Mellord admits he looked for a penalty

PRESTON striker Neil Mellor admitted he went looking for a penalty when he went over Town keeper Neil Alexander.Mellor duly converted the disputed spot kick to deny Ipswich a deserved clean sheet.

By Derek Davis

PRESTON striker Neil Mellor admitted he went looking for a penalty when he went over Town keeper Neil Alexander.

Mellor duly converted the disputed spot kick to deny Ipswich a deserved clean sheet.

The former Liverpool striker said: “There was definitely contact with the keeper, although I have to admit I left my legs in looking for a penalty.

“Whichever way you look at it, it was all too little too late. It is always tough coming to Ipswich and we didn't really penetrate or do enough to win. You just have to look at the home record to see that other sides have suffered here, too.” It never mattered in the final analysis, although Blues boss Jim Magilton admitted the home loss last year when Town conceded a two-goal lead, was in his mind.

He said: “It was precarious while we were only one up and in the second half we started slowly and Preston had a little bit of an edge.

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“After Tommy Miller scored our second, I was happy enough. Then the referee has given a very dubious penalty so we were a little worried we were going to lose the two goal lead like we did against them last season.”

Magilton said: “The first goal epitomised our play with terrific build up play and a great finish. Our all-round play was good, despite a lot of travelling this week.

“The three points were very important and something to build on. Overall, we were pretty solid.”

Lilywhites boss Paul Simpson was happy enough to take the penalty, but moaned it was too little, too late from his side.

He said: “Neil Mellor said their keeper made contact. If it was a dodgy decision then I'm sorry, but I'll take it. We've had other good claims for penalties turned down this season. If we had started as we finished with the same sort of intensity and desire then we might have got something from the game. When it was still 1-0 at the interval I felt we still had a chance if we could increase our performance.

“There were a few little skirmishes in their box, but our players looked tired. There was not the spring in their step they showed against Southampton on Tuesday. This is a tough league and we must learn how to deal with it.

“Andy Lonergan was superb in goal. He made three or four excellent saves. You need your keeper on top form at a place like Ipswich and he certainly was. He was unfortunate to be on the losing side.”

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