Memory match: Drama at the Vetch Field as Preston North End and Swansea clashed in 2004 FA Cup

Preston were 10 minutes away from an FA Cup win in their visit to Swansea City’s Vetch Field in January 2004.
Graham Alexander and David Healy congratulate Dickson Etuhu after he put Preston in front against Swansea City in January 2004Graham Alexander and David Healy congratulate Dickson Etuhu after he put Preston in front against Swansea City in January 2004
Graham Alexander and David Healy congratulate Dickson Etuhu after he put Preston in front against Swansea City in January 2004

But such is their bad luck down the years in this part of South Wales, it probably didn’t come as a surprise that the Swans dumped them out of the competition.

Not since 1961 have PNE won on Swansea turf, either at the Vetch or the Liberty Stadium.

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This was a cup shock, with the Welsh club two divisions below North End at the time.

No wonder manager of the time Craig Brown locked his players in the dressing room to deliver some home truths, even the mild-mannered Scot was livid at this one.

Dickson Etuhu’s 58th-minute goal looked like it was going to send Preston through to the fifth round.

However, Andy Robinson equalised with 10 minutes left and almost straight away Lee Trundle turned the tie on its head to the delight of most of the 10,201 crowd.

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PNE had only themselves to blame for defeat, after all they had the chances to score both before and after Etuhu’s goal – Swansea should have been sunk out of sight.

That said, the Swans had a great chance to open the scoring with only 18 seconds on the clock.

Trundle got through on goal one-on-one but Preston keeper Jonathan Gould was on hand to save.

At the other end, Eddie Lewis volleyed straight at the keeper from Brian O’Neil’s pass with Ricardo Fuller not able to get to the rebound. George Koumantarakis, who had been drafted into the side at the last minute when Richard Cresswell was taken ill, tried to take the ball round keeper Roger Freestone but the chance went begging.

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Graham Alexander’s shot from distance cleared the bar, then Freestone tipped David Healy’s effort over the top.

In the 30th minute, Etuhu’s header was cleared off the line by Brad Maylett.

After the interval, Fuller burst clear in the box but was to blaze his shot wide.

North End took the lead as the hour mark approached.

Healy sent over a corner from the left, Etuhu meeting it at the near post to head in.

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They held that advantage for more than 20 minutes, 
only for Swansea to flip the game on its head.

Etuhu’s needless foul on Leon Britton gave away a free-kick 25 yards out.

Robinson curled a beauty of a shot around the wall and past Gould into the top left-hand corner of the net.

After seemingly being on course for a place in the last 16, the Lilywhites were now facing a replay at Deepdale. They would have taken that had they know what was to come two minutes later.

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Claude Davis went up with James Thomas to make what should have been a routine headed clearance.

However, the Jamaican headed straight to Trundle in the box.

With the Preston defence frozen to the spot, Trundle had time to chest the ball down and side-foot past Gould from six yards.

Trundle had previously played for Bamber Bridge, Chorley and Southport, with him having a trail at one stage with North End.

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A few years later in 2012, Trundle signed for Preston during the Graham Westley era but only stayed a matter of months because of injury problems.

PNE had the chance to pull level and salvage a replay in the dying moments.

Lewis’ shot was parried by Freestone, the ball hitting North End substitute Pawel Abbott in front of goal and looping into the air before it was cleared.

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