Preston North End's win over Millwall in January 2006 - Brian Stock's debut just hours after signing

Preston North End’s victory over Millwall at Deepdale in January 2006 stretched their unbeaten run to 18 matches.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 3:00 pm
Patrick Agyemang scores Preston North End's first goal against Millwall at Deepdale in January 2006
Patrick Agyemang scores Preston North End's first goal against Millwall at Deepdale in January 2006

Patrick Agyemang and Claude Davis found the net in a comfortable 2-0 win, a game which saw two new signings make their debuts.

Brian Stock was plunged in from the start after his move from AFC Bournemouth was registered with only a couple of minutes to spare.

When the midfielder went off after 77 minutes, he was replaced by Simon Whaley who had signed from Bury earlier in the week.

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Brian Stock has a shot on his Preston North End debut against Millwall at Deepdale

North End had tried to get Stock’s £150,000 move completed the day before but various holds-ups prevented that happening.

He had a medical in Preston on the Friday night, with North End registering him on the Saturday morning as a loan player so he could play against Millwall.

The following Monday Stock became a permanent signing but he quickly fell out of favour with Billy Davies after being substituted at half-time in his next game at Burnley and had two-and-a-half months out of the squad.

In the Millwall game there was nothing to suggest he would find his time as a PNE player such a difficult one – he made only eight appearances.

Preston North End striker David Nugent stretches to reach a cross against Millwall at Deepdale

Fuelled by a pre-match meal of jacket potato and beans in Sainsbury’s cafe on Deepdale Road, Stock put in an eye-catching performance.

That was despite only meeting his new team-mates 90 minutes before the game and still not knowing most of their names.

He helped set up Agyemang’s goal and went close to scoring himself with a volley which Lions goalkeeper Colin Doyle tipped over the bar.

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Patrick Agyemang celebrates with David Nugent after scoring for Preston North End against Millwall at Deepdale

North End were really working up a head of steam at this time as they trained their sights of a second successive tilt at the play-offs.

Their long unbeaten run had started with five draws but wins had become more frequent, this victory a fourth of the bounce.

Davies’ men scored either side of half-time to secure the three points, Agyemang putting them in front in the 43rd minute.

Chris Sedgwick fed the ball down the right hand side of the box to Stock who flicked it between two defenders to find Agyemang, the striker lifting the ball over Doyle as he came off his line to find the back of the net.

Chances had come PNE’s way before then, notably Stock’s volley which Doyle turned behind, while the keeper also denied Sedgwick and David Nugent.

The second goal arrived in the 51st minute, Callum Davidson’s inswinging corner from the right met by Davis seven yards out, the centre-half powering a header into the net.

North End could have added to their tally but two goals was enough for it be job done.

Only once was Carlo Nash seriously tested, the Lilywhites keeper saving substitute Carlos Fangeuiro’s 20-yard shot.

Stock got a standing ovation when he was substituted, then it was the PNE fans’ turn to have a look at new boy Whaley.

He impressed in the last quarter of an hour or so, suggesting Davies had got himself another bargain in the transfer market.