Memory match: QPR v PNE

Chris Lucketti scores the second for North End at Loftus Road in February, 2005
Chris Lucketti scores the second for North End at Loftus Road in February, 2005
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Preston’s visit to Loftus Road in February 2005 saw them stage a second-half comeback to beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1.

The catalyst behind the fightback was a half-time rocket which Billy Davies put up his players.

Unhappy with a display in the first half which had seen North End go a goal behind, Davies delivered a few home truths during the interval.

Aided by a couple of early second-half substitutions, the visitors roared back to equalise through David Nugent’s first PNE goal.

The stage was then set for Chris Lucketti to hit the winner 15 minutes from time.

That was not the end of the afternoon’s drama though, Eddie Lewis’ red card meaning the closing stages had to be seen out with 10 men.

QPR dominated the first 45 minutes from beginning to end, Jamie Cureton putting an early chance against the bar.

The West London outfit took a 26th-minute lead, Lee Cook’s cross finding striker Paul Furlong, who placed a header into the top corner beyond Andrew Lonergan.

Cue the half-time blast from Davies who had cut an unhappy figure.

Davies said: “Sometimes you just have to kick and punch at half-time, throw one or two bottles around.

“We had to say one or two choice words as you can imagine and make some changes. In the second half we were much more like ourselves.”

What really turned things was a double substitution, Nugent and Paul McKenna joining the action.

Nugent, 19 at the time, had been signed from Bury for a £99,000 fee a month earlier, this his fourth appearance.

Within 10 minutes of his arrival on the pitch, Nugent had equalised.

He combined with fellow sub McKenna to good effect, Nugent flicking the midfielder’s pass back into his path with a back heel.

McKenna’s shot came back off QPR keeper Simon Royce, Nugent nipping in to guide the ball into the net.

Eight minutes later, North End turned the game on its head with their second goal.

When a corner was only partially dealt with by the home defence, Chris Sedgwick returned it into the mix.

Nugent was inches away from getting his head to it, the ball hitting Richard Cresswell on the leg and rolling into the path of Lucketti.

The centre-back needed no second invitation, lashing a shot high into the net from 10 yards.

As the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Lewis got his marching orders after getting two yellow cards in quick succession.

Being a man light did not lead to any anxious moments as the game was seen out comfortably.

Nugent’s goal was the first of 37 he scored for PNE, those eventually leading to his £6m sale to Portsmouth.

After bagging this one at QPR, he attempted to keep his shirt as a souvenir.

“As it was my first goal, I wanted to keep the shirt but the kitman wouldn’t let me,” said Nugent.

“We only have two of those yellow away shirts each.

“I think I’ll go to the club shop, buy one with my name on and give it to the kitman so that I can keep the original.”