Preston North End retro game - share of the spoils for Bobby Charlton's men against Hereford in 1975

Preston North End were twice pegged back by Hereford United in their clash at Deepdale in April 1975 and had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 12:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 1:18 pm
Preston striker Mel Holden challenges in the air against Hereford at Deepdale in April 1975

It was one of five draws for Bobby Charlton’s men in six games as the 1975/76 season rather petered out.

Charlton had pulled his boots back on to play for North End that campaign having suffered relegation the campaign before.

He played 45 league and cup games in a Preston shirt then retired from playing a second time a couple of weeks before this clash with Hereford.

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PNE striker Mile Elwiss tussles with a Hereford defender as Jim Blyth catches the ball at Deepdale in April 1975

The PNE team showed three changes from the side beaten at Grimsby Town the week before.

Mel Holden, Steve Doyle and Mark Fielding came into the side, with Mick Baxter, Nobby Stiles and Gordon Coleman dropping out.

North End took the lead in the 14th minute.

PNE skipper John Bird launched a long ball from the back which sailed over the top of the Hereford defence.

Hereford keeper Jim Blyth pulls off a save from Preston striker Mel Holden

Francis Burns was first to it, sending a header over United keeper Jim Blyth.

Burns had recently been switched back into midfield to take Charlton’s place, the former Manchester United and Southampton player having operated at left-back for much of the season.

It was Burns’ second goal of the season, his other one having come in October in a 5-2 win over Bournemouth.

Dixie McNeil came close to an equaliser, sending a header inches over the bar.

Mike Elwiss wasn’t far away to extending Preston’s lead with a shot which went narrowly wide.

Hereford equalised in the 34th minute, McNeil rising at the far post to meet a cross from Barry Silkman and head past Roy Tunks.

Before half-time, North End were back in front.

Tony Morley’s dribble down the side of the box was halted by a challenge from Steve Emery, referee David Hough pointing to the spot.

Morley dusted himself down to take the penalty, slotting it past Blyth into the bottom corner.

Blyth was on loan with the visitors from Coventry, the keeper having played once for PNE in the 1971/72 season before being sold for £20,000.

In the second half, Blyth pulled off a good save from Elwiss who had been set-up by Doyle’s cross.

At the other end, Tunks pulled off a fine save to tip McNeil’s header over the bar.

An injury to Alex Spark meant a reorganisation, with Gary Williams having to move into the centre of defence.

Hereford equalised again in the 80th minute.

Right-back Fielding tripped Silkman in the box, Mr Hough pointing to the spot for the second time.

Tunks got a hand to the penalty from McNeil but couldn’t keep it out.

The 6,528 crowd was at the time the lowest of the season at Deepdale.

However, the final two home games against Watford and Brighton attracted lower attendances.

PNE: Tunks, Fielding, Bird, Spark (Coleman), Williams, Thomson, Doyle, Burns, Morley, Elwiss, Holden.