Memory match: PNE v Leeds

Preston striker David Nugent produced a virtuoso performance to help his team rout Leeds United 4-1 at Deepdale in October, 2006.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 24th December 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:01 pm
David Nugent was on fire as North End beat Leeds United 4-1 at Deepdale
David Nugent was on fire as North End beat Leeds United 4-1 at Deepdale

The young striker laid on goals for the two Dannys – Dichio and Pugh – in the first half, before notching himself in the second half.

A further strike by Lewis Neal rendered former North Ender David Healy’s late strike for United as nothing more than a consolation.

The result helped PNE to maintain second place in the Championship table and maintained their unbeaten home record.

The performance had North End boss Paul Simpson purring with pride – the only concern for him was how to hold on to rising star Nugent, who was catching some admiring glances from clubs in the Premier League.

Simpson said: “That’s what David Nugent’s all about, but there’s no point me losing sleep over someone coming in for him.

“There’s nothing I can do about that. He showed what a really hot property he is, but we won’t give him up without a fight.”

The difference in class between the two sides was huge, but so was the difference in attitude and application – something which troubled new United boss Dennis Wise the most – he had taken over at Elland Road earlier that month.

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch three games now and that performance is not what I want,”Wise said.

“It’s not enough and I’ve let the players know. We might need to bring in some fresh faces because the feeling is we need more competition.

“We don’t have a massive squad and we have players that will always play.

“This has to change because I’m very disappointed. I need to know if the players are going to give me what I expect. I’m not too pleased because I don’t expect to be three goals down.

“We are going to have to work with what we’ve got at the moment and try and make it happen.

“It’s a difficult situation but they have got to play for their futures, pride and club because this is a massive club that expects certain standards of playing.”

The goalscoring began in the 19th minute when Nugent – back from suspension – crossed from the left for Dichio to stoop and flick a header inside the near post.

Three minutes later the England Under-21s international galloped off down the right-hand side to present Pugh with a simple tap-in for the second.

Nugent twice went close to claiming a goal for himself in a frantic first half as Preston turned the screw. But his glancing header was wide of the far post and then he fired a low shot inches the wrong side of the up same upright.

He got his reward just 95 seconds into the second period when Simon Whaley pulled the ball back for the striker to score from close range.

Healy was able to give Leeds brief hope in the 80th minute when he knocked in a Richard Cresswell cross from close range.

But any thoughts of a fightback for the visitors were flattened four minutes later when Neal tried his luck from 25 yards out on the left and saw his shot strike a defender’s leg to wrong-foot the keeper.

Preston North End (4-4-2): Nash; Alexander, St Ledger, Chilvers, Hill; Whaley, Sedgwick, McKenna, Pugh (Neal, 78); Dichio, Nugent (Ormerod, 85). Substitutes not used: Lonergan, McCormack, Wilson.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Stack; Kelly, Butler, Kilgallon, Lewis; Moore (Horsfield, 50) Westlake, Derry, Johnson (Blake, 49); Cresswell, Healy. Substitutes not used: Warner, Richardson, Foxe.

Referee: A Marriner (W Midlands).