It's All Over Now
Preston lost their vital Easter Monday home tie by one goal to nil against promotion chasing Cardiff City and with it they lost their 11 year Championship status as they were relegated. The match was pretty much irrelevant in the grand context of things. With Palace going one up in the first minute soon followed by Cardiff's strike, the game was pretty much up. In brief, it was touch and go as to whether Bellamy was offside in the run up to the goal but he made a nusiance of himself all afternoon playing against a slow backline of Morgan and Cort so would have got through at some stage of the afternoon. The goal was simple with Bellamy breaking the offside trap and squaring for Whittingham to tap home from six yards out. Cardiff could have had more with Turner making a few excellent saves throughout the match. Preston were by no means out of the game with only one goal the difference. The Whites conspired to be their own worst enemies as a shot on goal was cleared off the Cardiff line by a Preston player! It just wasn't to be. Hume went off after being on the wrong end of a nasty challenge which Phil Brown later said deserved a red card. The Cardiff keeper was also lucky to stay on the pitch for his antics especially manhandling the referee at one stage after failing to give a free kick for what the keeper thought was a foul. It is true that Treacy was bundled over in the box and should have had a penalty but the officials much like the home crowd will want to forget this game as soon as possible. By the end of the game Preston had several players out of position. Not trusting Bailey Wright, Cort was paired with Morgan at the back but the on loan Burnley player was clearly not match fit having been out for a month and pulled up with a recurrence of his hamstring strain on the hour mark. Carter ended the game at left back, Jones partnering Morgan with Nicholson at right back. Treacy finished the game up front with Brown whilst Russell played on the wing. It was all out of shape and something that needs to be forgotten. Brown blamed himself for the relegation but that is a touch harsh having been here for under half a season. Ever the optimist he believed he could have saved Preston where many others already believed the club to be doomed. The manager blamed the fact that it took so long for his first win to arrive but many others will point to Mssrs Hemmings and Ferguson for allowing Preston to fall into a bad state prior to the arrival of Brown. The club now has two largely irrelevant games remaining with a chance to sort out where the club, on the field, go from here including prpearing to release a number of players and bring in others at a lesser price.
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