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A break from the old routine for Preston, as we took part in a friendly match arranged in support of the Foxes Against Racism charity. The prize? A whopping great trophy the size of the bloomin' FA Cup!

And the early omens were good, with a sizable squad of 15 travelling south in search of the silverware. Even the setback of losing star defender Andy Cooper prior to kick-off (an ankle injury sustained by turning round too quickly when someone said "hey, they've got a bird in their team") couldn't detract from the fact that we actually had a couple of subs for an away game!

North End lined up with a new central defensive partnership of Herd and Cick, whilst Chris Brennan and Wild occupied wide positions. Such was the strength of the squad that we were able to leave stars such as Chris Reed, Alan McCormick and even Stewart Black on the bench!

The match started competitively with Leicester City making some strong challenges and showing that they were going to be a tough nut to crack. In physical terms the early exchanges were even, but North End's wealth of talent in the forward positions soon created a number of chances, with Worthington shooting past the post and Steve Brennan firing narrowly over the bar from 20 yards after the home side cleared a corner.

The breakthrough came on 12 minutes when WORTHINGTON, who had been at the centre of all North End's attacking play, curled the ball neatly past the advancing keeper having been sent clear by Paul Godkin.

Within a matter of minutes North End were two up when Leicester failed to clear a Worthington corner and recent signing KEV was able to fire home decisively from the penalty spot. Five minutes later, and following a swift couter-attacking move, it was 3-0 when Steve BRENNAN slotted home with his right foot after his initial left footed shot had been blocked by a home defender.

Having conceded three goals in quick succession the home side where then rocked when their keeper sustained what appeared by a nasty knee injury. After a long stoppage the valiant goalie vowed to play through the pain barrier, and he was rewarded just minutes later when his clearance bounced off Craig WORTHINGTON and nestled in the back of the net! 4-0 going into half-time, and we felt we already had one hand on the cup!

As if the four goal lead wasn't enough, Stewart Black's rousing team-talk and tactical mastery with substitutions sent the visitors out well fired up for the second period.

After a dreadful first 20 minutes of the second-half (that's right - 20 minutes!!), Craig Worthington
swapped reverted to centre-midfield with Paul Godkin moving up front. It was a switch which brought the game to life, as he interchanged to great effect with Wild, Kev and the front men.

Within a matter of minutes a precise ball had been played up to Paul Godkin who with one deft touch sent Steve BRENNAN clear who rifled a low shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.

The goal couldn't have been better timed, with Leicester beginning to threaten. A back four inspired by the on-form Don Herd, and marshalled by the vociferous Pete Knowles had been resolute throughout the game, until an inswinging corner was flicked on by Chris Reed, who was unfortunate to see his touch loop the ball over the stranded keeper and into the back of his own net.

Conceding the goal only inspired Preston though, and in the dying minutes Paul GODKIN was able to reinstate our five goal lead by sending a quality cross from Wild looping over the advancing keeper and under the bar.

As the game drew to a close GODKIN reaffirmed Preston's superiority by making it 7-1 with seconds on the clock, with a quick first touch and neat finish from 15 yards after being played in by a defence-splitting pass.

The match was followed by free beer in the pub, and a trophy presentation on the pitch at half-time. All-in-all a great day out, and fingers crossed Leicester will fail to get promoted and we'll be able to enjoy the same again next season!

Man of the match: Don Herd



preston north end supporters football club

preston north end supporters football club

preston north end supporters football club

preston north end supporters football club

preston north end supporters football club