Preston North End retro game: Tony Lormor nets on his debut against Luton in November 1997

Tony Lormor on his PNE debut against Luton
Tony Lormor on his PNE debut against Luton

New boy Tony Lormor scored on his Preston North End debut in November 1997 to help end a run of four defeats.

Signed from Chesterfield, the striker scored PNE’s first goal at Kenilworth Road and then had a hand in the other two – David Eyres and Lee Ashcroft finding the net.

Lee Ashcroft in action against Luton in 1997

Lee Ashcroft in action against Luton in 1997

North End had headed to Hertfordshire in poor form, licking their wounds on the back of defeats to Bristol City, Wrexham, Plymouth and York City.

This was the shot in the arm they needed and took some of the heat off boss Gary Peters who had been taking some flak.

Lormor proved a threat from the first whistle, just 40 seconds gone when he met Gary Parkinson’s long ball in the box.

He won it in the air under the challenge of goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, the ball falling to Eyres who flashed a shot inches wide.

Tony Lormor is congratulated by David Eyres and Lee Ashcroft

Tony Lormor is congratulated by David Eyres and Lee Ashcroft

North End went ahead in the 16th minute, a good pass from Michael Appleton finding Mark Rankine on the edge of the box.

Rankine chested it down and laid the ball into the path of Lormor who drove a shot into the net.

It was Preston’s first goal for 420 minutes and was greeted with delight by the 400 PNE fans who had made the trip.

The lead lasted only nine minutes though, a low cross from Gary Waddock causing confusion in the visitors back line.

David Eyres shows his joy after putting PNE 2-1 up

David Eyres shows his joy after putting PNE 2-1 up

Phil Gray completely missed the ball but it came to Tony Thorpe who shot past Teuvo Moilanen.

Rankine missed a good chance after being played in by Sean Gregan but North End struck their second goal just before half-time.

Lormor tried his luck with a shot from the right hand side of the box but it scuffed off his foot.

The ball flashed across the face of the six-yard box and in slid Eyres to clip it in at the far post.

A Luton player gets above PNE midfielder Mark Rankine

A Luton player gets above PNE midfielder Mark Rankine

It was a huge boost for the visitors just before the break and made the half-time brew taste that bit better.

In the early stages of the second half, Moilanen made two great saves – the first to deny Michael Jackson putting into his own net, the second from future Preston player Graham Alexander.

North End made the three points theirs more than two minutes into time added on.

Lormor won a crunching tackle with Paul McLaren inside his own half.

The ball squirted forward to Eyres who looked up and delivered a peach of a pass over the Luton defence to free Ashcroft.

He ran through, lifted the ball over goalkeeper Davis, before stroking a low shot into the empty net.

Delighted North End boss Peters said: “I had a driving down that we would turn the corner.

“I noticed the difference on Thursday in training, the first day Tony Lormor was with us.

“We looked different, as if they had been waiting for someone like Tony to arrive.”

North End: Moilanen, Parkinson, Jackson, Kidd, Barrick, Appleton, Gregan, Rankine, Eyres, Ashcroft (Macken 90), Lormor. Subs (not used): Cartwright, Darby.

Attendance: 5,767