Saturday, 29th December 2012 at Deepdale, Preston
Npower League 1
Preston North End 0 Doncaster Rovers 3
Referee – Mr Steve Rushton
Attendance – 9,626
A cold, dull day, with rain falling from Doncaster to Preston and throughout the game but the match was on a good pitch that showed no surface water. The Rovers made one change from Boxing Day, with David Syers starting in place of Iain Hume, who wasn’t allowed to play against his parent club. Preston made three changes following their goal-less draw at home to Bury on Boxing Day, Paul Huntington, Jeffrey Monakana and Stuart Beavon replacing Luke Foster, Joel Byrom and Jack King. The Rovers, resplendent in their red and white hoops and white shorts, defended the Hollins Road end in front of their fans.
The home team got the game underway but the Rovers were soon on the attack to win a corner in the first minute. Cotterill placed his kick to the near angle of the six-yard box where SYERS, lifted it on the volley to the far top corner of the net. The home team responded and from a free kick on their right, Buchanan’s header was deflected for a corner in the fifth minute. Preston had the better of the next five minutes or so but in the 11th minute a poor back pass by Huntington gave Bennett the chance to beat Stuckmann to the ball and go round him but he was then forced to the byline and the attack petered out. Buchanan, for the home team, then had a long run out of defence before hitting a low shot wide from 25yards. At the other end good work by Bennett led to Paynter having a go from 25yards but it was blocked. Midfield play over the next fifteen or so minutes, the only incidents being a corner apiece, both of which came to nothing and Bennett putting wide from 25yards. Then, in the 30th minute, the Rovers were awarded a free kick on their left just inside the touchline and about 20yards from the byline. COTTERILL took it right footed and planted it right into the furthest top corner of the net. Cotterill followed this by receiving the ball and passing inside to Paynter but his low effort from 30yards was just wide. In the 39th minute a free kick to Preston on their left was punched away by Woods. Five minutes later a general melee followed after Monakana fouled Syers, which resulted in three bookings, Monakana for the foul and Mousinho and Jones for their part in the aftermath. It had been a good first half for the Rovers, who had played some good football and defended well.
Half Time – Preston North End 0 Doncaster Rovers 2
The home team came out for the second half clearly imbued by words of wisdom from their manager. Although the Rovers kicked off they were soon under pressure from the home team but in the first fifteen minutes their only efforts of note were a thirty yarder from Welsh, which Woods saved easily, a left footed effort from Hayhurst, who cut in from the right but fired just past the far post from the edge of the area and a corner that came to nothing. In the 66th minute Paynter was brought down in the penalty area by Foster for what looked like a clear penalty but the referee and his assistant decreed not. Procter, for Preston, then had a go from distance but was well wide of the far post and Elding followed this with a shot from 15yards to the left of goal but placed it wide of the far post. Then, in the 76th minute, Bennett was brought down in the penalty area and the referee awarded a penalty, which PAYNTER duly despatched past Stuckmann. With five minutes to the end of normal time Welsh took a free kick from the right side of the penalty area but Woods beat it away and although there was four minutes of added time the Rovers easily contained them as well as setting up attacks of their own. It was a tremendous win for the Rovers, with three splendid goals and a cast iron defence.
Result – Preston North End 0 Doncaster Rovers 3 (Syers 1, Cotterill 30, Paynter 76)
Teams – Thorsten Stuckmann; Andy Procter, Paul Huntington, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan; Jeffrey Monakana, John Welsh, John Mousinho ©, Will Hayhurst; Chris Beardsley, Stuart Beavon
Subs used – Luke Foster for Huntington 35 mins; Anthony Elding for Beardsley 65 mins; Joel Byrom for Procter 75 mins;
Subs not used – Cansdell-Sherriff, Graham Cummins, Todd Kane, Steve Simonsen gk
Cautions – Monakana 44 mins; Mousinho 44 mins; Welsh 49 mins;
ROVERS – Gary Woods; Paul Quinn, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr; David Cotterill, James Harper, Paul Keegan, Kyle Bennett; David Syers, Billy Paynter
Subs used – Shelton Martis for Bennett 81 mins; Andy Griffin for Cotterill 82 mins;
Subs not used – James Husband, Liam Wakefield, Jordan Ball, Harry Middleton, Jon Maxted gk
Caution – Jones 44 mins;