Memory Match: Preston 3 Luton 0 - landmark goal for Graham Alexander and a another red card for Hatters goalkeeper
Two seasons running Preston beat Luton at Deepdale and in both games Hatters goalkeeper Marlon Beresford was shown a red card after conceding penalties.
In PNE’s 3-0 victory in November 2006, Beresford brought down David Nugent in the box and was given his marching orders.
The penalty was put away by Graham Alexander, that the right-back’s 100th goal in senior football.
Beresford’s early walk back to the away dressing room was one he had made 11 months earlier when North End won 5-1 against Luton.
The 2006 meeting formed part of a run which saw them beaten only once in 18 league matches.
They were under Paul Simpson’s charge then, this his first season at the helm after succeeding Billy Davies.
PNE had beaten Leeds 4-1 five days before Luton’s visit but for the first half of this game struggled to reach the heights of that performance.
Things clicked during the second half, Beresford’s foul on Nugent beginning the chain of events which led to victory.
Alexander netted from the spot, Patrick Agyemang and Brett Ormerod adding their names to the scoresheet.
Victory sent North End second in the division, that first half of the campaign proving to be a strong one.
They had the better of the first half against Luton, creating a couple of decent openings.
Chris Sedgwick appealed loudly for a penalty in the ninth minute when he was caught in the box but referee Colin Webster waved play on.
Nugent saw a header come back off the bar during a spell of pressure, then Agyemang somehow nodded wide from inside the six-yard box.
The breakthrough was made in the 50th minute with a helping hand from Beresford.
Nugent got clear on goal and as he moved into the box and attempted to take the ball round Beresford, the keeper sent him tumbling to the ground.
Mr Webster pointed to the spot and then pulled out his red card to send Beresford for an early bath.
Luton sacrificed striker Dean Morgan to bring on sub keeper Dean Brill, his first job being to pick the ball out of the net after Alexander’s penalty had beaten him.
It was his 47th successful penalty out of 52 attempts and a nice way to bring his ton of goals up.
The goal came against his former club too, PNE having paid Luton £50,000 for his services in March 1999.
The Lilywhites pushed on from there, doubling their advantage after an hour.
Danny Pugh sent over a corner from the left, Agyemang darting to the near post to connect and steer the ball into the net.
Agyemang was later to give way to Ormerod in the frontline and it was Ormerod who completed the scoring.
It was the striker’s second goal off the bench in three matches as he eased his way back to full sharpness after breaking his leg in the play-off semi-finals six months earlier.
Sedgwick got possession outside the box and hit a low shot which Brill got down to and blocked but could not hold.
Ormerod was first to the rebound in the box, lifting it into the net to complete North End’s fine afternoon’s work.
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