Memory match: QPR v PNE, April 2008

Tamas Priskin scores for PNE at QPR in 2008
Tamas Priskin scores for PNE at QPR in 2008
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Preston North End supporters might have noticed one of their former loan players, Tamas Priskin, playing for Hungary in this summer’s Euros.

The striker spent a month on loan with North End in the spring of 2008, making four starts and one appearance from the bench.

Priskin scored twice, one of those goals coming in a 2-2 draw with QPR – opponents for PNE this weekend – at Loftus Road.

He had netted the week before in a 2-1 victory against Burnley but started this one on the bench.

The clash on April 5, 2008, was the Hungarian’s last game in a Preston shirt before he returned to parent club Watford.

Since Priskin left English football, the front man has played for clubs in Russia, Austria, Israel and Hungary.

At the moment the 29-year-old plays for Slova Bratislava in Slovakia.

The 2008 clash with QPR was one where North End tossed away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with their London hosts.

Neil Mellor’s first-half opener was followed-up by a Priskin effort, with the three points looking to be heading back to Lancashire.

Going into the 90th minute, Preston still led 2-0 but were to be pegged back by goals from Lilywhites old boy Gareth Ainsworth and Dexter Blackstock.

The point did in effect guarantee them second-flight football, having been bottom on New Year’s Day.

Preston could have gone ahead as early as the fourth minute when Mellor got away down the left, Rangers keeper Lee Camp spreading himself to save.

Simon Whaley, Chris Brown, Darren Carter and Sean St Ledger all went close as the visitors enjoyed the best of the first half.

A rare QPR chance which resulted from a Youl Mawene mistake at the back, saw a Blackstock shot well saved by keeper Andrew Lonergan.

Preston took the lead in the 37th minute.

Skipper Paul McKenna swung a corner in from the right, Mawene flicked the ball on and Mellor caught it on the volley at the far post.

Mellor left the field at half-time feeling his hamstring and did not reappear for the second half – Priskin coming on to replace him.

He was straight into the action, tumbling in the box under a challenge from Fitz Hall, referee Clive Penton waving play on.

Rangers, clearly given a half-time gee up by manager Luigi De Canio, were more of an attacking force than they had been in the first half.

But twice midfielder Martin Rowlands was wide of the target from outside the box.

Patrick Agyemang, who like Ainsworth was another former PNE player, got in the way of another shot from Rowlands.

As Rangers pushed forward they were undone on the counter-attack after 65 minutes with Preston raiding down the left.

Chris Sedgwick left Gavin Mahon on his backside and sent over a low cross which QPR centre-half Matthew Connolly appeared to kick against Priskin and into the net.

Priskin could have had a second moments later when he rose to meet a corner by McKenna from the right, but keeper Camp flung himself to his left to pull off a stunning one-handed save on the line.

With North End on course for victory, the home side staged their dramatic late rally.

Ainsworth, who had three spells as a player with PNE, hooked an effort from the right-wing over Lonergan to halve the deficit in the 90th minute.

In the third minute of stoppage-time, Ainsworth got down the right and sent over a cross which Dexter headed home, much to the despair of the travelling PNE fans.