Preston V Col Utd - Match Report
Super U’s Refuse To Lose As New Signings Shine
Preston NE (0) 0 Colchester United (1) 3
Saturday 25 August 2007, Deepdale
Sheringham (Pen), 61
Attendance: 11, 582
Two former Premiership forwards, Kevin Lisbie and Teddy Sheringham, scored once each when Colchester United racked up three goals away from home in Preston for a first win of the season. Three games in, and it’s seven goals and five points so far for the U’s.
After what some have called the club’s best performance outside Layer Road since the Championship promotion, Colchester can reflect on dispatching an opponent in North End longing to know where the next goal is coming from. Three league games in, and the ‘for’ column still houses a big fat zero. It appears that Preston can’t buy a goal, despite rushing back Patrick Agyemang from injury for this match.
United have no such problems; all strikers bar Jamie Guy, yet to appear this term, have hit the string – Clive Platt, Lisbie and Sheringham seem to know where the gaol is.
Teddy, in fact, made it his second in seven days when he put the U’s two-nothing up. A penalty, won after Colchester’s Johnnie Jackson had a free-kick handled by Darren Carter in the area, beat Wayne Henderson to his left side. The 41-year-old veteran made it count with a deceptive jig – pace, power and precision did the rest.
With the points looking safe for Colchester, Mark Yeates completed what was, in the end, a convertible victory by executing a stunning free-kick. The 22-year-old’s first goal since his return in United colours was an exquisite piece of execution from the dead-ball. He hit it and, as they say, it stayed hit, giving the keeper no chance.
It had been a very deferent story in the opening half, however, with the U’s relying on opportunistic counter attacks to create chances, while the Lillywhites enjoyed most of the possession. Preston stoked the ball around in the game’s opening quarter, perhaps in anticipation that two initially solid banks of four men, in defence and midfield, might crumble.
Full-backs George Elokobi and John White, the latter making his first start of the campaign, impressed, preventing the imposing North End strikeforce of Andy Carroll and Agyemang from scoring. Their display, alongside the excellent Pat Baldwin and Matthew Connolly, spread confidence eventually to goalie Aidan Davison, covering as net-minder for the suspended Dean Gerken.
Davison’s first start of the year for Colchester was no joyride, despite the 39-year-old’s clean sheet. His experience won out because, especially in the opening quarter of an hour, the fight of the ball continually foxed him as a lack of fitness and mach experience told. During that period, for example, Davison dropped the ball five times, although, in mitigation, was adjudged as fouled on three of them.
Neither Carroll nor Agyemang, the former an 18-year-old Newcastle loanee in the lanky Peter Crouch mould, the latter who has never reached double figures in a season, truly tested Davison.
The rough-and-tumble continued throughout the half, with Danny Pugh putting an effort wide, as Colchester sustained knocks to Sheringham, Jackson and midfielder Kem Izzet. Davison also dropped the ball once more, again atoning for the error when Chris Sedgwick only managed to return it at point blank range.
On the break, Colchester fed Lisbie early on during the first perios, with a move that transpired to be almost identical to the one from which he later converted.
A long ball by Elokobi, which almost had too much purchase, reached Sheringham. His downward header, bringing Izzet and Yeates in to the move, would have found the net via Lisbie, had the ball not been placed awkwardly behind the former Charlton man. Without time to readjust his body shape, he fired well over the bar.
The most fluid U’s move of the first half steamed from a wasted Preston throw, gifted to Karl Duguid, the skipper, who was playing left wing in the absence of groin injury victim Kevin McLeod. Kevin Lisbie assumed control of the ball on the left flank, finding Duguid ahead of him. He then fed Sheringham who played a deft chip that flew past Henderson’s wide left-hand upright.
Colchester broke the deadlock, though, when Lisbie rose between two Preston defenders to head home from just outside the 18-yard-box after another penetrating Elokobi cross. Lisbie’s first goal for United, followed in the second half by those Sheringham and Yeates’ strikes, was also a first for him since March 2006.
During the second 45, Preston had three chances before Colchester broke away to add the second goal. North End, however, simply had no reply, and so, during the last part of the match, as Yeates’ cracker whizzed over the line into a bulging net, conceded the points for sure.
PNE (4-4-2): Henderson, Alexander, St Ledger, Mawene, Davison, Pugh, Nicholls, Segdwick, Carroll, Agyemang
Colchester (4-4-2); Davison, White, Baldwin, Connolly, Elokobi, Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, Duguid, Lisbie Sheringham