Memory match: Preston North End hit four against Blackburn Rovers
Sometimes you have to delve back in time for a game which really stands out as being a firm favourite.
But the last time Preston played host to Blackburn at Deepdale 11 months ago, is a game to bring a smile to the faces of the PNE faithful.
Their 4-1 victory was the biggest winning margin over Rovers since August 1978.
Tom Barkhuizen, Callum Robinson, Louis Moult and Alan Browne were on target in front of a 19,912 crowd.
The one downside of the clash was a hamstring injury suffered by Robinson which was to keep him out for more than three months.
Things went North End’s way right from the start, with Barkhuizen finding the net with just 67 seconds played.
Robinson doubled the lead by the 10th minute.
The visitors, who had seen plenty of the ball in the first half after North End’s two goals, halved the arrears three minutes after half-time with a header from substitute Danny Graham.
However, PNE regained their composure, played on the counter-attack and scored two more in the last 16 minutes.
Sub Moult struck from close range after some great work from Barkhuizen, then Browne completed a superb individual performance with the final goal on the volley from a Moult cross.
Considering Preston lost Robinson and the influential Ben Pearson to injury – Robinson when it was 2-1 and Pearson at 3-1 – it was a strong finish from them.
North End surged ahead with a little more than a minute played.
Robinson’s header dropped over the visitors’ defence, giving Browne the space to run down the inside left channel.
The Irishman got into the box and pulled a low cross into the path of the incoming Barkhuizen who finished with a first-time shot into the bottom corner.
The lead was doubled when Browne got possession 30 yards out and threaded a pass through the Blackburn defence to free Robinson in the box.
Robinson steadied himself before shooting low across keeper David Raya into the far corner.
Blackburn pulled a goal back less than three minutes into the second half, with sub Graham making an instant impact.
Charlie Mulgrew sent a free-kick from the right wing into the box, with Graham afforded far too much space to head home from six yards.
Paul Gallagher whipped a free-kick from 25 yards wide of the post, then as Blackburn upped the pressure Declan Rudd parried a long-range effort from Elliott Bennett
Robinson pulled up after 68 minutes, the damage later diagnosed as a ruptured hamstring tendon
Brandon Barker came off the bench to replace him and was to have a hand in PNE’s third goal.
Barkhuizen was the main creator, racing on to the ball down the right wing and turning superbly to beat his marker.
He cut inside along the byline and pulled a cross into the middle, Barker’s blocked shot looping into the air for Moult to prod home from close range.
PNE weren’t finished there, getting their fourth goal in the 85th minute.
Attacking on the counter, Browne broke forward and played the ball out to the right to find the supporting Moult.
The striker returned the ball into the box where Browne had continued his run. Browne met it on the volley, his shot going back across goal and finding the net.