Preston North End and Blackpool ready to resume derby rivalry on the pitch for the first time since 2013
Preston North End and Blackpool will renew their derby rivalry on the pitch in the forthcoming season after a lengthy gap.
The Seasiders’ 2-1 win over Lincoln City in the League One play-off final at Wembley on Sunday saw them promoted to the Championship.
It is nearly eight years since the clubs last met, PNE winning 1-0 at Deepdale in the League Cup in August 2013. Tom Clarke put the ball in the Blackpool net that night in only his second game for the club.
There were 17,470 in the ground that night, with Clarke meeting a Lee Holmes free-kick to head home at the far post in the 87th minute.
You have to go back even longer, to February 2010, for the last league meeting between the sides at opposite ends of the M55.
That was a 0-0 draw at Deepdale, the sides having drawn 1-1 at Bloomfield Road earlier in the season – Ross Wallace on target for PNE.
That season, Blackpool were promoted to the Premier League and North End stayed put in the Championship.
In 2010/11 when Blackpool came down from the top flight, the Lilywhites tumbled into League One.
Four years later the clubs swapped places, North End promoted from League One after winning the play-off final with the Bloomfield Road outfit relegated.
The resumption of the derby in the 2021/22 season will potentially see Chris Maxwell face his former PNE team-mates.
Goalkeeper Maxwell is now Blackpool’s skipper, with him starting 43 of their 46 league games this season and all of the play-off matches.
His last game for Preston came in November 2018, a red card against Ipswich seeing Paul Gallagher go in goal.
Maxwell was loaned to Charlton in January 2019 and then joined Hibernian that summer after his release.
After half a season in Scotland, he returned to the North West to join Blackpool.
The EFL will release the fixtures for 2021/22 on June 24 at 9am, with the season scheduled to kick-off on the weekend of August 7.
Blackpool have followed Hull City and Peterborough up from League One.
The Tigers, who finished as champions, made it back to the Championship after only one season away.
Peterborough, managed by former North End boss Darren Ferguson, last played at this level in the 2012/13 campaign.
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here