Avon Calling - Preston go top

Last updated : 21 February 2003 By Peter Heywood

Simon Lynch - two goals for Preston
Town started the week in pole position, but came up against an in-form Tranmere side at the McAlpine on Wednesday afternoon. Having grabbed a last-minute Andy Robinson winner at the Turf last week, it was a case of déjà vu as the former Cammell Laird’s striker notched his fifth goal whilst on trial with the Rovers, this one coming in the 83rd minute. The 1-0 victory was watched by 302 fans, Town’s highest attendance since September, and a marked improvement upon recent gatherings.

Later that evening Preston took full advantage of the Terriers latest stumble when they ended Rotherham’s six game unbeaten run with a 3-2 win at a deserted Don Valley Stadium. Pawel Abbott and a Simon Lynch penalty gave them an early 2-0 lead, but the Millers fought back to equalise through Andy Monkhouse and Ritchie Barker. However, U-21 Scottish international Lynch popped up again with a late winner to take Preston to the top.

Both sides had an on-form striker absent. For the Millers veteran Mark Robins had just started his one-month loan spell at Bristol City, and indeed scored that evening on his début against Cambridge in the LDV Trophy. Preston were without Brother Joe O’Neill who has had to have surgery on an Achilles problem and will be out for a month or so.

Wolves’ reserves did get in some recent cup action, making it through to the semi-final of the Birmingham Senior Cup with a 3-1 win at Hednesford Town. The game attracted a healthy 859 fans, the highest recorded attendance involving an Avon Insurance Premier League team this season. Nathan Blake, Ludo Pollet and an obliging Hednesford player were on target for the Wanderers. Of interest to Clarets fans is that former player Graham Lancashire came on as a second half substitute for the Pitmen.

Finally, the Clarets FA Cup exploits have led to the postponement of the reserve game at Tranmere this coming Wednesday, so we will have to wait until March 12th for the next match, a must-win fixture at home to Oldham.

Forthcoming fixtures:

Monday, February 24th:

Bury v Walsall

Tuesday, February 25th:

Oldham v Barnsley

Wednesday, February 26th:

Bury v Sheffield Utd
Huddersfield v Wolves

Leading league scorers:

7 Brother Joe O’Neill (Preston)
6 Gareth Seddon (Bury)
6 Griff Jones (Barnsley)
6 Paul Macari (Huddersfield)
6 Scott Vernon (Oldham)
6 Mark Robins (Rotherham)
6 Paul Warne (Rotherham)
5 Jimmi Lee Jones (Wolves)
5 Andy Robinson (Tranmere)
5 Andy Monkhouse (Rotherham)