A Tale Of No Penalties
The Sky cameras were disappointed as Preston and the MK Dons played out a rather timid affair with the officials making the headlines over two non-decisions.
Westley changed his line up with Huntington partnering Wright int he centre of defence with Kenae and Laird at full back. It seems that at home the manager likes the use of attacking wingers so youngsters Monakana and Hayhurst started out wide.
Welsh captained the side alongside Wroe as Sodje started up front alongside Beavon. The setup looked as if goals would come especially with the in form Sodje. That apart we were promised an attacking passing style game fromt he visitors which had to mean goals were guaranteed from somewhere.
The sum total of the first half was a few tame shots here and there. For Preston an early cross saw Beavon flick the ball goalwards only for the keeper to save. Sodje also miscued and fired a shot from a cross well over from 12 yards out.
The visitors didn't fair much better and had an opportunity down the left when put through but Stuckmann was untroubled on the whole by the MK Dons.
Huntington was on a yellow card and replaced by Robertson whilst at half time a timid Hayhurst was taken off with Mousinho coming on. This meant Beavon operated more from the left which really didn't help the balance of the team.
The second half was livelier. Laird drilled in a shot that was well saved and then came the first controversial moment of the came. North End had a corner and the ball was pinging around the box. It was headed goalwards when the defender on the line nudged his elbow to stop the ball from crossing the line. It was a clear handball but both referee and linesman failed to spot the incident.
Sodje was then replaced by Cummins who looks less and less like a League footballer everytime I see him although in fairness none of the strikers got much service throughout the game.
Monakana was making an impression down the right and troubling the MK Dons defence with his pace but the final touch or ball was always missing.
The second controversial moment came towards the end of the game when the visitors attacked ont he break. Stuckmann raced out to collect a through ball and appeared to collide with the frontman. The ball seemed to go straight ahead suggesting there had been no touch on the ball. The referee and linesman decalred no penalty but interestingly did not book the forward for diving.
In reality it was probably two penalty decisions that should have been made which were not. It would not have done justice to the game if a goal was scored as neither side looked like pentrating the other back line.
North End now have a free week to prepare for another tough home game against Sheffield United next Saturday.
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