PNE v COLCHESTER MEMORY MATCH
Rob Kelly can look back on his brief spell as Preston’s caretaker manager with much satisfaction.
He boasts a 100% winning record, with seven goals for and none against.
Kelly actually only took charge for a single game –PNE’s 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Colchester on January 2, 2010.
North End asked him to hold the fort in between the sacking of Alan Irvine and Darren Ferguson’s appointment.
It was a job he undertook reluctantly, having been No.2 to Irvine, and Kelly soon followed him through the Deepdale exit door.
Kelly had asked the North End players for a reaction to Irvine’s sacking and they delivered one in some style, going goal-crazy against Adrian Boothroyd’s sorry U’s outfit.
They were ruthless against their League One visitors, five of their goals coming in the second half as they kept their foot on Colchester’s throat.
Jon ‘the Beast’ Parkin bagged a hat-trick, with Chris Brown (2), Chris Sedgwick and Darren Carter on target.
Ahead of kick-off, a small group of fans had protested outside the ground at Irvine’s dismissal.
But the jeers were to turn to cheers once the game started, with Preston on the front foot from the off.
Carter forced U’s keeper Ben Williams into a diving save early on with a shot from distance.
Colchester responded with David Fox – who has been training with PNE of late – firing a shot over the bar.
North End took the lead in the 13th minute, Brown meeting a Ross Wallace corner to head home.
The advantage was doubled later in the first half, Brown riding a couple of challenges before slipping a pass into the feet of Sedgwick down the right-hand side of the box.
His shot clipped off U’s left-back John White and looped over keeper Williams.
In the second half, Preston rammed home their advantage in some style.
Three minutes after the interval, Callum Davidson launched a free-kick from his own half into the Colchester penalty box.
Brown climbed to flick it on to Parkin, who showed good movement to turn his marker and tuck a low finish into the far bottom corner.
Parkin struck again in PNE’s next attack, calmly lobbing the keeper.
They made it 5-0 in the 52nd minute, Brown playing a one-two with Parkin on the edge of the box, before hitting a low show which hit the post but bounced against the keeper and over the line.
Midfielder Carter netted the goal of the game for North End’s sixth, jinking past two challenges and sliding a pin-point finish into the net.
Parkin completed his hat-trick and the scoring after 71 minutes, the Beast sending Williams the wrong way from the penalty spot.