|CB||4||Andy Ward (c)|
|15||Mark Anthony Byrne (u20)|
|18||Blair Bateman (u20)|
Colts travelled to bottom side Preston on the league's annual Groundhop weekend. On the night the Colts proved too strong for the home side in what turned out to be another feisty affair as the home side battled for their league existence. This was the Colts third visit to the capital since the turn of the year and delivered a comfortable 2-0 win which understated their overall dominance.
The injury hit Colts made one change from the last weekends match at Hawick, with Sheridan replacing Barclay, the starting line-up included three U20's, with six others on the bench. From the first whistle, the team played with energy and confidence and there were some real opportunities for the Colts to get a foothold early on, but some poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping meant the score line remained 0-0.
A Hunter effort was unluckily deflected by the Preston keeper, Stephen O'Neill then passed up an opportunity when he shot weakly in the box, Colts thought they had broken the deadlock when Murray and Black combined well with Black coolly guided the ball home at the back post, only to see the assistant flag for offside. It was only a matter of time however and it was Brown who again managed to secure the lead with a finish from close range, rewarding the Colts for their overall dominance. It was pretty much one way traffic but Colts lacked the finishing touch to extend their lead.
The tempo of play and tensions between the teams began to rise in the second half. While the first half saw two Preston players carded, this number reached no less than six by the final whistle with one player red carded, the home side could easily have been reduced further for as a series of violent tackles on Colt's players, one tackle high from the back on O'Neil was deemed only to warrant a yellow, the young referee was clearly finding it tough to stay in control as the game deteriorated and made a number of questionable decisions and frequent visits to his assistant was advice.
Nevertheless, the Colts were determined not to lose focus or slacken their play and were very much in control. Stephen O'Neill, Craig Murray and Jonathan Black combined in a flowing move which should have resulted in the Colts second goal, but once again the home keeper pulled off an excellent save. Orr and McKinlay removed Murray and O'Neil who are still finding their fitness following injury, replaced by Barclay and young McKenzie who has shown well with the U20's.
It was looking like it was going to be one of those days when the home side would ride their luck, the Colts were however not to be denied their second and sealing goal, as the game draw to an end Brown delivered a killer blow finishing powerfully past the Preston keeper from close range. Such was the physical nature of the game the Colts were relieved to come through the game with no further injury worries and a valuable three points.