confusion in the vistors' box.
The game was effectively over when, from Grimsby's kick-off
Steve BRENNAN takled a Grimsby midfielder before racing
through a firing past the shellshocked goalkeeper.
The Mariners confidence was now low, and as they struggled to
regain momentum, North End were able to run-riot for the remainder
of the half.
First up was Chris FARRELLY who curled a shot beautifully
from the edge of the box into the top right hand corner of the
goal. Craig WORTHINGTON also netted after a neat move,
but was substituted shortly after, sufferring with a dead leg.
It was left for Chris FARRELLY to complete an impressive
first-half hat-trick to compound the visitors' misery before
Grimsby regrouped to discuss how to respond to the 6-0 half-time
Whatever plans were made for the second-half were in tatters
when a planned move from the kick-off resulted in a goal. Paul
Godkin played the ball back to Chris Farrelly who then played
a long ball to Steve Brennan on the edge of the box. Brennan
controlled the ball but was tackled as he bore down on goal
- the loose ball fell to GODKIN who neatly slotted home.
Grimsby were now admitting defeat to the opposition and the
plastic pitch, when Craig WORTHINGTON returned to the
pitch. Within minutes he had secured his own hat-trick, slotting
home after a Steve Brennan shot was parried by the keeper.
To Grimsby's credit they were persistent and were rewarded with
a goal when poor marking down the Preston right allowed them
time to cross. The cross was met by a startled Grimsby striker
who steered the ball past the helpless Terry Quinn.
Any hopes of a comeback (!) were dashed when new signing KEV
netted well after a quality cross from Alan McCormick.
The tricky midfielder killed the ball on his chest before firing
into the roof of the net.
Grimsby's misery was complete when Craig WORTHINGTON
put North End into double figures, hitting a low shot to the
advancing keepers' left.
All in all a remarkable result for the Whites, but one that's
perhaps exaggerated by the visitors unfamiliarity with the artificial
Hopefully North End can build on their run of four wins on the
bounce when Birmingham travel to the Sports Arena on January
Man of the match: Chris Farrelly