Preston North End’s win over Blackburn on September 30, 1997, was a hollow victory, a restoration of pride.
A Dean Barrick goal, which was something of a rarity, gave the Lilywhites a 1-0 win in the Coca-Cola Cup second round, second leg at Deepdale.
But the damage had been done in the first leg two weeks earlier – it was significant damage too.
North End had suffered a 6-0 hammering at Ewood Park against a Rovers side who were flying high in the Premier League at the time.
That left little riding on the second leg apart from pride on PNE’s part.
The game still attracted a crowd of more than 11,000, with Preston manager Gary Peters demanding his team treat the game properly and put the first leg mauling out of their minds.
Rovers boss of the time, Roy Hodgson, made eight changes to his side.
But he was still able to field seven full internationals who had cost in excess of £20m, a decent amount of money 19 years ago.
They had teenager James Beattie up front, the striker having scored a hat-trick in a reserve game at Deepdale a few weeks earlier.
North End stuck with the same XI which had drawn 0-0 at Wycombe four days before.
Rovers had the first chance of the game inside two minutes when striker Per Pederson got clear on goal.
It was a chance he should have buried but the Danish front man put his side the wrong side of Tepi Moilanen’s far post.
Preston’s winner came in the 15th minute from the left boot of Barrick who was in the No.11 shirt, playing at left wing-back.
Barrick started the move in his own half, knocking a long diagonal ball into the path of Mark Rankine.
In turn, Rankine laid the ball out to Michael Appleton on the wing.
Appleton’s ball back into the middle was missed by Lee Ashcroft but ran to Barrick who hammered a first-time shot past Tim Flowers.
Preston lost the services of Jon Macken shortly after the goal, the striker carried off after twisting his knee.
He was replaced from the bench by Michael Holt who had joined North End a year earlier on a free transfer from Blackburn.
Holt had a chance to stretch the lead when Ryan Kidd’s low shot was fumbled by Flowers.
The substitute was first to the rebound and hit a shot goalwards which hit Flowers on the knee and looped up against the bar.
Beattie forced a good save out of Moilanen as Rovers searched for an equaliser.
In the second half, North End bossed most of the play as they looked to chip away at more of the first-leg deficit.
Holt, Lee Cartwright and Rankine all went close.
Fiften minutes from time, Moilanen was forced into action at the other end, saving well from Pederson.
The Finnish keeper also denied Jason Wilcox with a smart save.
North End held out for their narrow win, a touch of pride restored.
“It was about reclaiming some pride and we did that,” said Peters.
Preston and Blackburn have met 99 times in league and cup, the teams both being founder members of the Football League.
The regularity of clashes has slowed over the last three decades.
Last season’s games were the first league meetings since the 2000/01 campaign.
Before that, the Coca-Cola Cup ties in 1997 had come during a 20-year break in league matches.
Last term, Rovers won 2-1 at Deepdale, before North End were victorious by the same scoreline at Ewood Park in front of more than 7,000 travelling supporters.