Referee Andy Madley played a game of ‘Guess Who?’ and chose wrong, much to Preston’s benefit during their visit to Port Vale last season.
Only 13 minutes had gone in the Vale Park clash in November 2013 when Madley brandished the red card at PNE midfielder Neil Kilkenny.
In the official’s eyes, it had been Kilkenny grappling on the floor with Vale player Anthony Griffin.
It was not – Joe Garner was the guilty party – and the striker went on to play a star role in the clash.
He scored both of North End’s goals in the 2-0 victory, the first a corker from outside the box, the second a penalty.
Justice did eventually catch up with Garner when the FA transferred Kilkenny’s red card to him.
PNE did appeal the red card, claiming what Garner had done did not constitute violent conduct. That claim was rejected by the FA.
More than 1,000 North End journeyed to Burslem to see this highly entertaining game.
Garner had already forced former Preston keeper Chris Neal into a diving save with a 25-yard shot, when the contest’s controversial incident occurred.
Kilkenny looked perplexed as he was given his marching orders, Mr Madley producing red after consulting with one of his assistants.
As Preston adapted to playing with 10 men, Vale went close with a Tom Pope header which dropped just wide of the far post.
Kevin Davies was sacrificed to allow Keith Keane to come off the bench and strengthen the midfield as Kilkenny took his early bath.
Playing with a man less did not hinder Preston, with them taking a 30th minute lead.
Bailey Wright knocked a ball up to Garner in the Vale half, the striker beating Chris Robertson to it.
As the Vale centre-back recovered to get goal side, Garner knocked it past him a second time before hammering a rising right-foot shot into the roof of the net.
Early in the second half, Paul Gallagher saw a free-kick saved by Neal.
North End keeper Declan Rudd spilled a cross from Adam Yates but recovered to clear the danger.
Vale’s first effort on target was a 64th minute header from Pope which Tom Clarke blocked in the six-yard box.
Soon after, Vale substitute Gavin Tomlin let fly with a shot which Rudd tipped over the bar.
The PNE box was coming under increased pressure but the visitors broke up field to relieve it and score their second goal in the 71st minute.
Wright’s challenge in his own box won the ball and saw it run to Will Hayhurst.
The North End sub set off forward, exchanged passes with Keane, and got clear of the Vale back four.
As he got into the box and tried to round Neal, the keeper whipped his legs from under him leaving referee Madley with no option but to point to the spot.
Neal was shown only a yellow card despite being the last man, the fact Hayhurst was going slightly away from goal saving him red.
Garner stepped up to take the penalty – tucking it under Neal’s arm who had guessed the right way – and running to celebrate with the travelling fans behind that goal.