Match analysis: AFC Fylde 1 PNE 6

It would not be doing Alex Neil a disservice to say that he doesn't '˜do' friendlies.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 16th July 2018, 9:11 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:56 pm
Callum Robinson goes past two AFC Fylde players
Callum Robinson goes past two AFC Fylde players

The Preston North End boss was back on the touchline at AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm after taking in the previous clash with Bamber Bridge from the stand.

Neil drove PNE on from the technical area, he coached and cajoled.

Equally he was not afraid to show his frustration should a pass go astray and lead to a move breaking down.

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Preston manager Alex Neil

Only occasionally did Neil have to do the latter as North End caught the eye on their first visit to Wesham.

They displayed a ruthless edge in beating a Coasters side who had made the National League play-offs in May.

It was a game the visitors were expected to win, but they did so in some style.

Preston hit their hosts for six, struck the post twice and missed a couple of sitters.

Paul Gallagher congratulates Sean Maguire

Although relatively early days in pre-season, victory still offered encouragement ahead of the start of the real stuff in three weeks.

Paul Huntington, Callum Robinson (2), Sean Maguire (2) and Andrew Hughes found the net to the delight of a sizeable away following.

The home side got on the scoresheet late on from the penalty spot, it put away by one of their many trialists.

We didn’t get to find out who did the business from the spot, even the announcer in the dark of his identity.

Graham Burke and Ben Pearson gets to grips with AFC Fylde Danny Rowe

Credit to the man on the microphone, he could have been in for a tough afternoon when 18 substitutions were made at once as the game hit the hour mark.

PNE changed their full XI and the hosts swapped seven, this a version of roll on/roll off on an industrial scale.

Mr Announcer chose not to read them out individually, fearing he would still be going come the final whistle!

The two XIs fielded by PNE divided the goals out equally.

Huntington’s opener and the two from Robinson came before the hour mark.

On came Maguire to net his double, new boy Hughes on target with the sixth.

Neil’s first-half team had a slightly unfamiliar look to it by reason of Daniel Johnson playing at left-back.

For the record it was a role he did fine in, DJ filling-in for the injured Josh Earl with Hughes earmarked to come on later in the game.

It was an attacking XI, Ben Pearson the only holder.

Josh Harrop pushed up to play near Graham Burke who was in the N0.10 role behind Louis Moult.

Robinson played on the left and Daryl Horgan the right, the front five fluid in that first hour – Burke impressive.

Huntington got across his marker to meet a Harrop corner and head PNE in front in the 20th minute.

It was a lead increased by Robinson with an excellent low shot from the edge of the box with 33 minutes gone.

AFC Fylde’s best chance was a Danny Rowe free-kick which whistled just over.

Burke saw a curling shot come back off the post after half-time before Robinson rifled home on the hour for an excellent second and Preston’s third goal.

Cue the mass changes but the goals continued to come.

Maguire had only been on a couple of minutes when he won possession just inside the box and slammed a shot into the far corner.

The Irishman hit the post from a Billy Bodin knock down but wasn’t to be denied in the 71st minute when he ran on to an Alan Browne through ball.

His dinked finished past the keeper showed a calm head from a tight angle.

Hughes found the net at the second attempt in the 80th minute after his first shot was blocked, before Calum Woods’ challenge on Luke Burke saw a penalty given at the other end.

There were nine trialists on the team sheet, one of them converting from the spot.