Fans’ Panel’s Tim Mercer salutes Preston North End’s historic derby triumph

An historic night marked the 100th league match between these two famous old clubs.

By Tim Mercer
Sunday, 14th February 2021, 12:30 pm

Back in December 1888 it kicked off at Deepdale and ended with a 1-0 win for North End. Roll forward to now and the game ended with the same winning margin for the Lilywhites, albeit at Ewood Park and by two goals to one.

More importantly for this fan, it helped heal the wounds of the dreadful 3-0 thrashing by Rovers in the reverse fixture in November.

To say Preston were not at the races that day is an understatement, and I genuinely cannot remember such a poor performance over the years I have been watching this fixture.

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Blackburn’s Barry Douglas and North End’s Alan Browne

Well, there was no such problem this time as a gutsy, determined and hungry North End thoroughly deserved their win by time the referee blew the final whistle.

Speaking of the referee, Mr Webb did make a controversial decision late in the first half. Preston had just gone 2-0 up via a Liam Lindsay header from a corner that added to a stunning strike from Greg Cunningham for the opener in his first start since returning to the club.

The hosts broke forwardwith Sam Gallagher going over in the penalty area when he felt, in my view, minimal contact by Andrew Hughes as they both raced towards goal.

The referee did not initially give a foul, but then appeared to get the signal from his linesman and belatedly pointed to the spot.

The Sky commentary team were not convinced and neither were the pundits in the studio at half-time.

Ched Evans is making a real difference up front with his all-round hold-up play. Ben Whiteman was doing all the unsung breaking up of play and it was great to see Cunningham looking as sharp as we remember him.

However, one stunning moment belonged to our on-loan keeper, Daniel Iversen, clawing out a certain equaliser with a world class reflex save will live long in my memory.