PNE retro game: Preston put five past Lincoln City at Deepdale in 1999
Preston North End dished out a thrashing to Lincoln City to bounce back in style from an agonising defeat four days earlier.
They put five past the Imps without reply on February 23, 1999, Kurt Nogan and Steve Basham scoring two goals apiece, with Jonathan Macken notching the other.
The previous Saturday they had lost 2-1 at Reading, going down to a 90th minute penalty.
That was just a seventh defeat of the season at the time and on each occasion North End had bounced back with a victory.
It was Lincoln who felt the backlash on a wet Tuesday night at Deepdale.
They had no answer to a somewhat patched-up PNE side hit by injuries.
David Moyes was forced to throw a new signing – Andy Gray – straight into the side just hours after signing him on a month’s loan from Nottingham Forest.
It was the visitors who started the brighter of the sides but without troubling PNE keeper David Lucas.
But once North End got properly started with a 14th minute goal, there was no looking back.
Basham got the opener, his curling shot from the right hand side of the box bouncing awkwardly in front of former Preston goalkeeper John Vaughan and going into the net.
Vaughan made a double save, parring a shot from Dominic Ludden and then flicking the rebound away from Basham.
At the other end of the pitch, Lincoln left-back Terry Fleming – another PNE old boy– forced Lucas into a save.
North End doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Mark Rankine sped down the right wing and sent over a low cross for Nogan to drill a show past Vaughan.
It that goal so close to the interval was a huge blow to the visitors, Moyes’ boys effectively finished them off two minutes into the second half.
PNE skipper Sean Gregan lifted a nicely weighted pass over the top of the Lincoln defence for Nogan to latch on to and bend a low shot past Vaughan to make it 3-0. That was his 18th goal of the season.
The fourth goal of the night came with 65 minutes on the clock as Nogan turned provider after his two goals.
His cross from the right was inch-perfect, finding Basham who fired home from 10 yards.
Basham was on loan from Southampton at the time and this performance did his chances of making the move full-time no harm at all.
Gregan saw a shot bounce back off the bar, while Gray came close to marking his debut with a goal but saw his low shot go just the wrong side of the post.
North End completed the scoring in the 89th minute, Nogan again setting it up.
The Welshman’s chipped cross from the side of the box picked out substitute Macken to slot past Vaughan from close range.
North End: Lucas, Darby, Jackson, Kidd (Murdock 46), Ludden, Cartwright (Macken 69), Gregan, Rankine, Gray, Basham (Harris 80), Nogan.