PNE retro game: When Preston's friendly victory over Manchester United came at a cost

Preston North End beat Manchester United in their final pre-season game ahead of the 2006/07 campaign, but it came at a cost.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 5:31 pm
Danny Pugh celebrates after giving Preston the lead against Manchester United at Deepdale in July 2006

Goals from Danny Pugh and Simon Whaley gave them victory in front of a 12,541 crowd at Deepdale.

The gloss was taken off the win by a serious knee injury suffered by Youl Mawene who had been outstanding at the heart of the PNE defence.

Mawene was hurt in an accidental collision with team-mate Brian Stock, the Frenchman ruled out for a number of months.

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Youl Mawene is put on a stretcher after damaging knee ligaments

It was a youthful United side which Sir Alex Ferguson brought from Old Trafford for the occasion.

The one experienced head in the visitors’ ranks was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who 13 years on is managing the Red Devils.

It was the Norwegian who notched United’s consolation with a late penalty.

North End had gone into the game with a summer of change behind them.

Preston midfielder Paul McKenna shadows Manchester United skipper Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Deepdale in July 2006

Billy Davies and most of his backroom staff had left for Derby County.

Paul Simpson had been the choice of the PNE board to replace Davies, recruited from Carlisle United.

Claude Davis and Tyrone Mears had been sold during the close season, with Sean St Ledger and Liam Chilvers among the new arrivals.

Another new face was Pugh, signed from Leeds, and he took less than three minutes to give North End the lead.

Preston midfielder Jason Jarrett competes with Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi

The ball was worked across the pitch from right to left, David Nugent laying the ball into the path of Pugh, who rifled a first-time shot past United keeper Luke Steele from 12 yards.

Danny Dichio got on the end of a Nugent cross to loop a header against the top of the bar.

At the other end, Mawene made sure that United’s young striker Giuseppe Rossi hardly got a kick.

Rossi was substituted at the break, replaced by Darren Fletcher as United boss Ferguson went for an extra man in midfield.

David Nugent is challenged by Jonny Evans in Preston's pre-season friendly against Manchester United in July 2006

Whaley and Stock both went close before Preston doubled the advantage in the 59th minute.

Nugent’s pass released Pugh down the inside left channel, leaving the winger one-on-one with Steele.

He could have chosen to shoot, but instead squared a pass to Whaley who had the simple task of rolling a shot into the unguarded net.

North End lost Mawene in the 72nd minute after his unfortunate collision with Stock, who had joined the action as a half-time sub.

Mawene was carried off and the diagnosis was damage to knee ligaments.

United pulled a goal back in the 84th minute, referee Lee Mason giving a penalty after Alan McCormack had brought down Fletcher.

Solskjaer beat Andrew Lonergan from the spot to give the United fans something to cheer about, just after they had unfurled a ‘Glazer out’ banner.

PNE: Nash (Lonergan 67); Alexander, St Ledger, Mawene (Chilvers 73), Hill (McCormack 77); Whaley (Sedgwick 67), Jarrett (Neal 77), McKenna, Pugh; Nugent (Agyemang 69), Dichio (Stock 46).