REPORT | Wanderers B 1 PNE Reserves 2

Sithole celebration Preston

Andy Taylor was happy to finally oversee a complete first game in charge – despite defeat in his opening match as B Team boss, writes Pete Oliver.

The Whites’ Central League fixture at Lostock was briefly called off due to the weather conditions as heavy rain made the pitch unplayable almost half an hour in.

But a quick switch to the artificial playing surface at the Wanderers’ training ground allowed the game to be resumed as North End went on to complete a comeback and claim the three points.

Gez Sithole had earlier fired the Whites ahead and Taylor felt he had learned plenty from a stop-start afternoon.  

“I said to the players before the game this is a mentality day,” said the Head Coach. “The conditions are horrible, the pitch is what it is, this is a mentality day where we learn about the players have that have the elite mentality of ‘doesn't matter what's going on, I'm going to perform and I'm going to look after my side of it’.

Sithole goal Preston

“I learned quite a lot about a few of them today for different reasons. It was good for me to see the lads in a game and particularly on days like this you see the mentality. It's easy when it's nice and sunny and the pitch is nice and it's a nice game of football.

“These are the days when you see those who are prepared to dig in and deal with what's thrown up and it was a good exercise from that point of view.”

Wanderers went in front on the grass when Sithole converted from close range after a corner had come back off the bar.

Preston then levelled through Izac Khan before a water-logged surface led to a change of pitch.

North End reacted quickest as Cole McGhee headed home from a corner before the break and that proved enough to win it despite a second half of dominance from the Whites.

Andy Taylor

Taylor’s side had nearly all the ball but saw Tommy Davis deny Ben Andruecci from Wanderers’ best chance of an equaliser before the Whites’ striker had another opportunity but couldn’t pick out Gio Loureiro after intercepting a back-pass and rounding the visitors’ keeper.

“In terms of control of the game, particularly in the second half, we 100 per cent had the better of it,” Taylor added. “We controlled the game without really threatening, which was my criticism. We switched the play quite well and had a lot of play ringing their box without any real penetration or any real end product.

“However, we've not done much on that, with the main focus since I’ve been in on out-of-possession. There's loads to work on in terms of final-third stuff, but in terms of controlling the game it was a good starting point.

“At the end of the day, we've been undone with two moments that have given them the game but there were loads of positives from it and loads of interesting things for me to look at and review. It was good to get a game and for lots of reasons it was a really good exercise.”

B Team: Flint; Halford, Yoro, Inwood; Tweedley; Frimpong (Bryan), Sharples-Ahmed, Lockett, Trialist; Sithole (Louriero) Andreucci. Subs: Toure, Leigh, Adimbola.

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