Memory match: When Chris Brown’s double gave Preston North End victory at Charlton Athletic
Chris Brown was Preston’s two-goal hero in their 2008 clash with Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
The 2-1 victory was a shock result, North End battling against the drop at the time while the Addicks had their sights on promotion.
Brown had not found the net for nine games but found South London very much to his liking, the striker’s goals helping lift PNE into 17th place – their highest slot of the season at the time.
He had a new partner up front for the occasion, Tamas Priskin arriving on loan from Watford on the morning of the game.
The Hungarian just about had chance to say ‘hello’ to his new team-mates at the hotel before being pitched straight in for his debut.
North End had moved for Priskin after another loanee, Craig Beattie, had injured a hamstring in his first game for the club. The afternoon did not start well at all for PNE, with Liam Chilvers suffering a serious injury in the warm-up.
Central defender Chilvers ruptured his Achilles tendon less than 20 minutes before kick-off.
Billy Jones was drafted in to replace him, which meant a defensive reshuffle for Alan Irvine in the build-up.
Credit then to North End that they managed to put that behind them and pick up three valuable points.
From the start the visitors were lively and there was lots for the 1,800 travelling PNE supporters to be enthused about. It was the club’s first trip to Charlton for 29 years, hence the big following.
The previous visit in 1979 had ended in a 3-0 win and this one was just as pleasing.
Priskin went close in the 10th minute after getting clear down the right.
He chipped goalkeeper Nicky Weaver but saw the ball drop the wrong side of the far post.
Just two minutes later he put a header just over the bar as PNE’s high-tempo start continued.
North End took the lead in the 15th minute.
Brown and Charlton’s Sam Sodje had clashed heads as they competed for a ball in the air.
With Sodje on the ground, play continued and Darren Carter slipped a pass through to Brown in the box.
Brown took a touch and fired a confident finish past Weaver.
It was an advantage PNE kept throughout the first half and well into the second.
Charlton were disjointed and Irvine’s men held firm against them.
However, they were breached in the 75th minute as the hosts equalised.
Matt Holland’s cross from the left was headed down by Sodje and Patrick McCarthy slid in to poke a close-range shot past Andrew Lonergan.
North End were back in front within three minutes through Brown’s second of the afternoon – it was a good one too.
Simon Whaley used his pace to get down the left wing, sending over a cross which fell just behind Brown.
The 6ft 4in forward flicked the ball up with his left foot, turned sharply and volleyed past Weaver right-footed.
Lonergan’s fine late save made sure the advantage stayed intact.
The Preston goalkeeper got down low to glove away a free-kick from midfielder Darren Ambrose which had come through a sea of legs.
It proved a good week on the road for PNE, with them having won 1-0 against Leicester four days earlier with a late Carter goal.
They then returned home to beat Wolves 1-0.