It is very doubtful that the winning goal, scored by Jordan Hugill, will still be talked about in 37 years’ time in the same way that Alex Bruce goal is from all those years ago.
Nevertheless the goal, and the win by North End, finally brings some realignment to football and to the bragging rights in this part of Lancashire. The build up to this game with the North End fans aching to put things right against Blackburn and the selling of 7,000 tickets meant that there could surely only be one outcome and that was a North End win. The boys, and the fans, didn’t let us down and after taking a back seat up to the Blackburn goal, North End got a hold in the game and started to assert themselves. The sending off and resultant penalty was, clearly, a big moment in the game but I think we would have won anyway even though it was 11 against10. I think the scoreline flattered Rovers somewhat as North End had two or three really good chances later in the game and for a while I thought we were only playing in third gear in the second half. It was the home side who started on the front foot and when Ward shot through a crowded box to give the home side the lead after 13 minutes, it was the signal for North End to up the game and move into a higher gear. Man-of-the-match Paul Gallagher started to exert his massive influence on the game as North End pushed forward in search of an equaliser. It came after 25 minutes when Duffy made a great diving save to his left from a goalbound shot but unfortunately Steele was the Blackburn keeper and Duffy promptly got his red card. Garner coolly tucked away the penalty and the Preston comeback was complete. Gallagher floated a beautiful ball from the left of the box right into the path of Hugill who volleyed home with aplomb to send the travelling fans ballistic. It was always going to be difficult for the home side to get back into the game and North End really should have put the gamein the second half . It wasn’t the best local derby I have ever seen, they seldom are outstanding games Looking at matters on and off the pitch it would be easy to come to the conclusion that North End are a team on the up and Rovers are a team on the way down but if football has taught me one thing it is to be magnanimous in victory and so suffice to say it was a victory against one of our biggest rivals that has put to bed many years of taunting and frustration from the opposition. Saturday was billed as Redemption Day and the team and fans delivered exactly that.