Match Report: Preston North End 2-0 Rochdale - Scott Sinclair double sees off Rochdale in Lancashire Senior Cup

Preston North End won in the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup as they beat Rochdale 2-0 at their Euxton training ground.

By Tom Sandells
Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 4:12 pm
Josh Murphy in action at Euxton. Credit: PNEFC.

Scott Sinclair scored twice to give the home side the victory, netting in each half.

The clash at Euxton began with a minute's silence for PNE owner Trevor Hemmings, who died at the age of 86 on Monday - respectfully observed by all in attendance as all members of staff were pitch side.

It is the base of operations for PNE and all staff present, footballing or otherwise, were pitchside to pay their respects.

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Joe Rafferty during PNE's 2-0 win over Rochdale in the Senior Cup. Credit: PNEFC.

It took just a couple of minutes for the first chance of the game, Joe Rafferty looking to find the top corner from the right side of the box but for a fine save from Bradley Wade.

After five minutes Josh Murphy got into space down the left after a flick on from captain Tom Barkhuizen, he got the better of his man and drove his shot in low which was beaten away.

PNE continued to push and Brad Potts rolled an inviting ball along the six yard line but there were no takers.

Paul Huntington headed low at goal after 14 minutes, meeting a Jamie Thomas outswinging corner but once again the Rochdale goalkeeper was the only thing between the Lilywhites and the lead.

Wade made his best save of the half 20 minutes in, Barkhuizen's low cross from the right was volleyed at goal by Murphy and his powerful strike squirmed through the no.1 but was clawed back before crossing the line.

Dale had their first opportunity three minutes later, skipper Benjamin Kershaw hitting the crossbar from inside the area.

PNE had their lead just before the half hour mark, Liam Lindsay's header from a corner saved low down by Wade but the keeper couldn't hold on, allowing Sinclair to turn the ball home.

Kershaw was again the chief threat for the visitors, forcing a save from Matt Hudson down low with his legs after 31 minutes, with no more chances for the rest of the first half.

North End were quickly at it in the second half, Murphy getting space to volley at goal from a Rafferty cross to the far post but his acrobatic effort bounced before going over the bar.

62 minutes in PNE had the chance to double their lead as Sinclair was brought down in the area. He picked himself up to convert the penalty into the bottom right corner, sending the 'keeper the wrong way.

There were few chances in the game during the second period, the next moment of note coming after 79 minutes as substitute Joe Cunningham dragged a shot wide from the right side of the area for Dale.

PNE nearly made it three just before the end, Barkhuizen showing plenty of pace to get to the byline to cut the ball back for Brad Potts who skied a chance from around 12 yards out.

In the end, the Lilywhites were never in any danger in the contest and earned the win against a Rochdale side that did hold their own.

PNE Starting XI: Hudson, Rafferty, Huntington, Lindsay, Coulton, O'Reilly, Thomas (Leigh, 79'), Potts, Barkhuizen, Sinclair (Rodwell-Grant, 68'), Murphy (O'Neill, 86').

PNE Subs: Lombard, Nevin.

Rochdale Starting XI: Wade, Jesus, Sutton, Mialkowski, Laurence, Dunne, KErshaw, Brierley, MCNair, Scanlon, Ehimamiegho.

Rochdale subs: Kelly, Cunningham, Kibonda, Watts, Dos Santos.

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