We make the 14 mile journey east along the Forth coast to Prestonpans to meet Preston Athletic ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_Athletic_F.C. ), IRL in the East of Scotland Conference B 2 levels below us, in game in the Highland League due to the relegation of Queen’s Park (I’ve just checked and their, and our conquerors Buckie Thistle are top of League 2 after 11 games!!!) , the lack of overarching geographical rules in this database version and the missing East of Scotland Premier Division in game (There are just 3 conferences in game in the Claessen database – Should have used Mozza’s)
Preston Athletic are currently 13th of 18 in the Highland League, but snuck a 1-0 v 7th placed Turiff in their last match a week ago so can’t be underestimated. Their squad strength as per our scouts isn’t amazing, but they have a few decent players (Sean McKenzie up front, who was looking at but wanted too much money being one of them).
We rotate back to full strength, Hainey keeping his place after a couple of 7+ performances. Interestingly Preston are matching our tactic apart from the front 3 – Both their wingbacks aren’t suitable for that position – but with 4 wide players I wonder if they plan to try and overrun the wing areas. Both my Wingbacks are on defend and I’ve sorted out set-pieces (Always annoys me how these reset – in-my-eyes they should be separate from a formation tactic), so lets go and get a place in the 3rd round, one step closer to getting a plum tie away to a big boy, setting us up financially to start walking up the leagues.
HT Preston Athletic 0 Civil Service 0
Straight away you could see the possibility of the overlap on the wings, so I decided to attack narrower, defend wider. Preston looked dangerous going forawrd but we had our moments also. Nearer the end of the half we started looking more dangerous, but it finished 0-0. Glasgow on for Hainey as I think he’ll create for trouble by the positions he can get into.
FT Preston Athletic 0 Civil Service 2 (Burbidge 88, Glasgow 90+1) Att 112 (49 Away)
A good start to the half, both teams looking dangerous. Burbidge on for Gibb on 60 to give us a bit more attacking thrust. MacEwan on for Balfour on 70. A quick change to more direct passing, get stuck in on 80. And then in the 88th minute Mark Burbidge hit an absolute Thunderbastard goal-of-the-season candidate out of nowhere, 5 yards outside of the far right corner of the area straight over the keeper. From the power of it I’m pretty sure it was a shot and not a cross. 1-0. After a few more tweaks we closed it out in the 1st minute of stoppage time – a beautiful cross from Burbidge finding Glasgow who headed home to make it 2-0. That’s how it finished. Think I have to start Burbidge as an attacking wing-back now over Gibb after that performance!
So, £4k for winning, which is nice and puts the finances back to £35k in the red (Low point was £51k in May 2019 so with the reduction in wage bill to c £1k/week from £1.4k we are staying pretty even). Last season all the Championship & 1 Prem clubs were in the 3rd Round, so lets see who we get.
And its………………Elgin City at home on 23rd November. Currently mid-table in League 2. Winnable!
Next up is top-of-the-table Gala Fairydean in our 3rd away game in a row and our last game in October 2019. See you then.