Preston's derby day win at Ewood Park had fan Tim Mercer reminiscing about a past victory at Blackburn when he was a lad

The last time we completed the double over Blackburn was 40 long seasons ago, but it is a match I still remember well.

Sunday, 10th March 2019, 9:04 am
Updated Sunday, 10th March 2019, 10:08 am
Blackburn Rovers' Elliott Bennett is tackled by Preston North End's Sean Maguire

The score was again ‘One-nil to the PNE’ and was a rare televised game in which my boyhood hero, Alex Bruce, scored with a volley that was so good it was used by the programme in their opening footage.

Back then it was not a game for the purist and neither was this current-day clash in the mixed weather of East Lancashire.

A bit of a rough and tumble derby, with North End often sitting deep in defence of their slender lead scored early doors by Daniel Johnson.

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His first time shot from a pulled-back cross by Lukas Nmecha was similar in execution to his goal against Bristol City seven days earlier and sent the 7,500 fans around me into delirious celebration.

A word of encouragement for Nmecha is due here, as the young Manchester City loan player has found it pretty tough in coming to terms with the game at first team level.

Here, especially in the first half, he was full of running at the Rovers defence and held off his marker well to complete his assist for the Johnson goal.

Following a poor run of late, the second half saw the hosts dominating possession even more as they desperately tried to get back into the game.

It was not to be, and Paul Gallagher should probably have killed the game off when given a lovely cross-come pass from Sean Maguire.

He took the ball well, skipped past two challenges into the box but, with a clear sight of goal, failed to deliver the power needed to beat the home keeper.

To me it looked like a tug on him at the crucial moment had just done enough to put him off and prevent an undoubted wild celebration that would otherwise have ensued.

Darnell Fisher’s late sending off had us biting our nails in stoppage time, but the team saw it out to register five away wins on the trot and 10 unbeaten in a run that may yet turn into a serious push for the play-offs.

Who would have believed that a couple of months ago ... not many I suspect!