A long overdue three points!
29th September 2009
The Royals held on to claim a vital three points away at Preston on Tuesday night, with goals from Simon Church and Jimmy Kebe helping us to a 2-1 victory.
After the weekend draw at home to Watford, Brendan Rodgers took his side North to Deepdale to face an inform Preston side and decided to make two changes to the starting line up and one of those included the weekend`s goal scorer Grzegorz Rasiak, who was dropped in favour of Simon Church. Brynjar Gunnarsson also came in for Gylfi Sigurdsson, who could count himself very unlucky to be warming the bench.
Those who criticised the managers team selection once more, were almost proved right when Chris Sedgewick shot just over Adam Federici`s cross bar with the first chance of the game. However from then on the Royals dominated the first half and Jobi McAnuff forced Andy Lonergan into a decent save with his legs after cutting inside.
Brian Howard looked to be benefiting from playing in a more advanced midfield position and almost scored with an excellent effort inside the area and later set up Ivar Ingimarsson, and his cheeky flick almost gave us the lead.
It was an Icelander though who played a major part in the goal when we did take the lead, Gunnarsson winning the ball in the midfield before playing a wonderful through ball to Church who did the rest and finished from inside the area.
The second arrived soon after, this time Howard played it through and Jimmy Kebe raced clear to score after poor defending from Preston. The travelling Royals fans were delighted but sceptical at the break, considering what happened against Peterborough in the last away game.
As expected there was a fight back from the home side and Chris Brown thought he had scored early into the second period but the linesman ruled out his effort for offside. Cue two personal battles at either end of the field, firstly Ross Wallace being denied by Federici on a number of occasions whilst at the other end, McAnuff tested Lonergan yet again, but both times the keepers came out on top.
Just as the nerves were beginning to calm for Royals fans as we approached the final 5 minutes, sub Matt Mills pulled down Jon Parkin and the big striker got up to score from the spot. The Lilywhites threw everything at the Royals defence but found Federici in fine form most notably when he denied Parkin, who thought he had scored with a looping header.
So a month after the last time, we finally taste victory again and take three points back to Berkshire, now time to shake off the home hoodoo on Saturday against Middlesbrough!