Looking back at when Sean St Ledger was Preston North End’s last-action hero against Barnsley

Sean St Ledger lets fly with Preston's winning goal against Barnsley
Sean St Ledger lets fly with Preston's winning goal against Barnsley

Sean St Ledger was Preston’s last-action hero when they beat Barnsley 2-1 at Deepdale in November 2008.

The centre-half fired home a 90th-minute winner with the help of a deflection, the 2-1 victory taking them to within a point of the top six.

Richard Chaplow gave North End the lead in the first half, only for the Tykes to peg them back with a goal from Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

It was a good week for the Lilywhites having beaten Blackpool 3-1 at Bloomfield Road the Sunday before.

Barnsley came across the Pennines with two familiar faces on board the team bus.

Former PNE striker Jon Macken was in their attack and they were managed by Simon Davey who was a key man in the 1995/96 Division Three title-winning side.

North End looked bright from the kick-off and Billy Jones needed to offer more of an end product when he got himself space on the right only to miscue his cross with Chris Brown well positioned in the box.

PNE goalkeeper Andrew Lonergan saved well from Macken’s shot on the turn.

Neil Mellor tested Tykes keeper Heinz Muller with a decent attempt before North End took a 21st-minute lead.

Barnsley’s Hugo Colace tried to shepherd the ball out of play to the left of the box.

But Mellor hustled him out of possession and pulled the ball back for Chaplow to fire home from 10 yards.

The visitors claimed that Mellor had fouled Colace but the goal stood. North End were only in the lead until the 33rd minute.

Campbell-Ryce was given too much space on the edge of the box and picked his spot with a low shot past Lonergan into the bottom corner.

The Barnsley midfielder wasn’t far from scoring again in the second half, with a shot which Lonergan has to push against the top of the post.

Back came North End with Mellor forcing Muller into a good save, while a shot from Chris Sedgwick was blocked on the line by Rob Kozluk.

The game looked to be heading for a draw when St Ledger stepped up to be PNE’s match winner.

Until the 2008/09 season, he had managed five goals in seven seasons as a pro.

But he’d scored earlier in the campaign at Watford and was clearly building up some confidence in front of goal.

St Ledger took possession in the Barnsley half and started to move towards the box.

The visitors’ backed off him, probably not expecting a shot from the defender.

However, from 20 yards he tried his luck, pulling the trigger with a right-foot effort which caught a big deflection off Koluz – who had once been on loan at PNE – and flew into the net past Muller.

Speaking afterwards, St Ledger admitted it was a shock to get on the scoresheet.

St Ledger said: “I think I even surprised myself with that one.

“It needed that massive deflection to take it in so can you call me the matchwinner?

“The main thing was that it went in and gave us the win which we needed.

“I’m not one for shooting, not even in training.

“It got a deflection. I couldn’t say whether it was going in or not, but it obviously helped.

“I was running at them,I had a bit of momentum and I thought I would just give it a go.

“There were only a couple of minutes left and, as the saying goes, if you don’t shoot you don’t score.

“Luckily enough for me I scored and it was a really good feeling.”