County Thrashed By Five-Star Preston
Tuesday 10th August/7.45pm
County were comfortable brushed aside by Championship Preston at Edgeley Park in front of just over 3700.
Andy Halls came in for Robbie Williams in a straight swap at left-back, while Danny Rowe - so impressive in his cameo appearance on Saturday - replaced Adam Griffin on the left wing.
County's midfield was again, so obviously, physically and mentally weaker than that of Darren Ferguson's young side who boasted loanees who come highly-rated from Manchester United - with manager, and father of boss Darren, Sir Alex Ferguson watched on from the directors box.
Despite the stronger midfield of North End, County were holding their own in the opening exchanges, and central defence pairing Manny Assoumani and Danny Swailes were winning their headers and controlling play well in the defensive third.
Owain fon Williams looked to be gaining back some confidence with two brilliant point-blank saves, instinctively reacting to thwart Jon Parkin twice in about three minutes.
Andy Halls was failing to settle in, in his obviously unaccomplished position of left-back. And just before half-time it was evident more than ever as he needlessly hacked down Danny Mayor just inside the box - linesman and referee both had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Lilywhites skipper Calum Davidson hammered the ball high into fon Williams' net.
Man Utd loanee Matty James, who looked a class act for the Deepdale outfit, made it 2-0 after half-time with a brilliant goal to be fair.
James nutmegged right-back Mark Lynch before finding the route to goal opening up. The youngster strode into the area and blasted the ball underneath fon Williams into the far corner for 2-0.
After that, County heads dropped and that was that.
It was three soon after, Chris Brown took time out from being the lead singer of Coldplay (sorry..) to control in the box and turn Danny Swailes before being pushed over by the County skipper for another blatant penalty.
Striker Paul Hayes smashed the resulting spot-kick into the top left of fon Williams' goal.
Another impressive loanee Josh King made great inroads down the right-hand side and crossed the ball to the far post low for Hayes to roll home for the fourth. King then made it five himself with an easy tap-in. I think. I'd left by then.
North End boss Ferguson commented afterwards that 5-0 was a bit flattering for his young team but that they ultimately deserved the win. A fair reflection on the match.