Pre Season Friendly v Preston North End

DUNFERMLINE 3 PRESTON 3 Date: 23/07/02

Fixture: Pre Season Friendly







DUNFERMLINE (1) 3 PRESTON NORTH END (2) 3

This was a match where
Dunfermline came back from being under the cosh to take control and score three
goals before a simple mistake from keeper Derek Stillie put the
"friendly" back into the pre season.


Stillie was the only change in
the starting line up from Saturday`s match at Methil. Although he could
hardly have been expected to save the first two English goals his 81st minute
pass to the opposition gifted the equaliser and saw the Pars live dangerously to
share the spoils.


Preston manager Craig Brown said
his international teams only lost three goals on three occasions that he was in
charge and assured his supporters that "it won`t happen again."


For the Nationwide Division One
side this was their first competitive match. They had taken in a closed
doors match on Sunday against Carlisle on their route north to train at St
Andrews. They started well but fell right out of the game in the second half
when Dunfermline should have scored two or three more than they did.


Playing towards the Norrie
McCathie Stand, Dunfermline`s shots on goal were extremely limited in the first
half but Scott Thomson had the first from a free kick in the opening
minutes. Stevie Crawford played his way around the defence in the fifth
minute to send in a cross from the left that whizzed through the six yard box
without any connection.


Rankine got a shot in for the
visitors but the deflection off Scott walker was easily collected by Stillie.�
Richard Cresswell was to cause havoc in the Dunfermline defence for the first
half hour and he rounded Walker to send a cross through the penalty box.�
At the other end Brewster`s challenge sent Gary Dempsey through the middle but
his shot was too soon and too far out to trouble David Lucas who leisurely
gathered it.


In the 13th minute CRESSWELL
latched on to a lob from the centre circle to again round Walker and perfectly
finish. 1-0 Preston.


Crawford won a corner three
minutes later and Lee Bullen was clearly held down as he attempted to rise to
McLeish`s corner but Referee Rowbotham is still sharpening his performance up
yet as well.� So there was no penalty and no goal when Bullen almost
immediately won the ball back and he headed across for Walker but he was unlucky
not to get his head on the ball to score.


Brewster sent in a ball from the
left that Edwards spun around on the far side of his own six yard box and did
just enough to stop any Pars players getting to it.� Stillie saved from
Cresswell after Gregan had picked out Skora and then a well timed tackle from
Andrius Skerla prevented Cresswell making it two nil.�


The home support were delighted
to have Ricardo Fuller in the Preston team and booed his every touch.� The
Jambo of last season provided a fine pass in the 21st minute for Cresswell again
to threaten with but thankfully his shot went wide right.


The Lancashire men`s pressure
paid off however in the 28th minute when Cresswell went deep on the left to
despatch a good ball that GREGAN met to guide in at the near post.


The Pars won a couple of corners
but Thomson header six feet wide left was the nearest that came from them.�
Cresswell meantime was presented with a stray pass from Jason Dair and the home
support were happy to groan at Fuller for hitting the shot wide to the left of
target.


Having been well out of things
the Pars pegged Preston back in the second minute of time added at the end of
the half.� Another McLeish corner from the right looped over the jumping
Thomson to WALKER.� The big defender took the ball down and slotted it
right footed in at the left goalpost.


Half Time 1-2


Sean Kilgannon came on at the
break for goalscorer Walker. Things immediately looked brighter (if they
possibly could given the new bright all tangerine strips).� Gary Mason was
first to give Brewster shooting practice with an effort that was
wide.� �


Dempsey, Mason and Kilgannon were
producing some nice touches that gave the defence some respite.� In 56
minutes Lucas clutched a Brewster header from a Dair cross but a Kilgannon cross
from the left two minutes later gave BREWSTER the kind of headed chance that he
just does not miss.


Skipper Thomson pushed forward
and put over a cross from the right that dropped for McLeish but his powerful
shot was blocked. Things got even better though in the 61st minute when BREWSTER
grabbed a second heading yet another cross to put the Pars ahead.


The Scots should have increased
their lead because they created many chances thereafter.� Kilgannon`s pass
to Brewster eventually just eluded Crawford and McLeish`s long sweeping ball
should have been converted by Hampshire but Murdock headed behind.� Dair
had a good shot and Hampshire was out of luck in the 72nd minute with his
effort.


Brewster headed a Kilgannon cross
over the bar and in the 79th minute Hampshire hit a pelter on target but Lucas
miraculously deflected it� over the bar.� Two minutes later there was
a a mix up as Skerla watched Stillie, unchallenged, pass straight to Preston`s
HEALY.� The youngster fired into the vacant goals from the edge of the
box.�


David Healy then hit the inside
of the left goalpost as Preston woke from the dead to finish the stronger.�
So three all and a good entertaining friendly.� Brewster had to be Man of
the Match with a brace on his home debut but Dempsey too had a good opening
performance.


Craig Brown and his assistant
Billy Davies have a good squad in what was witnessed in this match and Preston`s
progress should bring some Scottish pride to the Nationwide League in the
absence of the Old Firm.�