PNE retro game - 1991 victory over Torquay
Preston North End were given a helping hand as they beat Torquay United at Deepdale in August 1991.
Two of their three goals were as a result of defensive mistakes from the newly-promoted Gulls.
This was the first home league game of the season, North End having lost 1-0 at Peterborough United on the opening day.
Victory was sandwiched between two Rumblelows Cup ties with Scarborough.
PNE won the first leg 5-4 at home but were beaten 3-1 in the return game.
Against Torquay, they saw plenty of the ball early on but the service up to front pair Graham Shaw and Ronnie Jepson was poor.
Their best chance in the early exchanges came from right-back Steve Senior who tried his luck from 40 yards.
The ambitious effort flew just wide of the target but had Torquay keeper Gareth Howells scrambling across goal all the same.
North End went ahead in the 25th minute, a cross from Neil Williams not appearing to cause too much trouble.
But Gulls defenders Matt Elliott and Peter Whiston got themselves in a right tangle trying to clear, it allowing Shaw to nip in and scoop a shot over Howells.
The Lilywhites came close to doubling the advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Jepson’s pass released Gary Swann down the left, his cross finding Williams in the middle.
Williams got a shot away but Howells produced a fine save to glove it away.
In the second half, there was a scare for North End when a free-kick from Mark Loram went close.
PNE made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute, Mike Flynn’s ball down the right channel releasing Shaw.
He chased it down to the byline and pulled a low ball back into the middle.
It ran perfectly into the path of Jepson who swung and missed, the ball also missed by two defenders.
Lee Ashcroft was to make no mistake though, firing home at the back post.
Nigel Greenwood came off the bench in the 73rd minute, replacing Jepson up front.
Greenwood had spent three weeks of the summer on trial at his former club Bury but hadn’t earned a move to the Shakers.
It was the Hoghton-born striker who netted North End’s third goal with five minutes remaining.
Senior lifted a long ball down the right which looked routine for Elliott to clear.
But the Torquay man got the ball caught under his feet and Greenwood whipped it off him.
The substitute set off into the box and tucked a shot past Howells.
Greenwood nearly had his name on the scoresheet again soon after, Ashcroft’s pass finding him in the box.
But this time his shot struck the outside of the post and went wide.
The one disappointment of the afternoon was a crowd of only 3,654.
North End: Farnworth, Senior, Flynn, Wrightson, James, Williams, Swann, Joyce, Ashcroft, Jepson (Greenwood 73), Shaw. Sub (unused): Lambert.