Memory match: Birmingham 0 Preston North End 2, November 2002

Ricardo Fuller fires North End into the lead against Birmingham City at St Andrew's in November 2002
Ricardo Fuller fires North End into the lead against Birmingham City at St Andrew's in November 2002

Preston claimed a Premier League scalp when they beat Birmingham City in the League Cup at St Andrew’s in November 2002.

Ricardo Fuller and Eddie Lewis found the net in a 2-0 victory which carried Craig Brown’s men into the fourth round of the competition.

It was a deserved victory against the Blues who had more than one eye on their next game against Chelsea by resting seven players.

PNE took full advantage, Fuller and Lewis scoring in the second half to set up a visit to Aston Villa.

They were aided by a red card for Birmingham striker Geoff Horsfield before the game had even reached the half-hour mark.

Horsfield got his marching orders for elbowing Graham Alexander.

North End had headed to the Midlands on the back of a 3-1 victory over Burnley in the league.

That was only the fourth win of Brown’s reign, draws having been scattered around generously in the first three months of the 2002/03 campaign.

North End started slowly on the night, keeper David Lucas forced to make a smart one-on-one save from Bryan Hughes.

The home side went down to 10 men in the 27th minute when Horsfield tangled with Alexander at a throw-in.

Horsfield appeared to swing out with his elbow and catch right-back Alexander in the mouth.

Referee Graham Poll was quick to pull out the red card and dispatched Horsfield to the dressing room.

Brown made a tactical switch at half-time, moving United States international Lewis to the right wing from the left.

That gave him a new lease of life and started to open up the game.

Four minutes after the break, Lewis cut inside from the wing and hit a shot which clipped Joe Hutchinson and flew just wide.

At the other end, Daryl Powell volleyed over from 12 yards for the hosts.

Preston nudged in front in the 59th minute.

Lewis got possession on the right-hand side of the box, turned inside and curled over a beauty of a low cross.

It found the run of Fuller next to the penalty spot, the front man bringing the ball under control and drilling a fine finish past Ian Bennett.

That was the Jamaican striker’s eighth goal since his summer arrival at Deepdale.

Fuller would reach 11 goals before his season was cut short by a damaged cruciate ligament later that month.

Marlon Broomes stopped a Birmingham equaliser with a great tackle on substitute Craig Fagan in front of goal.

When the ball broke to Hughes, his shot was tipped over by Lucas.

Lewis squandered a good chance to extend the lead when he side-footed wide from a Fuller cross.

But 12 minutes from time, the American found the net to wrap-up victory.

Paul McKenna slipped a pass through to Lewis on the edge of the box.

Lewis took a touch before driving a powerful shot into the net.

It was his first goal in North End colours and a reward for an impressive time with the club.

Speaking of his delight post-match, Lewis said: “It was a great feeling to finally score a goal.

“After so long you think it’s never going to come.

“Paul McKenna did well, he got the ball on the wing and we made eye contact.

“He passed it inside and I just hit it. To see it go in was very pleasing.”