As a PNE supporter this is something that is not only irritating but also upsetting, this is now Preston’s 8th consecutive defeat.
The Lily Whites had a really strong start playing 4-4-2. Clarke Carlisle put an early ball into the Rochdale penalty area and just 6 minutes in earnt themselves a free kick. There was complete promise from PNE with the persistent attacking and elements of control from the offset.
Coutts and Mayor were causing Rochdale some serious problems as Preston continued to put the pressure on in the first half. Some fans were surprised that Tsoumou was subbed off for Mellor after only 26 minutes in but others didn’t feel he was playing to his best and weren’t too bothered. I for one was glad to see Mellor’s return and hoped that he would take North End into the lead.
Things were looking up just before half time when North End had an opportunity to score, Coutts sent a dangerous ball into the middle for Mellor who was inside the penalty box, unfortunately there were too many Rochdale shirts around him.
At half time the score was still 0-0 and although I felt Preston weren’t playing too bad and certainly showing some promise, I was disappointed as we hadn’t scored against a side that at that point were third from the bottom of the league.
There wasn’t much love for the referee from the home side either when Mayor was brought down in the penalty box in the second half, despite shouts for a penalty the referee refused it. However the referee did give a penalty to Rochdale when Mclaughlin went in for a clumsy tackle, luckily for North End the penalty was saved by Stuckmann.
I think at this point PNE knew they had to do something and fast with a frantic attack, Mellor missed a golden opportunity when he missed the goal from just 3 yards out hitting the post. Barton was also doing his fair share of shots continuously hitting the side netting or sending the ball wide.
It was no surprise that Stuckmann won man of the match his performance in goal was excellent and without his efforts the score could have easily been 2-0 up with the persistence of Rochdale’s Bunn.
Although despite his efforts this still did not prevent the inevitable. With around just 6 minutes left Bunn cut inside and shot to goal with Stuckmann making another great save, but Adam caught the ball on the rebound sending it into the back of the net.
This was truly one of the most infuriating moments for any North End fan and I for one am so disappointed with just how poorly the team have been playing since being relegated into League One, the main concern now is, can we actually even stay up in this league?
10,456 - Attendance
Stuckmann - Man Of The Match