Memory match: Cardiff v PNE

Kurt Nogan turns to celebrate after scoring in PNE's 4-0 win at Cardiff in January 2000
Kurt Nogan turns to celebrate after scoring in PNE's 4-0 win at Cardiff in January 2000
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Preston North End went to Wales for their first game of the new millennium and celebrated with a thumping 4-0 victory over Cardiff City.

They blitzed the Bluebirds with four second-half goals at Ninian Park, Graham Alexander netting twice, with Rob Edwards and Kurt Nogan also on target.

Success in South Wales completed a happy Christmas and New Year for North End.

A 3-0 derby win over Blackpool on December 18 had been followed by a 0-0 draw at Wrexham on Boxing Day and a 2-1 victory over promotion rivals Bristol Rovers.

The first set of matches of 2000 had been scheduled for January 3 to allow fans and players to celebrate the arrival of the new century.

David Moyes’ men had a decent-sized following behind them and the PNE supporters had plenty to cheer about as their side clicked into gear after a goalless first half.

The second half was only 20 seconds old when they went ahead, left-back Edwards thumping a shot into the net from outside the box.

It was his first league goal in Preston colours, having previously only featured on the scoresheet in an Auto Windscreens Shield game against Wrexham.

Alexander doubled the lead in the 56th minute, powering home an effort.

Then six minutes later, it was the turn of Nogan to help himself to a goal.

The Cardiff-born striker produced a fine headed finish to effectively put North End out of sight.

Eight minutes from time, Nogan was brought down in the box for a penalty, with Alexander converting in typical forthright fashion from the spot.

A delighted Moyes said: “I thought the players were excellent in the way they went about their jobs and the overall performance was a credit to them.

“Some of our play in the second half was as good as it has been for a long time.”

Nogan’s appearance on the scoresheet in his native Wales was significant.

Made available for transfer six weeks earlier, he had turned down a £100,000 move to Hull before Christmas.

Nogan was recalled to the side by Moyes for the win over Bristol Rovers and played well enough to stay in against Cardiff.

This was Nogan’s first goal since November and only his fourth of the season.

At the time of the game, there was talk of strong interest from Cardiff and they got a close-up look at him.

Speaking after the game, Nogan said: “It would take a special club to make me leave Preston and Cardiff are special.

“It is my home city club, I was born and bred there and I would to play for them – if I am not wanted at Deepdale.”

Nogan was to eventually get a move to Cardiff – he joined them for £100,000 in March that year.

His three years in North End colours saw him score 31 goals in all competitions, two of them against Arsenal in the FA Cup in January 1999.

That strong end to 1999 and start to 2000 was to play its part in Preston’s Second Division title charge.

They finished top of the pile and booked a return to the second tier of English football after a 19-year absence.