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Match Report

 

Posted Thu 21 Jun 12 at 22:58 PM

Match Report

The two sides played out an entertaining goalless draw at Deepdale with Mark Cousins pulling off a number of miraculous saves to deny the Lilywhites an opening day win.

The Colchester goalkeeper was at full stretch to deny Wroe, Laird, Monakana and Amoo on an afternoon where Thorsten Stuckmann was mostly a spectator and when North End could have also have had what seemed like two clear penalties.

The season started in glorious sunshine at Deepdale. David Buchanan coming into the starting line-up in place of the injured Lee Holmes was the only change from the side that defeated Huddersfield in the Capital One Cup the previous Monday.

Like the clash with the Terriers the game started at a high tempo and North End felt they should have been awarded a penalty just after the tenth minute as John-Joe O’Toole seemed to control the ball with his hand, as it ricocheted away to Scott Laird. As loud claims went up the No.3 hit a vcious shot, but it deflected out for the first corner.

On the quarter hour mark Nicky Wroe was inches away from the opening goal of the season; a free kick was awarded right on the left hand corner of the box after a foul on skipper John Mousinho. Wroe stepped up and fired a vicious effort over the ball, but Mark Cousins managed to get fingertips on the ball and push it behind.

Just after the midway point in the half Jeffrey Monakana caused a scuffle. He went in for a 50/50 with goalkeeper Cousins, but it was adjudged he fouled the custodian and picked up a yellow card and needed treatment of his own for his troubles.

With ten minutes left on the half another set piece move created a further chance in front of goal as Scott Laird in a right hand channel played a reverse pass to Nicky Wroe to give him space in the right hand corner of the box. He fired low, but Cousins was able to get down and get a strong hand to it.

North End had their second and even bigger shout for a penalty on 43 minutes, Jeffrey Monakana firing a cross in from the right and Matt Heath clearly controlling the ball with hand, but the officials turned away.

Monakana, however, was denied himself by the Colchester keeper right on the stroke of half-time as he outpaced his marker before driving into the box and hitting a low shot across the keeper who did well to get down and get his right hand to the ball and divert it away.

The young winner, making his professional league debut, supplied the first effort of the second half too, a blistering 25 yard left footed effort that was flying towards the top corner until Cousins miraculously got up and managed to claw the ball behind for a corner on 52 minutes.

David Amoo was North End's first change, introduced for Buchanan on 57 minutes and his first job was to watch Scott Laird hit a blistering effort from 25 yards that Cousins again was forced to tip round the woodwork for another PNE corner.

The introduction of Amoo saw Monakana move out to the left hand side with the No.7 operating down the right flank. Skipper Mousinho was forced from the field just after the hour mark, with John Welsh coming on, Paul Huntington taking the armband and this preceeded the first time Stuckmann was needed on the afternoon, getting down low to claim an effort by O'Toole.

The Lilywhites' third and final change saw the introduction of Andy Procter into the action for Jack King, who was suffering after an earlier clash of heads with Colchester skipper Matt Heath, who himself also needed to leave the field.

The visitors had their best spell midway through the half and Clinton Morrison hit a shot just wide after Wilson's ball in from the right on 66 minutes.

With exactly 75 minutes left David Amoo hit a dipping 30 yard effort that Cousins couldn't handle, but sub Eastham somehow put the ball behind. Then from the corner Chris Beardsley was rugby tackled for the ground for what should have a clear cut penalty, but again the referee waved play on!

The derided official added four minutes of injury time to the play and in that time North End had the ball in the net as Amoo fired home Beardsley's knock down, but the officials again denied the Lilywhites with an offside signal and the game ended goalless.

PNE: Stuckmann, Keane, Laird, Huntington, Cansdell-Sherriff, Wroe, Buchanan (Amoo, 57), Monakana, Beardsley, Mousinho (Welsh, 61), King (Procter, 69). Subs Not Used: Robertson, Cummins, Sodje, Simonsen. 

Colchester: Cousins, Rose, Okounghae, Heath (Eastham, 57), O'Toole (Bond, 76), Morrison, Sears, Bean, Henderson, Wilson, Wordsworth. Subs Not Used: Duguid, Izzet, White, Wright, Pentney. 

Attendance: 10,034 

Referee: Mr P Gibbs

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