PNE retro game: First-half goal feast at Hereford in 1987

Gary Swann sends a header wide
Gary Swann sends a header wide

Preston North End won a fifth league game on the bounce as they got the better of Hereford United at Edgar Street in February 1987.

The midweek victory maintained their promotion push in the Fourth Division, although should probably have been more comfortable than it was.

Gary Brazil fires PNE ahead at Hereford

Gary Brazil fires PNE ahead at Hereford

All the goals were scored in the first half, North End holding a 2-0 lead only to be pegged back to 2-2.

That was the cue for Frank Worthington to step forward and score his first goal in Preston colours for the winner.

Prior to the trip down the M5, North End had beaten Lincoln City, Halifax Town, Scunthorpe and Torquay in league action.

In among that run were defeats to Newcastle United in the FA Cup and Wrexham in the Full Members Cup.

PNE's David Miller has a shot in the victory over Hereford in 1987

PNE's David Miller has a shot in the victory over Hereford in 1987

Their promotion push was gathering momentum and this win came during a 16-game unbeaten run in the league.

North End started well, taking the lead with only four minutes gone.

Gary Brazil started and finished it, his lay-off finding Worthington who turned the ball to Ronnie Hildersley on the right-wing.

Hildersley played the ball back inside to Brazil who without breaking stride, hit a low shot into the net from the edge of the box.

Sam Allardyce raises an arm to appeal for a foul in PNE's game at Hereford in 1987

Sam Allardyce raises an arm to appeal for a foul in PNE's game at Hereford in 1987

The visitors doubled the lead in the ninth minute, with Brazil again on target.

Hereford defender Jim Harvey handed it to North End on a plate, trying to find his keeper with a header from just 10 yards inside the hosts’ half.

Brazil nipped in behind the home back line, took the ball round keeper Kevin Rose and fired into an empty net.

A healthy-sized travelling contingent of Preston fans celebrated wildly.

Gary Swann jumps for the ball

Gary Swann jumps for the ball

However, a Hereford comeback silenced them temporarily.

Bruce Halliday halved the deficit from a corner and then Paul Butler pulled the hosts level.

North End got themselves back on the attack, a looping header from Worthington going wide and then Gary Swann had a shot cleared off the line.

They regained the lead before half-time.

Mike Bennett’s cross from the left was met in the box by Bob Atkins who headed it down to Hildersley.

The little winger slipped a pass through a crowded box to Worthington.

As the Hereford players appealed for an offside flag, Worthington brought the ball under control with his right foot and slipped a shot past Rose with his left.

Worthington had recently arrived at North End on a short-term deal having been sacked by Tranmere Rovers as manager.

He had made his debut four days earlier at Torquay.

In the second half, PNE had to see out pressure from Hereford, the famed three-man defence of Atkins, Alex Jones and Sam Allardyce looking more solid than they had done in the first half.

North End: Kelly, McNeil, Atkins, Allardyce, Jones, Bennett, Hildersley, Swann, Miller, Worthington, Brazil. Sub (not used): Thomas.

Attendance: 2,628