PNE retro: Preston claw back a two-goal deficit to beat Kidderminster in 2001

Preston North End needed all their powers of recovery and a kick up the backside from their substitutes to beat Kidderminster in the Worthington Cup  in August 2001.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Michael Jackson is congratulated by Graham Alexander after scoring Preston's extra-time winner at Kidderminster in August 2001

The Lilywhites trailed 2-0 at half-time to their hosts who were two divisions below them.

It was a deficit they only started to claw back with 13 minutes left on the clock at Aggborough.

Jonathan Macken found the net in the 77th minute to halve the deficit, before Kevin Gallacher – thrown on as a substitute for the second half – hit an equaliser to take the tie into extra-time.

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Jonathan Macken fires home Preston's first goal at Kidderminster

Centre-half Michael Jackson turned up in the opposition box to head PNE’s winner in the 99th minute.

Michael Keane, who like Gallacher had joined the fray at the interval, was the spark behind the comeback with a superb performance.

He lifted the spirits and got David Moyes’ men out of their first-half slumbers.

Praising Keane’s display, PNE skipper Sean Gregan said: “The little fella gave everyone a lift, he’s so full of enthusiasm. He was one of the major reasons – if not the major reason – why we turned it round.”

Kevin Gallacher celebrates with Jonathan Macken after equalising for Preston at Kidderminster

The trip to Kidderminster brought back memories of the 1994 FA Cup exit to Harriers when they were a non-league side.

Another cup shock looked on the cards when Tony Bird struck twice to put the home side in command.

Bird’s first goal came in the 16th minute, the winger getting clear to the right of the box before cutting inside and firing past North End goalkeeper David Lucas.

He almost scored again with a header which clipped the outside of the post.

Michael Jackson celebrates scoring for PNE at Kidderminster

With 37 minutes on the clock, Bird had Preston in a flap again when he doubled Kidderminster’s lead.

Ian Foster sent over a cross which dropped for Bird to hammer into the roof of the net.

PNE boss Moyes, who had played in the 1994 FA Cup defeat at the same ground, made a double change at the break.

Gallacher replaced Lee Cartwright and Keane took over from Mark Rankine.

Jonathan Macken and Michael Keane in PNE's game against Kidderminster

North End began to look stronger, Gregan, David Healy and Iain Anderson having chances.

Their comeback started properly in the 77th minute, Anderson heading a cross into the path of Macken who cut inside and squeezed home a shot at the near post.

Five minutes later, Healy hit a shot which goalkeeper Stuart Brock parried.

Gallacher looped a header goalwards, Brock getting a glove to it and seeing the ball drop behind him.

He scooped it out but the assistant signalled it had crossed the line.

That goal took the game into extra-time and PNE’s winner arrived nine minutes into the first half of it.

Graham Alexender sent over a corner from the right which Jackson met and headed in at the near post.

PNE: Lucas, Alexander, Jackson, Murdock, Eaton, Cartwright (Gallacher 46), Gregan, Rankine (Keane 46), Anderson (Cresswell 106), Macken, Healy. Subs (not used): Barry-Murphy, Moilanen.