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Match Report


Posted Thu 10 May 12 at 05:55 AM

AFC Bournemouth 1 PNE 0

A second half penalty from midfielder Charlie Daniels sealed all three points for AFC Bournemouth in Preston North End's final game of the 2011/12 campaign at the Seward Stadium.

Manager Graham Westley made three changes from last weekend's dramatic draw against Charlton Athletic, with new professionals Luke Clark and Will Hayhurst coming in alongside Irish striker Graham Cummins.

David Gray, Chris Holroyd and Chris Robertson dropped down to the substitutes bench, whilst there was a welcomed return for Scottish midfielder Barry Nicholson after a hamstring injury. 

Cherries Player of the Year Marc Pugh lined up for the hosts and Club legend Steve Fletcher was amongst the substitutes after a recent loan spell at League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle. 

Not even one minute in and Bournemouth created their first opportunity on goal, when Lyle Taylor tricked his way past the PNE defence to send a shot from 20-yards over the bar and into the car park behind the goal.

The hosts maintained their early pressure, and went close again in the seventh minute when Shaun MacDonald put a teasing cross into the box from the right wing, however striker Wes Thomas couldn't get a clean connection with the ball to worry Andreas Arestidou.

Winger Pugh, who was with North End's Lancashire rivals Burnley as a youth team player, showed off his talents by controlling a 40-yard pass to take the ball away from Australian defender Bailey Wright.

On the edge of the penalty box, Pugh curled the ball with his right foot towards the top corner, but his effort flashed wide.

North End's first strike on goal came on the 20 minute mark, when a succession of passes allowed skipper Paul Coutts to drive towards goal.

Bursting past two Bournemouth defenders, Coutts unleashed a 20-yard strike wide of the left hand post.

Play had to be stopped for five minutes soon after Coutts' effort, when Bournemouth defender Miles Addison went down with what looked like a dislocated wrist, but after receiving medical treatment he was able to continue.

Play continued with Bournemouth on the prowl, and Pugh sliced a shot wide of the left hand post following a quick attacking move from Paul Groves' men.

In the 37th minute, the gaffer made his first change, youngster Hayhurst replaced by centre half Robertson, the sub allowing Max Ehmer to push into midfield alongside Clark.

PNE failed to capitalise on a superb opening five minutes before the half time whistle, Mayor slipping number nine Jamie Proctor through on goal, only to see his shot travel past the post.

The game's closest chance came in stoppage time, when Westley's decision to move QPR loan star Ehmer into midfield nearly paid off with dividends.

After strong work on the left wing from Coutts, the midfielder held off two challenges and centered the ball for Proctor.

Rolling the ball back for Ehmer, the youngster struck a powerful effort for keeper Jalal Shwan to turn round the post.

But Preston were not finished there, and Ehmer again went close two minutes later, unmarked inside the penalty box, the defender turned midfielder headed straight into the hands of Shwan after an excellent cross from Coutts.

The half time whistle soon followed with North End finishing the half the stronger of the two sides, but the score remained goal less.

Bournemouth were awarded a penalty in the 49th minute when Clark tripped Donal McDermott only seconds after Arestidou saved well from Wes Thomas as the striker went clean through following a mix up between Wright and Craig Morgan.

Midfielder Charlie Daniels stepped up to the plate and struck the spot kick straight down the middle to hand the Cherries the lead.

In the 58th minute, Westley made his second change of the afternoon, Clark withdrawn for striker Holroyd.

Despite the scoreline not sitting in North End's favour, the 651 travelling supporters, many of them in fancy dress, stayed vocal throughout the game.

With the game needing some life, the Lilywhites introduced Scot Nicholson with 20 minutes to go, Proctor the man to go off.

The hosts should have made it two goals to the good with eight minutes remaining, as Thomas broke the offside trap, however he fortunately slipped over inside the penalty box.

In the dying stages in the match, Preston came a whisker away from grabbing an equaliser, when sub Nicholson created space on the right hand side.

With Graham Cummins waiting unmarked in the penalty box, Nicholson cross was slightly over hit and went over the striker's head. 

The final whistle soon followed as the 2011/12 season came to an end for Preston North End on the south coast, with the score finishing 1-0 to the home side.

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