Match Preview: Bristol City
By Paul Neat
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2011
Phil Brown prepares his side for the visit of Bristol City looking for his first win as PNE boss.
Preston North End Vs Bristol City
Npower Championship Saturday 5th February 2011
Venue: Deepdale, Preston.
Kick Off: 3:00PM
Referee: Anthony Bates (Click here for referee statistics)
If you were to lookup the phrase ‘relegation six-pointer’ then there’s a strong possibility that it’d read ‘North End versus Bristol City’, given the recent form of North End’s next opponents The Robins.
Keith Millen’s side are on a slump of five games without victory, picking up just two points out of a possible 15 in the process.
Such a run of form is mirrored by that of the Lilywhites who will also be looking for their first three points in five outings.
A win for North End could take them off the foot of the table whilst a defeat would be unthinkable.
The reverse fixture from this campaign ended with honours even thanks to a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate at the start of November.
Iain Hume put the Lilywhites ahead after just 2 minutes with a clinical close-range effort.
However, as has been the case this campaign, North End were their own undoing.
On 71 minutes Billy Jones guided the ball into his own net with, if it were in the opposing penalty area, a great header.
Unfortunately for him, and indeed for North End, the goalkeeper that couldn’t keep it out was his own.
Last season’s corresponding fixture was of course that four goal thriller which saw North End crawl their way back from being two goals down.
Paul Hartley put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot just after the restart before David Clarkson made it two just shy of the hour mark.
However, with just eight minutes to go, Jon Parkin’s low volley into the bottom corner sparked an unlikely fightback.
With a staggering six minutes of injury time played, Jon Parkin was upended in the penalty area to see the ref point to the spot much to the relief of the Deepdale crowd.
Callum Davidson stepped up to secure a point and send the North End faithful into raptures.
Midfielder Paul Coutts has endured a frustrating spell on the sidelines but has been earmarked for a return to the squad for the visit of Bristol City.
Wayne Brown’s inclusion in the squad for the trip to Oakwell on Tuesday means that the former Hull man will be vying for a place in Phil Brown’s starting 11.
North End’s definite absentees remain at Chris Brown (back), Amine Linganzi (groin), Callum Davidson (calf) and Wayne Henderson (back).
For the visitors, Nicky Maynard will miss out as the former Crewe man recovers from knee surgery.
Meanwhile, Jamal Campbell-Ryce is waiting to receive treatment on an injured hamstring whilst Cole Skuse is set for a period on the sidelines with a toe problem.
Former Scunthorpe midfielder Martyn Woolford could make his debut.