Preston reach last 32 in cup

Ben Heywood's deflected shot is saved by Doncaster goalkeeper Overton  ( Photo: John Livesey)
Ben Heywood's deflected shot is saved by Doncaster goalkeeper Overton ( Photo: John Livesey)
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Preston men’s 1sts bounced back from a league defeat by cruising into the next round of the England Hockey Men’s Cup.

The Whites lost 2-1 to Doncaster at home on Saturday but less than 24 hours later they clinched their place in the second round of the cup after beating Alderley Edge 4-1.

On Saturday, Preston hosted Yorkshire opposition Doncaster who finished third in the national Men’s Hockey League Conference North table last season.

After an impressive performance of a 4-2 victory over Deeside Ramblers the previous week, the home side were looking to bag back-to-back wins.

The game began at a high tempo but with little fluidity, as both teams struggled to take control of the game.

Preston were forceful in their opening attacks.

But the experienced Doncaster backline, led by Jonathan Redfern, stood strong and soaked up the pressure.

In the 10th minute, Doncaster won a short-corner and the ball bobbled over the line from the resulting drag push as Marcus Hooper gave them the lead.

Preston looked to respond immediately through a Luke Wilson short-corner but they could not find an equlaiser.

After the goal there was a scrappy middle period, with lots of possession being lost by both sides that resulted in a deadlock for the remainder of the half.

At half-time Preston coach Peter Nicholson stressed to his side the need to show more desire to want the ball and to use their superior fitness to outrun the opposition.

The second half began frantically but the Preston upped the ante and began to threaten the Doncaster defence.

David Greenough caused problems when he linked up with James Sutcliffe and created some penalty-corner opportunities.

But Preston’s most potent weapon from last season is not firing on all cylinders yet, as the home side struggled to convert their advantage from the set-pieces.

Preston’s urge to go forward was to be their downfall as Doncaster broke forward and won a short-corner of their own, which was dispatched high into the top corner by Matt Gibson in the 43rd minute.

Preston found a way back into the game 11 minutes later when Greenough turned in a cross ball from Adam Wilson.

The Whites tried to get an equaliser but their endeavours in the final minutes were frustrated by a solid Doncaster defence.

Preston could not find an equaliser and the game finished 2-1 to Doncaster.

Sunday proved to be a more fruitful day for Preston in hockey’s National Men’s Cup competition.

The Whites ran out 4-1 winners against Alderley Edge.

Steve Masterson converted a penalty-corner and Harry Bennett also got his name on the scoresheet.

Gibraltarian Julian Lopez added two more as Preston bagged a place in the final 32 of the competition, dubbed hockey’s equivalent of the FA Cup.

Preston will now travel to Didsbury Northern 1sts in the second round of the competition. On Saturday the first XI travel to face Wakefield 1sts in the league.