A very cold night in Fleetwood saw a local derby between two fierce rivals....albeit in the Pontings Reserves league.
Former 'Pool trainee, 18 year-old Dax Hoogerwerf, was handed a starting place alongside young Matty Ogden. First team hopefuls Rory Prendergast, Marcus Bean, Gareth Farrelly, Paul Tierney and third choice 'keeper Lewis Edge were also in the line-up in an otherwise inexperienced side - with only Farrelly coming in from the first team setup from recent weeks.
For much of the first half, 'Pool were well and truly under the thumb with Joe Anyinsah running rings around Paul Tierney at left back - sporting a new hair do...featuring hair! Something which baffled a few of us in the stand during the first half hour of the game. Lewis Edge also had a few hairy moments with crosses and when rushing out at the striker's feet, which eventually led to their opening goal. Unfortunately my memory isn't up to scratch so i've forgotten what happened in the build up!
The second goal was another piece of dodgy defending on our part. A corner wasn't properly cleared and the defence failed to pressure the player on the edge of the penalty area - who simply half-volleyed the ball over everyone for Callum Davidson to slot home leaving the 'Pool defence staring in disbelief.
Matty Kay - played on the right of midfield - was set up by Rory Prendergast a few minutes later. Rory held up ball well on the left, played a cross-field ball in between the defence and the midfield, into the run of Kay, who knocked the ball inside the full-back on the corner of the area, onto his left foot and hammered it into the right hand side of the net - much to the delight of the hundred or so fans that turned up (if that).
Danny Dichio scored two goals later in the evening to make the score 4-1 to the old enemy - once again, capitalising on some poor defending.
Rory Prendergast was sent off in the 2nd half, dubiously it must be said! There didn't seem to be anything wrong in the area - during a 'Pool corner - and all of a sudden a confrontation occurred between a few Preston and 'Pool players, only for Rory to emerge with the red card! He gestured to the home (and away) bench that he had his arm raised to shake off the defender and could have been sent off for catching the player in the face...although he seemed as bemused as the fans were as he headed silently, head down, down the tunnel.
Dax played the first 45 minutes, with Matt and Larry taking up a position in the seated stand at the ground, but he was substituted at half time when the young Liam Caddick was brought on - who it must be said, possesses a fair bit of pace and could be one to keep an eye on for the future. Dax unfortunately didn't get into the game, against tough centre-halves and he's not the strongest in thee air.
A good workout for Farrelly in the centre of midfield - he later switched more to the left hand side following Rory's red card - but Marcus Bean didn't stand out at all, had a few bad touches and never looked in the game, definately a worry for someone who looked so promising when he first signed for the club. Paul Tierney did OK at left back, but was beaten for pace on a number of occasions which left us in all sorts of trouble!