Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday: Memory match

Dickson  Etuhu opens the scoring for Preston

Dickson Etuhu opens the scoring for Preston

Share this article
5
Have your say

Deepdale was not short changed in entertainment terms when Preston North End clashed with Sheffield Wednesday on February 5, 2002.

A pre-match downpour soaked the pitch and it went on to rain goals as PNE ran out 4-2 winners against an Owls side who had dropped into the relegation zone a few days before this visit.

One of North End’s goals that night came from Paul Reid, a defender they had signed on loan from Scottish club Rangers.

Reid joined the action from the bench in the first half after Sean Gregan went off injured.

He scored Preston’s third goal of the night and was to join a select band of players in the club’s history.

It was to be the Scotman’s only game in a PNE shirt, thus he joined the ‘one game, one goal’ club.

Reid returned to Rangers at the end of his loan and went on to play for Northampton, Barnsley, Colchester and Scunthorpe – he currently plays for National League South side Whitehawk.

North End had gone into the game on the back of two wins and a draw.

It was Wednesday who went close to making a great start, presented with a chance inside two minutes.

A ball into the Lilywhites box was not cleared, it rolling through to Trond-Egil Soltvedt who had only PNE goalkeeper Teuvo Moilanen to beat.

But the Owls skipper failed to control it properly and the chance went begging.

That early warning shook Preston into life and they went on to control much of the first half.

Richard Cresswell, facing the club he supported as a boy, missed two chances.

They took the lead in the 16th minute, a corner from Graham Alexander finding Dickson Etuhu who headed home at the near post.

It was the midfielder’s first goal following his £300,000 move from Manchester City a couple of weeks earlier.

North End soon doubled their advantage, Jon Macken finding space in the box to fire past keeper Paul Heald from 10 yards.

The week before, Macken had been taken off Preston’s transfer list after a dispute over a new deal was settled.

However, he was to leave for Manchester City a few weeks later for £5m.

Macken almost scored again, only to put a shot just wide.

Wednesday halved the deficit in the 36th minute, a slip by Alexander allowing Alan Quinn to move into the box and slot past Moilanen.

In the second half, North End upped the pressure in a bid to put themselves out of sight of their visitors.

Cresswell’s low cross struck Wednesday player Paul McLaren and was on its way into the net until Ashley Westwood cleared off the line.

At the other end, there were chances for Owls duo Matthew Hamshaw and David Johnson.

Preston went 3-1 ahead in the 67th minute, Alexander’s corner met by Reid who rose high to power home a header.

Quickly they netted a fourth, Etuhu playing in sub David Healy who ran through to calmly slot in.

Wednesday scored a late consolation after Soltvedt was brought down in the box.

Efan Ekoku stepped up to score from the spot but it had no bearing on the outcome.

After this win, North End hit a sticky patch, losing three games on the bounce.

Once of those was against Chelsea in the FA Cup, with them beaten 3-1 at Stamford Bridge after taking an early lead.

They got back on track with three wins in four games, before David Moyes resigned as manager to take the Everton job.

Kelham O’Hanlon took over as caretaker boss.