North End booked their place in the second round of the FA Cup with a comprehensive home win over Yeovil Town at Deepdale.
Goals from Joel Byrom, David Amoo and Chris Robertson saw the Lilywhites through and into the draw,
Byrom, back in the side, replacing the suspended John Welsh, timed his forward run perfectly to dissect the Glovers defence and coolly slot home Jack King’s through ball and then Amoo scored his first goal in North End colours with a superb counter-attacking goal that ended with the No.7 rounding Marek Stech and firing into the empty net.
Robertson added the third with a powerful close range header with 20 minutes left, before the visitors were reduced to ten men as Ed Upson was sent off by referee Andy Haines for a late and high challenge on Joel Byrom.
Until the opening goal the game had been a pretty cagey affair, both sides trading shots from distance in the opening minutes from Shane Cansdell-Sherriff and on loan Yeovil man Paddy Madden, but neither tested their opposite goalkeepers.
Cansdell-Sherriff wasn’t to last the game much longer after his shot, forced off inside the first ten minutes, a seemingly hamstring injury meaning he was replaced by Amoo, Scott Laird going to left back.
A quarter of an hour into the game the first corner of the game was won by Stuart Beavon, with a great turn, run and cross from right, cleared by Dan Burn, a scorer at both ends on his last visit to Deepdale. A Joel Byrom inswinger ensued, but Yeovil broke with pace, Gavin Williams feeding Madden, but the frontman’s shot was well saved by Steve Simonsen at the other end.
Madden looked the visitors main threat, having just extended his temporary move from Tuesday night’s upcoming opponents Carlisle United and he was allowed to go clean through as the North End defence opened up, but he smashed his shot from 18 yards just wide of left hand post.
The game came to life with just over ten minutes left in the half as Stuart Beavon did brilliantly to close down Burn and win and corner, lifting the stadium and his team-mates and moments later the same man who conceded the corner was needed to clear off the line from a Joel Byrom effort after Jack King had headed down Jeffrey Monakana’s right wing cross.
North End went in front with 38 minutes on the clock and it was a brilliant goal. Jack King split the Yeovil defence with a clever through ball wjhich sent Joel Byrom clean through. The No.13 out-paced the defender and slotted past Stech from just inside the box into the bottom corner.
And within three minutes they had doubled their lead with some superb counter-attacking football. Scott Laird won the ball on the edge of his own box. He in turn played it to Byrom, whose ball was played up to Beavon on half way line. The front man laid it off to Nicky Wroe who perfectly timed a through ball as David Amoo showed a clean pair of heels to the Yeovil defence, before going round Stech and slamming the ball into the bottom right hand corner from 15 yards out.
First half injury time saw the game spark once again with the visitors’ No.7 Keanu Marsh-Brown lucky to stay on the pitch after two-footed challenge above Nicky Wroe’s ankle – the young winger very lucky Andy Haines didn’t send him off.
And it was perhaps justice in the thirds minute of stoppage time that saw a brilliant save on the line for North End from Marsh-Brown. He fired goalwards after two brilliant goal line blocks and a scramble in the area, but Steve Simonsen did superbly to get in the way of the Glovers man’s shot to keep the score into the interval.
More great counter-attacking from North End almost brought a third ten minutes into the second half, David Amoo set clear by Stuart Beavon after he had won a brilliant tackle in his own half. Amoo tried to find Wroe, who eventually laid off King, but his shot was inches wide of the right hand post from the edge of the 'D'.
Edward Upson was given a straight red card 18 minutes into second half for a very high lunge on Joel Byrom, leaving the midfield man marked on his ankle by the ferocity of the tackle, which left Andy Haines no choice but to issue the sending-off.
North End then put on the after burners with Chris Robertson powering home Scott Laird's corner on the edge of the six yard box to make it three with 20 minutes still on the clock.
Steve Simonsen made a superb stop to deny Madden on 74 minutes to keep the defecit at three and then Chris Robertson made an excellent block to deny the same man from Reid's right wing cross, as the visitors looked to go out with a bang rather than a whimper.
Lee Holmes returned to competitive action for the first time since Bournemouth and showed his quality with a superb cross that Burn needed to concede a corner, from which Laird's ball was again met by Robertson, but his downward header came off the foot of the left hand post.
North End saw the remainder of the game comfortably to make sure that ball 38 in the velvet bag for the next round draw would be 'Preston North End'.
PNE Line-Up: Simonsen, Keane, Cansdell-Sherriff (Amoo, 10), Huntington, Robertson, Monakana (Holmes, 72), Wroe, Byrom (Procter, 71), Laird, Beavon, King. Subs not used: Stuckmann, Cummins, Sodje, Beardsley.
Yeovil Town Line-Up: Stech, McAllister, Hinds (Haynes-Brown, 88), Blizzard, Marsh-Brown (Reid, 62), Upson, Hayter, Williams, Foley, Madden, Burn. Subs not used: Ayling, Stewart, Agbo, Brundle.
Attendance: 4,757 (164 away fans)
Referee: Mr Andy Haines