Memory match: PNE v Burnley

Ricardo Fuller celebrating his hat-trick against Burnley with Pawel Abbott at Deepdale
Ricardo Fuller celebrating his hat-trick against Burnley with Pawel Abbott at Deepdale
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Preston North End and Burnley have fought out some exciting games down the years and their Deepdale meeting in December 2003 was up there with the most exciting.

The Lilywhites came out on top of an eight-goal thriller, Ricardo Fuller their hat-trick hero in the 5-3 victory.

Six of the goals came in the last 30 minutes, with strikers very much having the upper hand on a wet pitch.

Three times North End took the lead, three times the Clarets equalised.

Then two goals in the last eight minutes saw Craig Brown’s men finally pull clear of their Lancashire rivals.

Grumpy Burnley manager Stan Ternent slammed his side’s generous defending but North End deserved far more credit for their attacking play.

Fuller was on fire on the day, showing he had recaptured his form after tearing his cruciate ligament 13 months earlier.

It was the Jamaican front man who scored the derby’s opening goal in the 18th minute.

Collecting the ball inside his own half after the North End defence had stopped a Burnley attack, Fuller swept forward and skipped a sliding tackle from David May on the halfway line.

He set off through the visitors’ half, cutting inside from the left wing before opening up his body and steering a shot past Clarets keeper Brian Jensen.

Ian Moore brought Burnley level within six minutes, finding the net after a shot from Richard Chaplow had been parried by PNE keeper Jonathan Gould.

The sides stayed on level terms until the hour mark, Fuller turning provider with a cross from the byline which Eddie Lewis bundled over the line despite the attentions of three defenders.

Again the lead was short-lived as Arthur Gnohere met a Robbie Blake free-kick to loop a header over Gould.

Preston edged in front again in the 71st minute, Paul McKenna’s pass sending David Healy down the right.

His low cross was missed by the sliding Richard Cresswell but Fuller arrived at the far post to drive home a shot from the corner of the six-yard box.

A third Clarets equaliser came within seven minutes, referee Mike Dean pointing to the spot after Blake was felled in the box by Marlon Broomes.

Blake tucked the penalty into the bottom corner, Gould guessing the right way but unable to get a glove to it.

Having been three times pegged back, North End got a fourth and then a fifth goal close together.

Substitute Pawel Abbott was the creator of No.4, holding off a challenge a few yards into the Burnley half before slipping a ball through the visitors’ defence to send Fuller away.

He sprinted clear and got into the box before shooting low past the keeper.

The fifth goal came on the break, Fuller the first to reach Gould’s punched clearance from a Blake free-kick.

After taking it past May, he played a superb cross -ield pass to pick out Healy down the inside-right channel.

The Northern Ireland international moved inside into the box and drove a low shot through the same gap between Jensen and the keeper’s near post, completing a fine victory.