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Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 17:52 GMT
Rochdale stun Preston
Rochdale player-manager Paul Simpson
Simpson was on the mark for Rochdale
Preston 1-2 Rochdale

Lee McEvilly and player-manager Paul Simpson scored as Rochdale pulled off a shock victory over struggling Preston in the FA Cup third round.

McEvilly's stunning free-kick was his seventh goal of the season - and although Iain Anderson levelled, Simpson notched the winner.

It was Simpson's 10th goal of the season and increases the pressure on Preston boss Craig Brown, who has now seen his side lose their last five games.

Simpson's side had coped well throughout the opening 30 minutes and took the lead after eight minutes before the interval.

It is no surprise to me that we won - the players showed fantastic spirit

Rochdale manager Paul Simpson

McEvilly fired home a spectacular free-kick to leave Tepi Moilanen stranded after the 20-year-old had been fouled by Paul McKenna.

Visiting goalkeeper Neil Edwards made his first meaningful save just before the interval when he tipped Eddie Lewis' free-kick around the post.

Brown introduced Anderson and Lee Cartwright for the second half.

And Anderson made an immediate impact when he equalised after 47 minutes.

Abbott was fouled on the edge of the area by Simon Grand, and Anderson drilled a low right-foot free-kick past Edwards from the edge of the area.

My players know the full extent of my feelings

Preston manager Craig Brown

Simpson came on after 50 minutes, with the injured Clive Platt taken off, and it was an inspired change as he put Rochdale back in front after Moilanen failed to hold a free kick.

Alexander volleyed the ball wide and Edwards made a fine save to deny Anderson as Preston went in search of an equaliser.

Murdock then headed Anderson's free-kick over the bar as Preston continued to push forward.

But the home team could not find an equaliser and McEvilly went close at the other end during a brief forward foray from the visitors.


Preston: Moilanen, Alexander, Murdock, Lucketti, Broomes, Skora (Cartwright 45), McKenna, Etuhu (Mears 75), Lewis (Anderson 46), Abbott, Healy.
Subs not used: O'Neil, O'Hanlon.

Booked: Lucketti, Broomes, Anderson.

Rochdale: Edwards, Evans, Jobson, Grand, Warner, Oliver, Flitcroft, Doughty, Platt (Simpson 51), Connor, McEvilly.
Subs not used: Gilks, Melaugh, Townson, Hill.

Booked: Jobson, Connor, Flitcroft, Grand.

Att: 8,762

Referee: R Pearson (Co Durham).

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