MEMORY MATCH: Bristol City v PNE (1999/2000)

PNE striker Brett Angell (right) goes close with a header against Bristol City in May 2000
PNE striker Brett Angell (right) goes close with a header against Bristol City in May 2000
Share this article
0
Have your say

Preston capped off an unforgettable campaign by winning at Ashton Gate for the first time in more than 72 years.

Not since November 1927, had the Lilywhites beaten Bristol City on their own patch.

But such statistics counted for little during the 1999/2000 season as David Moyes’ side swept to the Second Division title.

This was their final game of the season, the title having been secured almost a fortnight earlier.

Moyes wanted to finish the term on a high and there was the added spice that he was facing his former club – one which had twice tried to recruit him as manager the previous year. North End had resisted those attempts by the Robins and keeping the Scotsman at the helm was rewarded by promotion after 19 years in the third tier for PNE.

After a shaky first 10 minutes, the Moyes boys went on to control this encounter.

In that opening spell, Keith Millen went close for the home side with a diving header and Colin Murdock survived a loud shout for a penalty when he appeared to handle in the box. North End never looked back after taking a 14th-minute lead.

Right-back Graham Alexander delivered a fine cross into the middle for Brett Angell to bullet a header past City keeper Steve Phillips from eight yards.

Had it not been for Phillips, the margin of victory for the visitors would have been far greater.

He made fine saves from Angell, Mark Rankine and Jon Macken as Preston launched wave after wave of attacks in front of 3,000 travelling fans.

They got their second goal eight minutes into the second half, Rankine’s pass finding Angell just outside the box.

As defenders moved to close him down, the veteran striker squared the ball inside to Michael Appleton, who steered an accurate right-foot finish into the bottom corner.

In the latter stages of the game, Gary Parkinson was introduced as a substitute for his first appearance in 14 months, the right-back having suffered a torn cruciate ligament the previous season.

A fine pass from Parkinson set up a chance for fellow sub Brian Barry-Murphy but he lifted his shot over the bar.

Moyes, who was handed a new four-year contract as a reward for promotion, was delighted with how the season had gone.

He said: “We have broken a few records over the last year and that is a tribute to the players we have here.

“To get 95 points in a season is a marvellous achievement.”

PNE’s final assignment of the season was an open-top bus parade through the city.