Preston and Sunderland share points in enthralling encounter

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Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End 2-2 Sunderland

Harrop 55 Hugill 57     Honeyman 28 McGeady 59

Preston North End and Sunderland shared the points in an enthralling encounter at Deepdale today. George Honeyman took the lead for the visitors with a well-worked goal 28 minutes in before there were three goals in the space of four minutes coming from Preston’s Josh Harrop and Jordan Hugill and former Preston loanee Aiden McGeady.

Both sides had a good start to the game and it was very end-to-end initially. In the 16th minute the hosts came close when Tom Barkhuizen beat his man and put in a good ball towards Alan Browne whose effort was blocked in its tracks by Tyias Browning. It appeared to be a handball, but the referee didn’t agree with this.

Ten minutes later, Sunderland’s George Honeyman fired wide of the mark on the end of a corner.

The winger was involved in the action again just two minutes later. James Vaughan held the ball up well to lay it off to the 23-year-old who linked up well with Lynden Gooch before smashing the ball into the top corner to put Simon Grayson’s side in front.

The visitors dominated much of the first half, with Lee Cattermole bossing the midfield. Aiden McGeady also looked bright for the visitors and he fired the ball just over the bar three minutes from half time.

Preston started the second half brightly, and Tom Barkhuizen came close for them seven minutes in. Jordan Hugill made a great run through the Sunderland defence but his pass towards the unmarked winger was too powerful for him.

Alex Neil’s side continued their great start to the second half moments later when Josh Harrop equalised with a brilliant free kick in from the left that made its way into the bottom-right corner.

By the 57th minute, the hosts were 2-1 up. Alan Browne made it through the Sunderland defence and Browning’s clearance only made it to Jordan Hugill whose powerful strike beat Jason Steele and sent the home fans wild.

Preston’s lead only lasted two minutes however as their former fans’ favourite Aiden McGeady retrieved the ball well from a defender and buried the ball past Maxwell to put the visitors back in the game.

The excitement continued as Alan Browne then hit the crossbar for the hosts in the 61st minute.

Sunderland looked to push for a crucial winner, and they came fairly close in the 73rd minute when George Honeyman’s cross was headed wide of the mark by James Vaughan.

The visitors’ best chance to win the game came ten minutes later when substitute Duncan Watmore kept the ball in and gifted the ball to Cattermole whose effort at an open goal was blocked and out for a corner.

A lack of communication between Watmore and McGeady led to the former heading the ball wide from close range in the 86th minute, and then three minutes later the impressive Lee Cattermole found an opening and made a darting run but his low cross couldn’t quite reach Watmore and the game ended in a draw.

Despite a very valuable point away to Preston North End, Sunderland drop to 23rd whilst Preston drop one place to sixth ahead of the international break.

Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington (c), Davies, Earl, Johnson, Browne, Barkhuizen (69), Harrop, Maguire (Robinson 88), Hugill (Mavididi 77).

Booked: Fisher

Unused subs: Hudson, Vermijl, Woods, Spurr.

Sunderland: Steele, Jones (Oviedo 70), Browning, O’Shea, Matthews, N’Dong, Cattermole (c), McGeady, Honeyman (Williams 84), Gooch (Watmore 64), Vaughan.

Booked: Steele

Unused subs: Ruiter, McManaman, Kone, Gibson.

Attendance: 17,621 (2,900 away)


Hartlepool frustrated as they lose 2-1 to Eastleigh

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Vanarama National League

Hartlepool United 1-2 Eastleigh

Munns 90                      Howe 48 Yeates 52

Early second-half goals from Callum Howe and Mark Yeates was enough to gift Eastleigh a deserved win over Hartlepool United yesterday and make the 600 mile round-trip worthwhile for the 68 travelling fans. Howe took the lead from close range after the hosts failed to defend a corner successfully before Mark Yeates beat Scott Loach with a  brilliant volley into the bottom-left corner. Substitute Jack Munns gave the hosts some hope going into injury time driving the ball past Stack in the bottom-right corner but it was too little too late for Craig Harrison’s side.

It was a poor start to the game for both sides, and it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that there was even an attempt at goal. Hartlepool had two corners defended easily in the opening half-hour, and the first chance came when Michael Woods linked up well with Ryan Donaldson and the latter’s shot went over the bar.

Donaldson began to look lively for the hosts. He worked well on the right-hand side four minutes after his first attempt but his good ball into the box wasn’t met by a Hartlepool forward.

Hartlepool’s vulnerability at the back was clearly demonstrated in the 39th minute when James Constable found space at the far post. His header was just kept out by Loach but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway as he was offside.

Shortly before half time, Chris Zebroski cut through on the right-hand side for the visitors but his effort went over the bar.

Eastleigh had the dream start after the break as it only took them just three minutes to take the lead. An impressive Chris Zebroski free kick forced a good save from Loach, and Callum Howe netted past the former Watford keeper on the end of the resultant corner.

Their lead nearly lasted just a minute, as Rhys Oates headed just wide of the mark on the end of Nicky Deverdics’ cross.

Eastleigh continued to threaten the hosts however and Chris Zebroski would’ve most likely scored in the 50th minute had there not been an excellent last ditch clearance on the end of Gary McSheffrey’s ball into the box at the far post.

The visitors inevitably doubled their lead two minutes later. Hartlepool’s defence appeared half asleep, and this allowed Mark Yeates to volley the ball in the bottom-left corner from long range with a spectacular finish that Loach could do absolutely nothing to keep out.

Eastleigh appeared to sit back following the goal, and Hartlepool had the ball in their half for most of the time. Devante Rodney came on as a sub for Hartlepool and looked lively. The 19-year-old found himself one-on-one with Graham Stack after a good ball from Nicky Featherstone but his effort was blocked by the keeper.

Moments later, Rodney played a good ball through to fellow striker Connor Simpson. Rodney’s fellow youngster attempted to lob the keeper but his effort went over.

Mark Yeates almost put the visitors 3-0 up but his effort went just over the bar.

Jack Munns had quite an impact after coming on as a sub for Hartlepool. In the 83rd minute the midfielder had a shot on the edge of the box go just over following a corner, and then he scored seven minutes later burying the ball in the bottom-right corner past Stack.

There were four minutes of added time so it looked as though it was going to be an exciting finish. Hartlepool’s fans appeared frustrated as a lapse in concentration meant that Eastleigh’s Sam Matthews made a brilliant run forward for the visitors and his shot was blocked and out for a corner before which the visitors began to time-waste.

Pools’ last chance of the game came in the third minute of added time. With Jonathan Franks in plenty of space on the right-hand side, Rodney decided to have a go himself rather than give Franks the ball and his effort didn’t trouble Graham Stack as it came straight at him.

Eastleigh’s win means that they move up to 15th in the National League whilst Pools drop to 17th.

Hartlepool United: Loach, Magnay, Laing, Donnelly, Deverdics, Donaldson (Munns 77), Woods, Featherstone, Franks, Hawkins (Rodney 58), Oates (Simpson 54).

Booked: Rodney

Subs not used: Adams and Richardson

Eastleigh: Stack, Obileye, Howe, Boyce, Wood, Hollands (Strevens 68), Yeates (Matthews 77), Miley, Constable, Zebroski (McAllister 72), McSheffrey.

Subs not used: Reid and Stearn.

Attendance: 3,374 (68 away)

Ellison brace secures Morecambe win

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Sky Bet League 2

Morecambe 2-1 Newport County

Ellison 34,80     Bennett 36

38-year-old Morecambe forward Kevin Ellison scored an excellent brace to secure the Shrimps’ second league win of the season at the Globe Arena today. Ellison opened the scoring 34-minutes in with the rebound from Osbourne’s effort, but Scot Bennett equalised shortly afterwards for the visitors from close range. Veteran-forward Ellison got the winner for Jim Bentley’s side ten minutes from time getting his head on Adam Campbell’s excellent shot from long range to secure the three points.

Both teams started the game reasonably well. Newport had the first chance of the game through Tom Owen-Evans but his shot from close range went over the bar.

Five minutes later, the away side came close again. This time it was through David Pipe but his free kick went just wide of the mark.

Morecambe had some good attacking-play early on too, and partway through the first half they began to look like scoring. Garry Thompson got the ball in a good position on the right hand side in the 15th minute but his cross was not met by a fellow player in the box.

New Shrimps striker Adam McGurk looked lively for much of the first half and he nearly put the home side in front in the 17th minute. The former Cambridge man cut inside the box and his shot was pushed away by keeper Joe Day.

Two minutes later however, Newport came very close to taking the lead themselves. Scot Bennett had a header from close range on the end of a good ball go just over the bar.

In the 34th minute, Morecambe had one of their best chances yet. Steve Old got his head on the end of Osbourne’s corner and nodded it on towards Kenyon whose travelling header went just wide of the mark.

Moments later, Jim Bentley’s side found themselves in front. Garry Thompson started a good move before gifting the ball to Fleetwood loanee Elliot Osbourne whose shot was pushed away by Day and Ellison was in the right place to bury home the rebound.

The Shrimps’ lead didn’t last very long at all however – two minutes to be precise. The ball came in from a corner and Mickey Demetriou laid the ball off to fellow defender Scot Bennett who was able to slot home from close range.

Ellison almost put the home side back in the lead six minutes from half time. The veteran was on the receiving end of Thompson’s excellent ball and his volley was blocked by what, according to Ellison, was the defender’s hand. The referee awarded a corner however.

Newport looked the brighter side at the beginning of the second half. Top scorer Frank Nouble came close in the 56th minute, cutting in from the left-hand side only for his shot to go wide.

Five minutes later Morecambe midfielder Aaron Wildig found the ball in space and his shot went wide before Kevin Ellison attempted another volley three minutes later but it didn’t really trouble Joe Day.

Adam McGurk almost put Morecambe back in front moments later. Thompson worked well on the counter-attack and put in a pinpoint ball to the forward and his header was kept out incredibly well by Joe Day.

In the 76th minute, Thompson was involved in play again. He put in another good ball to Ellison, whose header went over the bar.

Newport put a rare chance wide in the 78th minute. There were calls for a penalty as Steve Old appeared to handle it in the box, but the ref played on and Lamar Reynold’s shot went well wide of the mark.

Two minutes later, Morecambe took the lead again. Substitute Adam Campbell hit a powerful shot from long range and the ball stroked Ellison’s head on its way in so the 38-year-old claimed the goal.

Captain Michael Rose nearly put the game to bed for the Shrimps in the 89th minute with a brilliant long-range effort forcing Day into a brilliant diving save to his left.

Despite there being four minutes of added time, Newport didn’t really threaten the Morecambe back-line and the Shrimps took home a deserved three points.

Morecambe now move to 16th and face Stevenage away from home next week whilst the visitors drop to 9th and face Grimsby Town at home next Saturday.

Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Old, Muller, Brough, Kenyon (c) (Fleming 84), Osbourne (Rose 59), Thompson, Wildig (Campbell 76), Ellison, McGurk.

Booked: McGurk, McGowan.

Subs not used: Nizic, Lund, Lavelle, Lang.

Newport County: Day, Pipe (c), Bennett (McCoulsky 83), White, Demetriou, Butler, Dolan (Rigg 45), Tozer, Owen-Evans (Reynolds 66), Amond, Nouble.

Booked: Demetriou.

Subs not used: Willmott, Quigley, Bittner, Jahraldo-Martin.

Attendance: 1,189