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Supporters Team Win British Cup

23 July 2013

PNE won the IFA British Cup for a record fifth time on Friday night, as they defeated Heart of Midlothian on penalties.

After a goalless first-half with little between the sides, the game sparked into life in the second period.

 


A harsh handball decision was given against Hearts and Chris Chambers found his penalty saved at the first attempt by the Hearts goalkeeper, but slotted home the rebound to put Preston ahead.


The game then livened up and a searching cross from Andy Dodwell on the left wing found substitute Dan Cooper eight yards from goal but his volley missed by inches.


From the resulting goal kick, Hearts broke and Preston conceded a free kick 25 yards from goal which was expertly dispatched into the top left hand corner which sparked wild celebrations from the Hearts supporters - which included most of the Scottish contingent for the WorldNet tournament.


The game ended with the scores level at 1-1, leaving penalty kicks to decide the tournament winner.


The first penalty takers exchanged goals with Chambers finding redemption from his earlier penalty miss before North End community staff member Jonny Ellithorn uncharacteristically missed from the spot to put Preston 2-1 behind,


PNE goalkeeper Chris Hall then bailed Ellithorn out with a save before Dan Cooper slotted home to even things up at 2-2.


Further penalties from Andy and Jason Dodwell were responded to by Hearts, before their sixth taker blasted over the bar, leaving another of the North End community team Chris McGrail the chance to win the cup.


Despite the goalkeeper’s best efforts, the ball hit his palms before nestling in the net to spark celebrations from the Preston camp.


Preston co-manager Jimmy Atkinson said: “I’m so unbelievably proud of these lads.


“It was a real rollercoaster of emotions throughout the game and we showed real courage and spirit when we conceded the equaliser as it hit us quite hard as we were playing well at the time.


“We had the chance to put the game to bed at one-nil when we missed a great opportunity, but they went straight up the other end and grabbed an equaliser, but that’s football at the end of the day.


“Penalties are a lottery, but we came through and after all the travelling and dilemmas we’ve had throughout the season, I’m so proud of these lads as they stuck by each other and got the just results in the end”.


The WorldNet winners from the weekend long tournament were Halifax Town who beat holders Crystal Palace in the final 1-0.

 



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