Preston’s opening goal was a sucker punch, says Gray

David Gray and Scott Laird, both playing against their former teams. Photo: Stuart Bogg Imaging

David Gray and Scott Laird, both playing against their former teams. Photo: Stuart Bogg Imaging - Credit: Stuart Bogg Imaging

Full-back says Stevenage had good moments in the match though hosts were more clinical

David Gray says conceding just before half-time against Preston North End was a ‘sucker punch’.

The Stevenage full-back was back at Deepdale against one of his former clubs but saw his side lose 3-0 in Saturday’s Sky Bet League 1 encounter with goals from Paul Huntington, Scott Laird and Kevin Davies.

Speaking after the match, Gray said: “I think the way the first half went we rode our luck a little bit when they hit the bar and the post in a couple of seconds, and we’ve had one at the other end and then we controlled the game for a good 20 minutes after that and felt relatively comfortable.

“They were more clinical than us and obviously scoring just before half time was a sucker punch and we had to come out second half and really go at them but [in the] second half we weren’t clinical enough and never produced enough to get back into the game.

“We lost the opener from a set piece which is a big no-no really so we need to knuckle down on that this week and make sure we get our organisation better.

“We’re not getting too downhearted. Obviously nobody likes getting beaten 3-0 in the league and we’ve kept a few clean sheets in recent weeks so we need to get back to doing that.

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“The biggest disappointment for everybody is we’ve conceded three goals which is a big no-no. We’ll work on that this week and hopefully go out on Saturday and get a good result.”

Asked about his feelings on returning to a club where he spent two seasons as a player, Gray added: “Obviously it’s nice to come back, but it’s not nice getting beaten. It would be nice to come back and win another day hopefully.”