Memory match: Preston North End Ko’d Norwich City in 2015 FA Cup thanks to Paul Gallagher’s double

Preston and Norwich City met in the third round of the FA Cup five years ago and it was the Lilywhites who caused a surprise result.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 11:45 am
Paul Gallagher fires Preston in front against Norwich at Deepdale in the FA Cup in January 2015
Paul Gallagher fires Preston in front against Norwich at Deepdale in the FA Cup in January 2015

Paul Gallagher struck twice in the last 20 minutes to secure a 2-0 victory at Deepdale on January 3, 2015.

At the time Gallagher was on loan from Leicester City, his second season of that temporary arrangement.

It was a League One-versus-Championship clash and the outcome led to Alex Neil’s arrival in English football.

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The Canaries sacked Neil Adams in the aftermath and the following week recruited Neil from Scottish Premier League side Hamilton.

North End had beaten Havant and Waterlooville and Shrewsbury Town to reach this stage.

Simon Grayson’s team selection showed five changes from their league outing at Crewe five days before but it proved strong enough to see off Norwich from the division above. In fact, the Canaries did not manage a shot on target all afternoon.

Grayson admitted he had one eye on a Johnstone Paint’s Trophy Northern Final against Walsall five days later with the team he picked, resting some legs for that one.

Chances fell North End’s way early on as they settled well into the game played in front of a 9,807 crowd.

Josh Brownhill, Bailey Wright and Kyel Reid saw efforts go wide.

Gallagher thought he should have had a penalty in the 37th minute when his cross struck the arm of Wes Hoolahan but referee Stuart Atwell waved play on.

Mr Atwell did award them a free-kick soon after when Hoolaham handled.

Gallagher drove the free-kick into the box and across goal but no one in a white shirt could get a touch and the chance were begging.

David Buchanan and Andy Little had chances in the second half for the home side.

At the other end, Nathan Redmond cut in from the right wing and dragged his shot across Thorston Stuckmann’s goal and wide of the far post.

Bradley Johnson also made a probing run into the North End box but was stopped in his tracks by a fine sliding tackle from Bailey Wright.

With the scoreline blank, thoughts were perhaps starting to turn to a replay in East Anglia.

But Gallagher had other ideas and he took the game by the scruff of the net to send North End through to the fourth round.

The deadlock was broken in the 71st minute, left-back Buchanan lifting a cross into the box.

Jack King headed it down into the path of Gallagher who struck a first-time shot under goalkeeper John Ruddy in front of the Alan Kelly Town End.

The relief was there for all to see and in the 85th minute Gallagher doubled the lead to clinch victory.

Jermaine Beckford slid in to win the ball off a Norwich defender in the centre of the pitch and it ran into the path off Reid down the left.

Reid advanced down the wing and crossed low into the box for Gallagher to sweep a first-time finish into the net.

Victory earned North End a fourth round tie with Sheffield United.

Gallagher scored in a 1-1 draw at Deepdale and then twice in the replay in the Bramall Lane which Preston won 3-1.

What a big victory that was, with Manchester United awaiting the winners in the fifth round. The cup run ended with a 3- 1 defeat at Deepdale to the Red Devils.