Normal service resumes for Steve Preen

FOR Steven Preen, it was not so much a case of him stamping his authority as he carried out a spot of first footing at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday – but more a case of a proven striker resuming normal service.

As Preen reaches the autumn of his footballing career, he nevertheless continues – just like Mattie Moffat at West Auckland; Anthony Shandran at Bedlington and Gavin Cogden at Spennymoor – to be a nemesis to Ashington.

Shudder to contemplate the Colliers facing Preen at Hallowe’en as he would surely haunt them again, yet on Saturday his 72nd minute equaliser could have been termed as being a ghost from the Christmas past.

Preen was forthright in claiming the score – “It definitely came off my head”, he insisted later – although fellow substitute Lee McAndrew, who drove the ball goalwards, may disagree.

Meanwhile Dunston manager Billy Irwin – like his opposite number Gary Middleton – thought a draw was the right result on the day.

“Overall I thought a draw was fair,” he said.

“Both teams worked really hard and I’m sure both will be shattered in the dressing rooms after playing on a heavy pitch – and a poor pitch – but credit to both outfits who gave everything for the cause.

“I thought the first half was poor with both teams finding it hard to adapt to the surface, but the second half sprung to life and both sides went for it even more.”

Irwin was delighted the Federation Park club got back on terms.

“After we went behind, I thought it was going to be difficult for us to come back against a big strong team,” he said.

“I tried some substitutes in Lee McAndrew and Steven Preen and they have come off – but I thought we deserved to get something out of the game.

“Towards the end, it could have gone either way with both teams attacking each other on the break, and it wasn’t as if either were sitting back, both wanted to win it and I’m sure the supporters enjoyed it.”