PNE were below par says Clarke

Tom Clarke had a decent chance late on for PNE
Tom Clarke had a decent chance late on for PNE
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Tom Clarke admitted that Preston North End had fallen well short of their best as they slipped to defeat against Swindon at the County Ground.

The 1-0 loss ended their 12-match unbeaten league run which had stretched back more than two months.

North End rarely found their rhythm in blustery Wilthshire, their best spell of the game coming in the first half-hour.

They fell behind 11 minutes into the second half, Michael Smith scoring from the spot after Neil Kilkenny had given away the penalty.

In the closing stages, PNE put the Robins’ box under pressure, centre-half Clarke having one of their better late chances with a header which flew over the bar.

Clarke told the Evening Post: “It was disappointing to lose and we didn’t play too well – we are capable of much better.

“We started okay, looked quite comfortable and what Swindon did in the first half was in front of us.

“There were one or two good chances in there for us which we didn’t take.

“Unfortunately we didn’t start the second half well and Swindon grew in confidence.

“We were camped in our own half and had too much defending to do, which is not what we are all about.

“Our team has some good attacking players and we are far more effective when we get them into the game.

“Swindon scored from the penalty and had a couple of other chances too in a spell which we found really tough.

“For quite a while, they killed our momentum and it was only in the final 15 or 20 minutes that we started to put some pressure on them again.

“In the end that proved too little too late and we were so disappointed to have been beaten.”