Preston North End recorded their first home league win at Deepdale for more than four months as they beat high-flying Bournemouth.
Both goals came in the first half from Stuart Beavon and Bailey Wright, with North End producing a fantastic performance under the caretaker stewardship of John Dreyer.
The weight had been lifted off PNE’s shoulders, Dreyer appearing to have given them freedom to express themselves after the recent poor run.
Beavon struck from the edge of the box in the 19th minute, with Wright doubling the advantage on the half-hour mark.
In the second half North End had to soak up some pressure from the visitors, but their goal didn’t come under a great deal of threat with Bournemouth only having one shot on target all afternoon.
Dreyer, put in charge following Graham Westley’s sacking on Wednesday, certainly stamped his mark on the side by making seven changes to the side beaten by Yeovil on Tuesday night.
Keith Keane, David Buchanan, Wright, Nicky Wroe, Will Hayhurst, Jack King and Beavon returned to the starting XI.
Out went Paul Connolly, Joe Garner, Chris Robertson, Ben Davies, Jeffrey Monakana, Chris Beardsley and Andy Procter.
It was Keane’s first start since undergoing knee surgery in November, the right-back having been a late substitute at Yeovil on Tuesday night.
Among the crowd was Glyn Snodin who was on Simon Grayson’s coaching staff at Leeds and Huddersfield - Grayson the favourite to land the PNE job next week.
Dreyer and the team were given a rousing reception by a crowd which was bigger in numbers than recent games.
An early spell of pressure from Bournemouth saw a Brett Pitman shot deflect off Wright for a corner.
But from then on, the first period belonged to North End and they fully deserved the advantage they took into the interval.
John Welsh, who was playing despite his partner going into labour this morning, drove a 20-yard shot wide after good link-up play involving Lee Holmes and Will Hayhurst.
PNE took the lead in the 19th minute, Welsh starting the move with a smart piece of footwork on the left.
He fed the ball inside to Beavon on the edge of the box who in turn flicked in into the path of King.
As King tried to turn, the ball ran back into the path of Beavon who took a couple of paces across the face of the box before drilling a low shot into the bottom corner.
Holmes forced a save out of Cherries keeper Shwan Jalal, Buchanan’s centre having travelled across the box to pick him out.
North End doubled their advantage in the 31st minute, Wroe launching a free-kick into the box from the inside-left channel.
King rose to meet it and head goalwards, the ball striking a defender and falling into the path of Wright who bundled it over the line from close range.
In the run-up to the interval, Beavon tried his luck with a shot from 25 yards which flew wide without troubling Jalal.
Just over a minute into the second half, King robbed Shaun MacDonald of possession and drove into the box.
He squared the ball inside to Beavon who in turn fed Hayhurst, the teenager’s shot taken behind for a corner by Lewis Grabban’s sliding block.
Beavon forced a fine save out of Jalal in the 48th minute, his low drive from 25 yards gloved away at the full stretch by the keeper at the foot of his right-hand post.
The visitors had made all three of their substitutions by the 53rd minute as Cherries boss Eddie Howe attempted to get his side back into the game.
Holmes should have done better after working his way into a promising position just outside the box, but his shot flew well wide.
A spell of Bournemouth pressure saw Grabban just fail to get a touch at the far post to a shot from substitute Matt Tubbs.
Centre-half Steve Cook then headed over the bar after meeting a right-wing corner from Pitman.
Dreyer made a double substitution in the 76th minute, Beardsley and Garner replacing the tiring Beavon and Holmes - Garner went out to the right-wing with Beardsley partnering King up the middle.
As Bournemouth pressed, MacDonald got his head to a right-wing cross from Simon Francis but put his effort over Declan Rudd’s bar.
Jeffrey Monakana climbed off the bench to replace Hayhurst in the 84th minute and almost found the net with his first contribution.
Winning possession just inside his own half in front of the dugouts, the teenger powered forward, weaved inside and hit a low shot inches the wrong side of the far post.
It was North End’s first win in front of the home fans in League One since they beat Yeovil on September 29.
While it was long overdue, it was totally deserved.
PNE: Rudd, Keane, Huntington, Wright, Buchanan, Holmes (Garner 76), Wroe, Welsh, Hayhurst (Monakana 84), King, Beavon (Beardsley 76). Unused subs: Robertson, Procter, Foster, Stuckmann.
Bournemouth: Jalal, Francis, Cook, Seabourne, Painter (Fogden 46), Pugh (O’Kane 32), Arter (Tubbs 53), MacDonald, Ritchie, Grabban, Pitman. Unused subs: McQuoid, Fraser, Hughes, Allsop.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland)
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Weather for Preston
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
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Temperature: 11 C to 16 C
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