David Moyes’ first steps in management came in the dark and wet as Preston won at Macclesfield Town in the Auto Windscreens Shield in January 1998.
The Scotsman had taken over as North End boss the day before, Gary Peters having stepped down after a 3-1 defeat to Gillingham.
A trip to Moss Rose on a cold Tuesday night was hardly the stuff of dreams, however it was a winning start for Moyes as winger Lee Cartwright fired the game’s only goal.
The second half of the game was played in the gloom, an electrical fault causing a noticeable dip in the power of the floodlights.
With a downpour soaking the pitch in the last 25 minutes, it was no place for the fainthearted.
Whether it was because this was the Auto Windscreen Shield or because he wanted to stamp his mark on the job, Moyes made six changes.
The significant one of the half-dozen was the return of Simon Davey, the midfielder having been out of the picture for the best part of eights months.
Davey returned to played a significant part in the win, putting in a wholehearted display in the middle.
This was a second attempt at playing the game, a waterlogged pitch seeing it postponed a week earlier.
Early on, PNE goalkeeper David Lucas and left-back Dean Barrick collided as they both went to block a shot from Phil Power, the ball fortunately squirming wide of the target.
David Eyres and Mark Rankine both put shots off target for North End, then an effort from Davey was saved on the line by Macc keeper Ryan Price.
Tony Lormor followed in to try and force home the rebound but his shot was blocked too.
The teams went in 0-0 at the interval and when they emerged for the second half they had to adjust to less light following the problem with the electric.
North End netted what turned out to be the winner in the 49th minute.
Eyres’ pass found Barrick on the left, the full-back lifting a cross into the box which Kurt Nogan flicked on.
The ball ran into the path of Cartwright who thumped a low shot across Price into the far bottom corner.
Macclesfield responded with Steven Whittaker scooping an effort over the bar and then soon after, he fired wide.
Davey and Gary Parkinson put shots over the bar for Preston as Moyes’ new boys tried to put more daylight between them and their hosts.
Lormor hooked a shot just wide before North End survived a scare as the game moved into the fifth minute of stoppage-time.
Macc sub Leroy Chambers got free down the right hand side of the box but with Lucas to beat, put his shot wide of the post.
The following night, Moyes turned out for North End’s reserves in a bid to keep his match fitness up.
PNE: Lucas, Parkinson, Jackson, Kidd, Barrick, Cartwright, Davey, Rankine, Eyres, Nogan (Holt), Lormor. Subs (not used): Murdock, Appleton.