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Preston North End 0 Newcastle United 1

November 23, 2009

 

Preston North End 0 Newcastle United 1

Deepdale

23 November 2009

Nolan 74

Newcastle’s Kevin Nolan adds to his impressive goal tally – BBC

 

They’ll be pleased with that performance, but we’re in a results game Clive.

Newcastle United may well count themselves fortunate to return to Tyneside with three points, yet it was one of their players who showed the clinical touch that Preston North End lacked as Chris Hughton’s side edged an entertaining match at a rain-swept Deepdale.

Michael Tonge made his debut for Preston with an impressive display, accompanying the superb Richard Chaplow as the home side took control of the game followed a confident Newcastle start. Tonge and Chaplow more than matched Alan Smith – his role restricted following an early booking – and midfield partner Kevin Nolan.

The excellent Youl Mawene was taken off at half-time after unwittingly becoming the filling in a Marlon Harewood/Andy Lonergan sandwich. Martin Chilvers replaced him and looked equally assured against Harewood and a frustrated Andy Carroll, who was himself removed for Nile Ranger with almost 30 minutes to play.

Neil Mellor and Chris Brown worked hard up front for Preston, putting Fabricio Colloccini and Steven Taylor under pressure, while Paul Parry and Chris Sedgwick probed hopefully down the wings. Yet for all their possession, it took until after Nolan had given Newcastle the lead with a smart finish for the home side to fashion a great chance: Mellor raced past Colloccini and knocked the ball comfortably past an advancing Steve Harper – and the post.

When Newcastle had taken the lead the home supporters were right to be surprised: their team had controlled the game and looked the most likely to score. Despite the initial disbelief, their side never looked liked equalising, Mellor chance aside.

Indeed, it was the visitors who should have scored again in stoppage time – Jonas Gutierrez, wearing outrageously yellow undershorts, advanced free down the left and met a perfectly weighted ball, abysmally skewing over and wide. If Mellor’s fifteen-yard curling shot half a minute later had found the back of the net instead of Harper’s safe hands, Gutierrez might have had questions to answer.

As it was, the Toon Army’s shirtless fans could enjoy a return to the top of the table, and Preston were left to reflect on a positive performance – but no points.

 

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