Sunday 15 January 2012

Preston North End - Deepdale

Preston North End FC
Sir Tom Finney Way

0870 442 1966
Official Website

Ground Number: 187
Saturday 14th January 2012
Preston North End 3-2 Wycombe Wanderers
nPower League 1


I was down to 12 grounds to do to complete the 92 and had, in fact, had this journey planned in as soon as our promotion and Preston's relegation was confirmed at the end of last season. I had previously been to the Football Museum that was located at the ground in the early 2000s and taken some pictures of the outside of the ground, which at the time was 3 quarters completed compared to how it is today. For once I wasn't driving and was getting this courtesy of my mate Danny, Paul being the other passenger in the car. We set off just before 9am and after a quick stop at services were up in Preston just before 12:30. After going to a shop to get some drinks, we went round to some mates who are students up that way and it was great to catch up with old friends. It was then only a short walk to the ground. Sadly we passed 2 chippies on the way, but neither was open, so bang went my usual North West lunch of Steak Pudding, Mushy Peas and Chips.

Wycombe had lost 6-0 at home to Huddersfield in the previous game and morale amongst the fans was at the lowest I have ever seen it. Still, a decent amount of fans made the way up. And they were rewarded when Marcello Trotta gave the Chairboys the lead after just 8 minutes. We were playing as well as we had done all season and had chances for many more goals, even having one unfairly chalked off for an unknown infringement. As well as we were playing in the middle of the park and going forward, our old defensive frailties reared their ugly head once again. A corner just before half time was missed by the normally reliable Nikki Bull and an unmarked Harry Bunn was left with an easy chance to head the ball into an empty net. Still, 1-1 at half time was a lot better than I had envisaged and as Wycombe were well on top I was actually
looking forward to the second half. Sadly the second half was not so easy, Preston were playing a lot better and took the lead on 58 minutes. Again from a corner, this time Jake Jervis was the beneficiary as Wycombe failed to clear their lines despite having the opportunity to cut out passes on several occasions. They fell further behind after the otherwise excellent debutant Anthony Stewart gave away the penalty which was expertly converted by Paul Parry. Preston then had a man sent off but it wasn't until late on that Wycombe started to rally, Trotta again getting the goal. But it was too little, too late as Preston soaked up the 6 minutes of injury time without being really threatened by the Wycombe attack. All in all a good day, a much better performance by Wycombe and some positive signs for the future. Apart from a brief delay on the M40 near Oxford, the journey home was hassle free and we were back home at around 9.30pm, after leaving Preston just before 6.


DEEPDALE is one of the best stadiums in League One and is a great place to watch football. The stands are all really steep so you get a fantastic view. 3 of the stands are named after Preston legends, namely Tom Finney, Alan Kelly and Bill Shankly. Away supporters are given half of the Bill Shankly stand. All stands 3 are uniform in height and size. The one remaining stand, The Invincibles Stand is the newest of the 4 and looks smart. The food in the ground is very expensive and you are better off eating and drinking outside. I didn't get much time to explore but there are plenty of mobile catering vans and also a retail park nearby.

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