Memory match: Preston North End picked off the Cherries in first game of post-Graham Westley era

John Dreyer’s one match in caretaker charge of Preston went very well as he guided them to a 2-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth at Deepdale in February 2013.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 4th March 2021, 3:00 pm

Dreyer had been asked to take the team following the sacking of Graham Westley three days earlier.

He asked the players for a big response to a hectic few days which had seen Westley relieved of his duties after a 3-1 defeat at Yeovil.

North End certainly gave him that response, Stuart Beavon and Bailey Wright on target against Bournemouth, who were chasing promotion.

Bailey Wright is a happy man after doubling North End’s lead

It ended a run of seven league and cup games without a win and this was their first victory in the league at Deepdale since the end of September.

Beavon and Wright both struck in the first half and the Lilywhites never really looked back.

It gave Simon Grayson a platform to build on when he took the job 48 hours later, Dreyer staying on as part of the coaching staff.

Dreyer – nicknamed ‘Tumble’ – was determined to make the most of his short time in charge and that he certainly did.

Bailey Wright steers the ball into the Bournemouth net in Preston’s 2-0 win over the Cherries at Deepdale in February 2013

He made seven changes to the side, tweaked tactics and lifted the gloom which had descended in the closing weeks of Westley’s reign.

The players were in the mood to reverse the recent trend and were 2-0 ahead by the 31st minute.

John Welsh’s pass found Beavon who ran the ball into the path of Jack King on the edge of the box. When King failed to control properly, Beavon was able to take the ball back off him and drilled a right-foot shot into the bottom corner.

The lead was doubled just past the half-hour mark, Nicky Wroe’s free-kick into the box met by King who saw a header blocked.

PNE caretaker boss John Dreyer applauds the fans

It was Wright who reacted quickest, the Australian centre-half forcing the ball over the line from close range.

The second half saw the visitors have more of the ball but there was little to trouble Lilywhites keeper Declan Rudd who was making his home debut.

Speaking after the game, Dreyer said: “It’s been a traumatic week and it’s just the tonic we need. We looked threatening, we kept the ball and looked composed in possession.

“I thought we were justified winners. The fans gave me a lovely reception, I’d asked them during the week to give us some noise and they did exactly that.

Bailey Wright is a happy man after doubling North End’s lead

“It was a terrific atmosphere and it’s a two-way thing, the players feed off that but the fans need something to cheer about too.

“The fans soon saw what our intentions were and they responded with a lot of noise which we especially needed in the last 15 minutes when the lads were getting tired.

“I think the crowd got us over the line and that was credit to them.”

The afternoon was a tough one for Cherries manager Eddie Howe.

It was only the visitors’ second defeat in 22 matches and they were very much off key on the day.

Howe said: “We were second best, which is really difficult for me to say because it hasn’t happened yet.

“We were slow out the traps, we conceded two poor goals, and we never really had any concerted pressure on their goal. We have had a lot of travelling and we’ve got some tired bodies. It was a really poor pitch again but we didn’t react very well to it.”

An interested spectator in the crowd was Glynn Snodin, assistant to manager-in-waiting Grayson.