PNE retro game: Graham Westley's last stand as Preston manager at Yeovil Town in 2013

The end was nigh for Graham Westley as Preston North End manager in the wake of defeat to Yeovil Town at Huish Park seven years ago.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 11:41 am
PNE fans make their feelings known about Graham Westley at Yeovil in February 2013

The 3-1 loss in Somerset on February 12, 2013, brought the pressure on Westley to boiling point and he was sacked the following day at a meeting in London.

A cafe on Waterloo Station was where the meeting with Peter Ridsdale took place, Westley certainly meeting his Waterloo.

The defeat at Yeovil was North End’s third reverse on the bounce and the clever money was on Westley’s fate having already been sealed before then.

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Graham Westley and Dino Maamria's last stand in the PNE dugout

PNE’s fans had already enough and a group of them among the 136 who had made the long midweek journey to Huish Park unfurled a ‘Westley out’ banner during the game.

The Lilywhites, clad in a dark blue away strip, actually led for a long section of the game.

Chris Beardsley, one of Westley’s many signings in the summer ‘revolution’ of 2012, fired the visitors ahead after half an hour.

It was a lead they held until well into the second half but they caved in and conceded three goals in the last 17 minutes.

Preston players in a pre-match huddle at Yeovil

The PNEside that night included three players still with the club to the present day – Declan Rudd, Paul Huntington and Ben Davies.

Rudd was making his debut after joining on loan from Norwich, Huntington and Davies – only 17 at the time – having been recalled to the side that night.

The early running was made by Yeovil, a side who North End had beaten twice earlier that season at Deepdale in both League One and the FA Cup.

After soaking up the early pressure, North End stunned their hosts by scoring with their first clear-cut opening of the contest.

Chris Beardsley fires Preston in front at Yeovil

Lee Holmes’ pass fed Beardsley on the right side of the box, the striker turning his marker superbly and drilling a low finish across keeper Marek Stech.

Soon after, Jeffrey Monakana had a shot saved by Stech as North End looked for a second goal. Yeovil turned up the pressure towards the end of the first half, Rudd saving a header from Dan Burn on the line.

In the 58th minute, Beardsley’s diving header from a Lee Holmes cross was saved at full stretch by Stech.

Yeovil’s equaliser arrived in the 73rd minute, when Paddy Madden powered down the right side of the box and pulled back a low cross into the middle for James Hayter to score.

And the game was turned completely on its head six minutes later as the hosts surged into the lead.

Ed Upson hoisted a free-kick into the box, and as PNE scrambled to clear, the ball fell to Nathan Ralph who lashed a shot home.

It got worse in the third minute of stoppage time when Yeovil hit their third, Madden running clear to fire past Rudd.

PNE: Rudd, Connolly, Huntington Robertson, Davies (Buchanan 69), Monakana, Procter (Keane 69), Welsh, Holmes, Beardsley (Cummins 83) Garner. Subs (not used): Wroe, Foster, Hayhurst, Stuckmann.