Royston’s statement of intent
Preston Athletic 0
Craigroyston showed all the indications that they could well be a force to be reckoned this coming season when they completely controlled proceedings to defeat Preston Athletic 3-0 in this East of Scotland Qualifying League cup sectional tie.
The Craigroyston manager, Ross McNeil, decided on a 4-3-3 formation and their wide men, John Dunn and Errol Douglas, caused the Preston Athletic full backs a torrid time throughout the 90 minutes. Craigroyston fielded an experienced side, including former Civil Service Strollers player Russell Hogarth, now the Craigroyston captain, and he said: “We won the battle in the centre of the park and I feel sorry for Preston’s left back because John Dunn gave him a hard time. In the first half especially John had so much room it was frightening.
“That was the way we wanted to play by getting the ball to the wide men. I don’t think that Preston had a shot on target in the entire second half and I thought that we controlled the whole game.”
Certainly Craigroyston showed their intentions from the kick-off when Dunn won a corner and Craig Dickson headed over. Then Dunn hit the side netting and Paul Lynch tested John Gilbertson with a shot from outside the penalty box.
Preston, however, had the best effort when an opportunistic strike from Robbie Arthur some 30 yards out dropped on to the roof of the net with Stuart Burnside beaten. Steve McCormack then appealed for a penalty after he was brought down by David Jeffrey. Preston’s Dale O’Hara had two free-kicks easily cleared by the Craigroyston defence before the home side took the lead in the 36th minute.
Another Dunn cross from wide on the right found new signing Chris Gordon and his powerful shot was well saved by Gilbertson although the rebound fell to Dickson and he fairly hammered the loose ball into the net from ten yards.
There were only two minutes of the first half left when Preston defender Kevin Morrison took out David Jeffrey with an awkward challenge and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Lynch slammed high into the net.
The second half saw Craigroyston completely monopolise the game although a mixture of some excellent saves from Gilbertson and some indifferent finishing meant that they added only one more goal to their tally. Gordon won the ball wide on the right and his low cross to the front post was slipped into the net by Douglas who had lost his marker.
Paul Greenhill, Dunn and Dickson all had good efforts although the game ended on a sad note when Dickson was stretchered off with what appeared to be ankle ligament damage just as the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Ross McNeil, the Craigroyston manager, said: “We played the same football as we played last week and again we went in front against Preston but we managed to score the all important second goal. That’s what we never did last week. The shape of the team was good, we all worked hard for each other and we are more than pleased.”
David Bingham, the Preston Athletic boss, said: “I think the result was more than fair – we cannot have any complaints. I am a great advocate of you get out of the game what you put into it and I don’t think we put enough into it. We never troubled their goalkeeper and that pretty much says it all. Take nothing away from Craigroyston because they were inventive, they were bright on the ball and caused us all sorts of problems. Not many of my players can say they earned pass marks.”
Craigroyston: Burnside, Jeffrey, Hogarth, Campbell, Jack, Greenhill, Lynch (Manson 90), Gordon (Mukandwa 80), Douglas (McNeil 80), Dickson, Dunn. Subs: Heggie, Addison.
Preston Athletic: Gilbertson, Nisbet, O’Hara, Barr, Morrison, Newby, McCormack, Trialist (Trialist 46), Cairnie (Curran 63), Arthur, Henderson. Sub: Bingham.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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