Sunday, August 14, 2005

PIE Preston 0-3 Reading

Oh say can you see
By the dawn's early light
What so proudly we held
In the twilight's last gleaming

Yesterday afternoon at Deepest Dale, Preston, Floyd on Football truly discovered the true meaning of the phrase value for money. No, it's not Jamie Cureton, it is in fact the one pound sixty pence meat and potato pie served up at Preston North End FC. Yes, that's not really too much more than what you'd pay for a rank Ginsters pasty from BP, Three Tuns after getting off the Night Bus from town. Only this tasty morsel is a meaty potato-packed feast, parcelled inside pastry that your nan would approve of and a fine, fine treat it is for the discerning and hungry travelling fan who has made the journey to Lancashire.

Floyd on Football has long suspected that, much like the myth that "folk are friendlier up north" , the oft-quoted missive that northern delicacies put our southern fare to shame is, for want of a better word, bollocks. The worst fish and chips Floyd on Football ever had was at Blackpool, the worst food inside a football ground was at Grimsby. However, we must bow down to the meaty goodness of the Preston Pie; a truly masterful culinary achievement. One must not get carried away with praising these northern oiks though, for after all, like most of the "isn't northerness wonderful?" tripe spouted by our friends from north of the Watford gap, Floyd on Football begs the question.....why do you all choose to live in the fucking south, then?

Unfortunately, for I would suspect the overwhelming majority of the Preston fans who sat alongside us in the Bill Shankly Stand at Deepdale yesterday, seperated only by some netting, empty seats and fat stewards, living in the south will most likely forever remain a pipe-dream. For starters, we couldn't understand a ruddy bloody word of the tedious bile which they chanted at us all afternoon. Learning to speak proper must be off the curriculum at Lancashire schools these days, as clearly is Geography - the PNE fans referring to us as cockneys were about as accurate as if we were to refer to them as Mancunian. Ignorant fuckers. They were very anti-southern and uncomplimentary to our way of life all afternoon, showing a high level of intolerance and rabid fundamentalism; a sort of Al Pie-ida if you will. Their mood was not helped, of course, by us gobbling up three greedy points.

Reading's win in Lancashire was made in Philadelphia, USA. Bobby Convey last season was the biggest flop since Posh Spice's solo career, but after a good pre-season in which he remained in England rather than flying across the Atlantic to play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup he has started to look up to the job. Last season he played second fiddle for the most part to the utterly wretched and dearly departed Paul Brooker. Yesterday he carved open a Preston side which hadn't lost on their own patch since last November. After much Preston possession in the opening half hour which resulted in next to nothing, Reading took their first chance. That man Convey was neatly presented with the ball by a generous North Ender on the edge of their own penalty area if you please, he waited for Lita to move into space before putting an inch perfect through ball onto the million pound man's right foot. The assembled BRA (Berkshire Republican Army) could audibly hear the net down the far end of the ground rip before they erupted into raptures.

Many were still tucking into those marvellous pies when the second followed seconds after the interval. Convey's long pass was just right for Lita, whose diagonal finish across Carlo Nash in the PNE goal nestled rather nicely in the back of the net. Before the hour mark it was three and easy; Glenn Little meeting Shorey's cross with his nut following more Convey trickery. Two goals in a week for Glenn after a season-long drought last term; they're like buses (Little goals that is, not northern women). Glenn enjoyed the moment and celebrated in a vaguely provocative manner in front of the locals who had berated him for his Burnley past. Preston had their chances - Cresswell miskicked wretchedly in front of goal after Lita's opener and Dichio tested Hahnemann - but overall the outcome was as comfortable as befits a 3-0 win. Reading take a slice of fourth place in the fledgling Championship table; Preston meanwhile, having suffered their first home defeat to Reading in over 14 years, were left only with humble pie.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Little (Oster, 88), Sidwell, Harper, Convey (Hunt, 85), Kitson, Lita. Subs not used: Stack, Makin, Doyle.

Floyd's Favourite: Bobby Convey. Last season slowly becoming a very distant memory.


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