Preston North End 3
Proctor (66), Murphy (pen 74), McLellan (78)
- Match reports
- Tue 28 Feb 2012, 4:47PM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
A flurry of second-half goals saw City’s Elite Development side slip to defeat at home to Preston on Tuesday afternoon.
The visitors had hit the post early on in an otherwise quiet first half, but all the goals came in a hectic period that ended with North End taking the spoils in this Central League fixture.
Carlos Tevez returned to action in his familiar No.32 shirt with a 45- minute stint before he was replaced at the break by prolific Academy youngster Jordi Hiwula.
City keeper Ian Lawlor kept the Blues on terms with a couple of smart saves, one just a few seconds after Rees Murphy had a rolled shot against the left-hand post in the 10th minute.
The impressive Adam Drury had City’s best chance of the first half seconds before the break, but under pressure he could only push the ball wide as he connected with an excellent cross from Luca Scapuzzi.
Clear-cut chances were few and far after the gane resumed, with Keiran Kennedy making a well-timed block to deny Jamie Proctor when it looked odds-on that Preston would go ahead.
But the game came alive on 66 minutes when Proctor did put Preston ahead, the centre-forward latching on to a ball over the top of the defence before slamming it home, despite Lawlor getting his fingers to it.
City did not let their heads drop and they were deservedly level just a couple of minutes later. The visitors were put under pressure around the edge of their box, and when the ball fell to Scapuzzi the Italian curled a lovely low shot in beyond Arestidou.
Lawlor denied Murphy with a fine save on 72 minutes, but shortly after the Preston No.10 had put the visitors in front from the penalty spot. Sean Tse was harshly adjudged to have caught Miller in the face despite the Preston player appearing to stoop for the ball inside the area, but he could only watch as Murphy despatched the ball to Lawlor’s left from 12 yards.
Preston had fielded an older, more experienced side and their extra nous told in the latter stages as they went even further ahead. The City defence was opened up on the right, and substitute Michael McLellan was in acres of space to tap home a cross with 12 minutes left on the clock.
Both Kennedy and Hiwula had the ball in the net inside the last 10 minutes, but both were flagged for offside as Preston held out for the win.