Mixed Fortunes For Preston
North End suffered defeat before managing to find a win on the opening day of 2013 away to lowly Hartlepool.
After the poor performance on Boxing Day things got worst for Graham Westley as his side went down meekly to high flying Doncaster at Deepdale before the year was over.
One strong point of the Boxing Day draw against Bury was the defence which kept a clean sheet. For some strange reason Westley changed his defence around for the visit of Doncaster and this clearly had dismal consequences.
North End played Mousinho out of position at right back and looked very defensive against the team witht he best away record in the league. North End were down within 60 seconds. Whether it was a corner is debateable but no one on the back post meant Doncaster took the lead from a nice finish.
The visitors cored again before the break and Preston had a lack of ideas on how to move things forward with ironic cheers coming in the second period when they had a shot on goal.
The penalty for the third goal was a touch harsh but in all honesty North End deserved nothing out of the game. Westley kept his players in the changing room for nearly ninety minutes after the game before finally facing the press and blaming youngsters Monakana and Hayhurst who has hardly played this season for the result.
Granted the young pair were both dropped for the Hartleppol game in what almost became a must win game against a side adrift at the bottom of the table.
North End were awarded a penalty for the first time this season which was taken by Nicky Wroe and saved. Mousinho, playing in a more advanced position, scored his first for the club showing why Westley keeps playing him despite his less than average performances of late.
Preston managed to maintain their lead to take all three points. It is a measure of the poorness of the league as Preston sit only 3 wins away from jumping into the play off positions.
No one has been outstanding this season against North End although Preston's poor form has allowed the opposition to pick up some easy wins. North End have to improve otherwise Westley will face even more questions about his future.
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