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Preston Athletic v Edinburgh United 16th June, Derek Hall’s report

todayJune 25, 2021


Preston Athletic 2-1 Edinburgh United
Another pre season friendly and Pennypitt Park looking good as Preston Athletic welcomed Edinburgh United for this Tuesday night fixture. The opening exchanges were pretty cagey but that ended in the 10th minute when a defensive error allowed the ball to be slipped across to Preston centre forward Malloy who was gifted the chance to stroke the ball home into the empty net from 10 yards. Three minutes later a snap shot from Woodcock on the half volley from around 22 yards went wide and it continued to be the home side who were making most of the running. On 18 minutes, Helm of Utd was warned by referee Cairns after bringing down Prior close to the touchline. Edinburgh’s first real chance of note came after 22 minutes when Helm clipped a nice ball through in the direction of Young, but Preston keeper McConnachie was smartly off his line to get to the ball first. On 26 minutes, Hamilton of Preston was penalised for stealing yards at a throw in and then had to be warned by the referee for taking his protests a bit too far. However with 10 minutes of the half remaining, Preston doubled their lead as a driven free kick from around 25 yards by Hamilton took a slight deflection off the defensive wall and crashed down off the underside of the bar before bouncing up perfectly for Malloy to head both his and Preston’s second of the night from no more than four yards out. Just a minute later Stokes beat the Utd offside trap and got to the goal line but his cutback failed to find an Athletic team mate. So some daylight between the teams at the break and the scoreline was a pretty accurate reflection of the way the game had gone.
Three minutes into the second half, Utd showed some intent as a 30 yard drive from half time substitute Swanson zipped past replacement keeper Bain’s near post. On 51 minutes, Utd threatened once more as McKinlay played in the lively Swanson who stepped inside his defender before trying to curl a right foot effort into the far corner from around 16 yards, but keeper Bain made an excellent save in tipping the ball over for a corner. However the respite was only temporary as Utd worked a short corner routine and when the ball was clipped in to the heart of the penalty area, there was another half time substitute Guiney rising unchallenged to power a header past the helpless Bain from around seven yards and halve the deficit. On 53 minutes, it was Utd keeper Smith who had to move smartly diving at the feet of Jack to snuff out the danger. Guiney was again involved after 62 minutes with a speculative back post cross which had keeper Bain back pedalling to ensure it was dropping wide. Swanson had made a big difference up front to Utd with his direct running and willingness to shoot, and on 69 minutes, Austin of Preston was rightly cautioned by referee Evan Cairns for a pretty robust challenge on the winger in front of the dugouts. On 74 minutes Jack broke away for Preston but his back post cross went over the head of McCole. With 10 minutes left, Swanson fired in another 30 yarder along the ground which seemed to deceive keeper Bain and the rebound was only just scrambled away by Prior. Two minutes later Swanson fired in yet another drive which went wide and then soon after he laid the ball into the path of McKinlay who fired well wide and appeared to slightly injure himself in making the shot. With two minutes remaining, Douglas got forward for the home side and when he got his cross over, the ball went just behind Underhill and Burgess couldn’t get the connection he wanted when the ball reached him. At the end Preston held on for the win after a very decent first half performance with Malloy looking dangerous up front, whilst a super second half for Utd orchestrated by the excellent Swanson nearly brought them a draw which nobody would have begrudged them on the night.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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