Coventry City’s long unbeaten home record went with a whimper rather than a bang on Saturday, as Preston North End consolidated their top-six position with a fairly comfortable 1-0 win.
The previous week’s defeat at Crewe looked to have knocked the stuffing of both the City players and fans, and Preston were able to force them back for much of the first-half.
The sloppiness of the home side was shown to the full by Preston’s goal, which came just seconds after a Coventry free-kick in an attacking area.
The ball broke for the visitors, and Whaley was able to make plenty of ground before firing past Fulop.
Stern John had a great chance to equalise after being played in by Dennis Wise but shot straight at the goalkeeper before looking in vain for an offside flag to spare his blushes.
City improved considerably after Don Hutchison was brought on for Dele Adebola.
With John and McSheffrey forming a front two, it meant the Sky Blues were able to give Preston something else to think about other than the direct ball up to Adebola, which the visitors had coped well with all day.
An equaliser never came though, despite decent half-chances for Wise, Williams and John again.
Reaction: Micky Adams
‘It was very disappointing. We’ve been terrific at home all season but we fell below the high standards we’d set ourselves.
‘We lost the game in the first half when we conceded lots of possession to Preston and gave away a poor goal in that I thought we should have closed down Whaley a lot quicker, although to be fair to Andy Whing, he did slip.
‘We were a lot better in the second half and we created the better chances, although none of them were converted and that’s not to say we were a better side than Preston.’
Reaction: Preston manager Billy Davies
‘Beating Coventry was a massive result for us, as good a win as we’ve had all season because it came against a side which hadn’t lost at home in the previous 12 games.
‘But we know we’re not in the play-offs yet. Other results went for us today but we’ve got to look after our own corner.
‘We’ve still got games to win and we’re taking nothing for granted. There are still five games of the season left and we want to make sure we secure that play-off position as soon as possible.’
‘I’m not going to have a go at the players though. When you’re at this club there’s a certain amount of hysteria which comes with winning and comes with losing so what we’ve got to do is remain level-headed and go again in the next games.’