PNE classic game series: The night Preston hit Leeds United for six at Elland Road

Preston North End’s victory against Leeds United in September 2010 fell into the ‘astonishing’ category.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th April 2020, 11:30 am
Jon Parkin scores for Preston North End against Leeds at Elland Road in September 2010

The Lilywhites came back from 4-1 down to win 6-4, plunging Elland Road into silence – bar 1,000 travelling PNE supporters who celebrated with glee.

Jon Parkin led the charge with a hat-trick, with Keith Tracey, Callum Davidson and Iain Hume on target too.

It was a crazy game, the tip of balance from Leeds into North End’s favour as dramatic as you are likely to see for a long time.

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Jon Parkin celebrates his hat-trick against Leeds

PNE started well and took the lead in the fourth minute, Parkin scoring from close range after goalkeeper Shane Higgs had fumbled a cross from Treacy.

Leeds then hit four goals in 24 first-half minutes to seemingly put the points in the bag.

Luciano Becchio, Alex Bruce and Davide Somma (2) found the net.

‘Operation Comeback’ started before half-time as Parkin ran on to a pass from Paul Coutts to fire home.

PNE mount their comeback against Leeds at Elland Road

At the time it looked like no more than a consolation but how wrong that was.

Nine minutes after the interval, the visitors got it back to 4-3, Treacy’s corner from the right flying straight into the net despite the best efforts of Somma on the line.

PNE levelled soon after, Coutts tripped by Max Gradel to win a penalty.

Davidson stepped up to hammer the spot-kick high into the net.

The momentum was with North End and they were to take full advantage.

In the 64th minute, Parkin collected Davidson’s long ball forward on the edge of the box, turned and lashed a shot past Higgs into the net.

Amazingly, Preston were not finished there, making it 6-4 with 11 minutes left.

Billy Jones dropped a cross over the top of the Leeds defence, Hume stealing unmarked into the box to meet it and sent a header arcing over the back-pedalling keeper.

Calling it a 10-goal thriller didn’t do the game justice, Hume later summing it up as being ‘bonkers’. Oh, what a night!