Writer: Harry Welch
Date:Saturday February 8 2014
Attendance: 5,895 (1,797 PNE Fans)
Simon Grayson and his Lilywhites were travelling to 17th place Tranmere Rovers after an impressing performance mid week against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
Despite being knocked out, Grayson will be hoping his side can perform the way they did, dominating the game and creating chances.
Grayson made five changes from the side that lost 2-0 to Nottingham Forest, with on loan Bolton striker Craig Davies coming in along with Garner, Gallagher, Laird and King.
Clarke went out who didn't even make the bench; Buchanan, Kevin Davies, Humphrey and Holmes were dropped to the bench.
The game got under way and North End got their first shot on target within the first nine minutes after Davies turned well to get a shot on goal but Fon Williams did his duties well and prevented Craig Davies getting his second goal in as many games.
At the other end it was Rudd's turn to be tested, well maybe not after Tranmere's Pennington had two shots on goal from inside the area but great blocks from Welsh and Wright to prevent Rudd making a save.
Minutes after, Preston took the lead and Davies and Garner have a real striking partnership going on after Davies crossed the ball into the area from the left hand side and the former Carlisle striker was their to nod home the opener.
That goal gave Preston the confidence to go on and try and extend their good lead, Gallagher had a header on goal but the Welsh keeper Fon Williams was their to claim it and Garner had another header on goal but Fon Williams clawed it away brilliantly, a busy day for the Welshman!
Davies looked certain to try and extend the lead after he beaten Tranmere's offside trap to get one-on-one with Fon Williams but good defending from Pennington saw him track back well and prevent Davies getting his second goal of his loan spell with the Lilywhites.
Tranmere then had to respond, and they did by getting things back on level terms after Taylor was their in the area to smash the ball home into the roof of the net, a key player for the Super whites getting on the score sheet minutes before the break.
The half time whistle was blown and Preston were going into it with the most possession.
When the second half got under way, Tranmere earned themselves a corner which they almost took the lead from, Taylor rose highest and got a header on goal but Rudd punched it away calmly.
Grayson must of gave his team a reasonable team talk at half-time after Wiseman played in Garner perfectly who was able to put the ball past Fon Williams in the Tranmere goal and put North End back in front and to add to his goal tally.
After that, Tranmere earned themselves a free kick which Koumas was to take, only for his strike to rattle the crossbar.
The Lilywhites wanted to wrap the game up nice and early but couldn't after their was a scramble in the Tranmere box which King and Garner both had efforts from but they were superbly cleared off the line.
A worrying moment for Welsh after he was robbed by Ridehalgh who crossed it into the area but Rudd cured Welsh's blushes after he dealt with the cross.
Tranmere's top goalscorer Ryan Lowe looked certain to add to his tally of fifteen league goals after he beaten Preston's offside trap for him to be one-on-one with Rudd but the former MK Dons striker was denied by Rudd's legs.
Kevin Davies was brought on for North End and he set up King who almost wrapped all three points but Fon Williams went down and snatched the ball off King's path.
There was four minutes of injury time to be played and Garner almost secured a hat-trick by curling a shot goalwards, only for it to be claimed by Fon Williams.
But that didn't matter as Preston went back to Deepdale with all three points, closing the gap on 3rd place Leyton Orient to five points and it could be less as they visit Deepdale next Saturday.
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Date:Saturday February 8 2014
|5. Leyton Orient||44||23||11||10||36||80|
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