Memory match: PNE v Middlesbrough

Preston's Billy Jones (right) battles for the ball with Middlesbrough's Adam Johnson in 2009
Preston's Billy Jones (right) battles for the ball with Middlesbrough's Adam Johnson in 2009
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Billy Jones was Preston North End’s savour as his stoppage-time goal rescued a draw against Middlesbrough at Deepdale in October 2009.

The right-back staged his own version of the late show, netting 53 seconds into time added on. This Championship clash was the first league meeting between the sides for more than 35 years.

There had been a couple of cup games in between, notably PNE’s 1-0 win over Boro at Ayresome Park in the FA Cup in 1987. But not since April 1974 had they battled one another for league points.

The 2009/10 season was Boro’s first campaign back in the second tier after relegation from the Premier League.

Playing in their defence was Sean St Ledger who had joined on loan from North End the previous month, with a view to a permanent £4.5m, one which never materialised.

An attendance of more than 16,000, including 3,300 from Teesside, saw the visitors have the better of the first half and they took a 43rd minute lead.

Paul Parry was pulled up for a foul 22 yards out, Gary O’Neill’s free-kick skidding through the wall and creeping into the bottom corner.

Spurred on by a few home truths from manager Alan Irvine at half-time, North End were much brighter in the second half.

Darren Carter was not far off target with a curling shot from the edge of the box.

The Lilywhites equalised after an hour, Eddie Nolan and Ross Wallace linking-up well down the left-wing to start things off.

Wallace’s cross found Jon Parkin at the near post, his header parried by Boro keeper Brad Jones.

Nolan’s follow-up effort deflected across the box to Parry who forced the ball over the line from close range at the back post.

They were level for only seven minutes though, Leroy Lita’s lay-off finding Adam Johnson. The winger burst into the box and drove a low shot across Andy Lonergan into the far corner.

Rhys Williams saw a shot clip the outside of the post as Boro pushed for a third goal.

But it was at the other end of the pitch where the late action came, PNE earning a share of the spoils as the game moved into added time.

North End won a free-kick on the right-wing, Wallace delivering it into the box.

It found the unmarked Jones who glanced a header into the net. Jones said: “When we got the free-kick I told Eddie Nolan to stay back because I’m always confident of doing something at a set piece.

“ Ross delivered a great ball in and I found myself free in the middle to glanced it into the bottom corner.

“I scored a few headers at Crewe but hadn’t scored many here, so it was nice.”

Jones admitted it had taken a few harsh words from Irvine at half-time to spark them into life.

He said: “Boro play a pressing game and the obvious way to respond to that is put balls in behind and turn them.

“At half-time the gaffer said he couldn’t understand why we weren’t doing that, instead we’d been playing little passes here and there, trying to force things.”