Memory match: PNE v Brentford

PNE defender Alex Jones challenges for the ball as Ian Bogie watches on during North End's 5-3 win over Brentford
PNE defender Alex Jones challenges for the ball as Ian Bogie watches on during North End's 5-3 win over Brentford
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There were many exciting games played at Deepdale during the eight years when it had a carpeted pitch.

Preston fans of that era will have their own particular memories when it was plastic rather than grass underfoot.

There were some great matches in the 1986/87 promotion campaign – the first season of the artificial surface.

The night the pitch was ripped up after the dramatic play-off semi-final victory over Torquay in May 1994, still gets people talking.

A real stand-out game came on March 4, 1989, when Brentford were the visitors.

It was an eight-goal thriller, John McGrath’s men beating the Bees 5-3 in a contest when there was rarely chance to draw breath.

The victory formed part of a nine-game unbeaten run.

And it was one of four wins they recorded on the bounce, scoring 17 goals in the process.

North End went into the game on the back of a 6-0 thumping of Chesterfield and a 3-1 win at Gillingham.

Beating the Bees was followed up with a 3-0 away victory over Mansfield.

McGrath had recently bolstered his forward line with the signing of Tony Philliskirk from Oldham.

It was Philliskirk who got the ball rolling on this win, netting inside two minutes.

Tony Ellis teed him up, parting the visitors defence with a fine through ball which sent Philliskirk clear to fire past the Bees goalkeeper.

Moments later, he almost hit a second but saw his shot cleared off the line.

Brentford equalised with 10 minutes gone, Simon Ratcliffe heading home. They then briefly silenced 
Deepdale in the 17th minute when Jamie Bates put them ahead.

North End levelled from the penalty spot after a Bees player had handled, Mark Patterson coverting.

But within 28 seconds of the re-start, Brentford regained the lead, Kevin Godfrey finding space to send a powerful shot past PNE keeper Roy Tunks.

It was an enforced change by North End which was key to them turning the game back in their favour.

Philliskirk felt unwell and had to be replaced from the bench by Warren Joyce.

The scoreline stayed at 3-2 until the 70th minute when Preston restored parity.

Patterson and Brian Mooney combined to send Joyce clear.

The midfielder latched on to the ball in the box and chipped a fine finish over the keeper as he came off his line.

Six minutes later, North End were 4-3 to the good.

Patterson sprang the offside trap and sprinted towards the Bees box, squaring a pass to Ellis who scored his sixth goal in three games.

The topsy-turvy nature of this clash meant a one-goal advantage could not guarantee anything.

But in the last minute, Preston netted their fifth goal to wrap-up the three points.

Ellis was the supplier this time, sending over a cross which sub Joyce tucked away.

After the nine-match unbeaten run, PNE wobbled and lost three out of four.

They went six unbeaten after that and claimed a place in the play-offs, losing to Port Vale in the semi-finals.