East Stirlingshire 6 – 2 Preston Athletic
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Preston had no answer to striker David Grant who bagged 4 but could have also had a few more. Grant started the scoring in less than a minute as his shot from the corner of the box deceived Matthew Baines, Keith Murray nearly drew Preston level as he out-stripped the home defence and fired past Jamie Barclay only to see the ball rebound off the post to safety but it was then 2 on 25 minutes as Grant tapped in from cross range unchallenged. 10 minutes later Neil Shave broke down the right and his cross set up Keith Murray to tap home, Stuart Ritchie then sent a looping header just over from a corner. Shire however weren’t finished though and Liam Allison’s bullet header made it 3 – 1 at half time.
Preston pulled a goal back on 50 minutes as sub Matthew Graham’s deep cross found both Stuart Ritchie and Murray at the back post, the former getting the decisive header. But the joy was only short lived as Grant replied back with cool work in the box, sending 2 defenders the wrong way before slotting home for his hat-trick. Grant proved he was human after all missing an open goal after a lightning break but still got his 4th of the match tapping home from what looked like a clear offside position after Andy Rodgers strike crashed off the bar. Rodgers completed the route on 75 minutes with a close range header in off the bar.
To their credit the Panners kept pushing forward and Fabio Neto struck the bar with a powerful header, Danny O’Rourke shot just over after a driving run and both Matthew Graham and Mark Law fired shots just wide. Preston’s Matthew Baines then pulled off the save of the match, reacting to a low close range header from Allison to push the ball out for a corner.
East Stirlingshire: Barclay, A.Grant, Allison, Oliver, Greene, White(Ramsay), Rodgers, Faulds, D.Grant(Hogg), Sludden(McGuigan), Glasgow. Subs: Peddie, Shaw (gk)
Preston Athletic: Baines, Cowan, Cochrane, Colquhoun, McLeod, Innes(Law), Shave(Neto), O’Rourke, Murray, Ritchie, Lawson(Graham). Subs: Henderson, Callan (gk), Pennycuick.